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The Architects of Betrayal (TAB) 55: I'll Take Terrible Star Trek Episodes For $100 Alex

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

The new Woodstock . . .
I have questions . . .

For those of you who know the Star Trek episode referenced above, no the group did not join forces with the cultists to defeat an invisible beast. They sat there, paralyzed, as said cultists moved in to secure them. A fitting punishment for their rampant abuse of the weird spell.

Sadly, the search for quadfurcated artifact pieces had taken a full minute, meaning they only had about three rounds left of that particular status effect. Of course, the kobold made the progressively easier save on round 12. The gnome made it the next turn. Everyone else was free the turn after that.

But that was enough time to shackle the Samsaran (may he . . . well, you know) effectively eliminating much of his spell casting ability. Hoh, hoh, hoh . . .

Not that it did the ill fated enemies much good. All in all, it was a fairly lackluster fight; the best hit was scored by Beth. After confirming a critical hit with a natural 20 (we use the house rule that rewards such an event with max damage) she threw her arms up in the air in celebration, heedless of the fact that Clint had just bent over to look at her roll. Yep, right in the nose. Pretty sure she rolled a natural 20 on that hit too, as Clint found himself in a gangly heap on the floor. Honestly I think he took more damage than the intended target.

Other than that, the only interesting event was my attempt to hide the last cultist before he bled out. The idea of them having to search around for a dead man was hilarious to me. Sadly my execution left something to be desired. I had him Dimension Door to the top of the tower, completely forgetting that that was well within the sight range of Zornesk's detect evil. Urg!

After that the group decided it really needed to rest, and teleported to Neverwinter to find an inn. The keeper of such was less than enthused at being woken up in the middle of the night, but he did give them a room. Three hours later they tried to teleport to Old Peltarch, only to find themselves several hundred miles short of their destination.

They didn't have to wait for long. A roving patrol from a city just to the north appeared, and suggested that if they wished to enter Narfell they should speak to The Mayor. The group agreed and was escorted to a city bustling with all manner of people. A city named Ravnica. The city was a marvel, even more inclined to the use of magic than Augerhead had been. It had massive overhead aqueducts that were used to ship freight and people around, with stairs and lifts creating various access points. All manner of sentient creatures, even goblins, could be seen wandering to and fro on some business or other. The plethora of magical items for sale was astounding. (Prices were only 85% of normal and all manner of magical items could be found).

Needless to say, keeping the gnome going in a straight line was increasingly difficult. However, with the rest of the group feeling like underpaid babysitters, they finally reached a massive structure humorously referred to as 'The Mayor's House'. Inside they found a Dwarf that just happened to be one of my characters from a previous campaign.

This dwarf had ended up questing with an elf, getting over his racial hatred. He'd also become rich when the group decapitated an Ancient Red Dragon. As the casters fumbled with their vials, trying to collect the blood, he'd exclaimed 'I'll show you how its done' and opened his recently emptied Bag of Holding under the gushing arteries. The bag had previously been filled with rainwater from a storm. Rainwater he'd emptied on the dragon as it slept in its lava. Cause he's also kind of a dick. He'd also kept, and bronzed, the dragon's massive testes, making them into giant clackers. See previous statement.

The dwarf explained that no teleportation was possible to Narfel due mainly to the ancient inhabitants' practices of constantly summoning demons for their army. When they told him of their plight he said that if they were going after the cult of Baphomet he'd offer his help. He told them that the High Priest of Baphomet they'd encountered would have gone north to the Ice Lake and across to Old Peltarch, but that his horses could get them their faster via the roads.

Zornesk then asked if he could have the Deflecting enchantment they'd found on the cultist's armor placed on his. As no one outside of the cult had ever even seen such, the Dwarf referred them to a 'rather quirky wizard'. He also gave them a globe of skystone to give to said unhinged user of the arcane.

