They say that all good things must come to an end. If that's the case, I've had it way too good for far too long. It seems that, with the end of December, both of my weekly D&D games will be ending.
In our "Pirates of the Underdark" game, we have two sessions left to wrap up the conveluted plot points, the circuitous undercurrents, and a massive trip to the heart of the Abyss left to go. I can't bear to spoil the plot here, at least not until the last few sessions play out, but rest assured that you'll get all of the details here.
I will, however, spoil the remainder of the plot for my "Echoes of the Last War" game, which I was running at Wittenberg. When we last left off, the players had been trekking through the Xen'drik jungle, in search of a House Cannith archaeological dig, which they had found evidence of in a shady lab in the Cogs of Sharn.
At the dig site, our players would have found a mysterious series of runes which, when translated, would have dealt with the missing Mark of Death, and particularly the combinations thereof with other dragonmarks. Notes left behind by the previous dig manager would have led the heroes back onto Khorvaire, to the Citadel of Twelve, in Karnnath.
Using some diplomacy and guile, the players would have infiltrated the Citadel, only to find little to no evidence (or help) from the dragonmarked heirs there. However, some further investigation of both House Cannith and House Thuranni would have given the indication that the group's old buddy, Thondred ir'Dayne, was still alive! Shocked, they would be confronted with an impossible task: infiltrating the prison of Dreadhold and breaking out their friend.
After another bit of sneaking, the party would find Thondred deep in the "Stone Ward" of Dreadhold. There, he'd enlighten them on the real plot: Cannith and Thuranni were in cahoots all along. The Mourning? Yeah, it was their fault, as they attempted to formulate an arcane/alchemical replacement for the missing Mark of Death. And, using the information from the dig sites in Xen'drik, House Cannith now has a prototype for a "Dragonmark Bomb"...a miniaturized Mourning that they intend to sell off to the highest bidder at the city of Thronehold.
Amazed, the PCs would have had to sneak back off of Dreadhold's island and into the Lhaazar Principalities, seeking passage with a pirate captain. Said pirate captain was, of course, deep in House Lyrandar's pockets, and set the PCs ashore in the midst of the Mournland!
After several challenges in traversing the Mournland, the PCs would have met one of the most dangerous individuals in the realm: the Lord of Blades. Obviously, the option to flee would be there, but should they negotiate, they'd find a kindred spirit! The Lord of Blades has no interest in seeing the world annihilated (even if it does mean the fall of the 5 nations), and so sends the PCs on their way to Thronehold with an escort of Warforged infiltrators.
The game would have ended with the PCs racing against time to stop the auction, and stopping the heads of the two dragonmarked houses--Thuranni and Cannith--from selling off their weapon.
Ironically, this game would have ended with the PCs becoming, essentially, fugitives and 'terrorists', sending them on the run for good. A definite strange ending, but one I hadn't explored yet.
As for what comes next? We'll see. I have some ideas rattling around my brain right now, but my focus has been on SunnyVale Acres for the last few weeks. Here's hoping I'll have my prototype out by New Year's!