For once they followed instructions, heading directly for the wizard's abode. As they'd come to expect from high level wizards at this point, the interior of the unassuming little corner shop was much larger than the exterior had suggested. Also, no one seemed home.

They were just starting to wonder if they should leave when an ancient looking goblin strolled out from behind them, stopping to ask Minerva what her favorite color was. Upon her answer of 'red' he said "nope, that won't do at all." He then continued on a path that intersected the rear of the group. As they turned to follow him they found he wasn't there anymore.

A noise from the end of the room showed the goblin at the other end of the room, pulling a massive volume off of a bookcase. It took some time, but they finally got his attention. However, the offer of the stone was not enough to tempt him. Even a gander at the armor left him only mildly interested in their request.

He stated that he did not have time to waste on fools, but that if they could solve a riddle he'd help them. He then pointed to two tables behind them. Tables that hadn't been there when they'd walked past that spot originally. On one were three wide ornamental bowls.

One depicted a great walled city on it's exterior. The letters A-G-R-A-T-E-N were spaced evenly around its rim.

One depicted a great naval battle. It had the letters F-A-L-G-A-R-T-R-A spaced evenly about its rim.

The last depicted a mountain. It had the letters Z-T-A-G-H-M-U-T spaced around it.

The other table held a plethora (my word for today) of figurines stacked upon it. Underneath each was a name. Names like Augustus, Spock, Mephistocles, Beyonce, Shaka, Adelle, Eminem, Aristotle, Homer, Jalad, Hippocrates, Temba, Wong, Bono, Darmok, Drake, Cher, Sonny, and Prince. It took the group a surprisingly short amount of time to figure out that the bowls were not aligned at the beginning of their names. This gave them the city of Tenagra, the battle of Trafalgar, and the mountain of Mutztagh. Since there were no figures appropriate to the battle, or the mountain they eventually (I made the trekkies give the rest a chance) figured out that Darmok and Jalad had to go to Tenagra. I also issued a challenge that every campaign we do from now on must have some variation of this joke. Why? Because I'm clearly twisted. The goblin then honored his word, and placed the sphere of skymetal into a machine against one wall. A portal opened to another room where time had accelerated by a factor of 40,000. Inside this work room the goblin and Zornesk made the modifications required to his armor in a couple of minutes.

Before the group left the city the gnome suggested they dump their loot and acquire more conventional (relatively speaking) gear. He went for a pair of Pistols of the Infinte Sky, mainly because my dumb ass told him about them. Seriously, why do I continually do this to myself? One of these days I'll learn to keep my big mouth shut.

The group then met the Dwarf (Aanger was his name) at the stables and borrowed some horses. As they exited the city a familiar figure called to them from an overhanging tree. There they saw Rodney. The demon made short work of saying 'I told you so', and suggested they had a common enemy. He then said he'd meet them at the footsteps of Old Peltarch. Before they had a chance to actually agree to work together.

The group then headed off. They did end up stopping an attack by cultists on a small city, in the most laughable manner possible. You wouldn't think a group of four could surround an army, but then you wouldn't think that roaming pit would be quite so effective either.

After that, all they had to do was deal with some gunslinger/rogue/assassins with a wonderful sniper's setup that proved utterly futile (damn the low DC's in this game!) before they made it to their destination.

Oh, and as they approached, they began having strange dreams. I had each of the players deal with me one on one for their nightmares, which they seemed to enjoy. Because they're twisted too . . .

Only one failed their save to keep from being swayed by Baphomet, the sender of such wonderful eyelid movies. The others rolled ridiculously high. I'm seriously starting to think that plot armor is a thing, and I have frighteningly little control over it!

This led them right up to the edge of Old Peltarch (almost as if by design . . .). Of course, Rodney was there. He suggested the allies the group had earned debts from make a frontal assault on the castle while they sneak in the back. Classic diversionary tactic right?

Or perhaps, classic attrition tactic. I leave you to be the judge . . .

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