The Sun Below

So, after helping their friend, Kassem (an archeologist), rid the tomb of King Franis III of the traps and tomb guardians, the Artifact Hunters (my Players) have much more knowledge of the Garamurian Empire than they started with. Knowledge that I am hoping that they will apply to solving their current crisis, an invasion of this dimension from creatures known as the Fryun. Fryus (the singular form of the word) was god in contention with the others of the Garamurian pantheon for the expansion of his followers and his pettiness when thwarted. The Artifact Hunters do not yet know how to stop the creatures, but they are learning the "gods" of the Garamurian empire are physical beings or groups of beings that ruled over ancient Garamur. So their next encounter with some other member of the pantheon will probably work out a little better.
They will be traveling north from the Tithe River back to Uxphon assisting and escorting Kassem in returning the Scepter (a numenera artifact) of King Franis III to his patron, Baron Tichronus. Kassem will then go back to the tomb with new guards and new funds to continue the archeological dig through it. At the mouth of the Deathwater Canyon before they can even get to Uxphon proper, the Hunters will find that the Iron Wind has passed through in their absence and changed the landscape. Besides destroying the roads in and out of the canyon, the Iron Wind also created a 70ft face on the cliff face that is spouting gibberish, prophecies and it's a passage to a world beneath the crust of the planet.

That last part, at the mouth of the canyon, is the opening to The Sun Below: City on the Edge adventure by John W. S. Marvin and Dread Unicorn Studios. It is a Rescue and Escape adventure set during a Revolution. All taking place below the surface of the ninth world. The civilization that the characters are going to encounter down there is REALLY old, and definitely on its decline. But they are still aware of the surface world and guard against incursions from it.
My question to you, my fellow GMs and Players is this: how much of my current storyline do you think I should pepper into this adventure?. The Garamurian Empire is only briefly mentioned in the Mechanized Tomb section of the "The Devil's Spine." Which I am setting up for them to play through later, hoping that I have given the PCs enough background it will have more impact (and I'm kind of hoping that I'll have "Into the Deep" before then too). I've also been using encounters based on a lot of the information from the other adventures set in or near the Cloudcrystal Skyfields including this one, so that if I decide to run them through those adventures in they will have more of a frame of reference. But this is a second party published adventure that really doesn't have much to do with their world except for the opening at Uxphon and the NPCs that are present during the opening sequence. Do you think that I should run it nearly straight so the PCs also have the "Not My World" feeling of weirdness, or should I figure out a way to toss in bits of the lore I have been creating to help with my main story? I really like this adventure for it's feeling of epicness and 'fish out of water' weirdness though. I'm Kinda at a loss.


  • I think you should really think about how long your campain is going to run. If you are already playing with Tier 5 chars, ready to save the world, maybe you should start to introduce the elements that are going to be at the end of your campain.
    There is a rule in theatre dramaturgy which says:"If there is a gun hanging on the wall in act 1, it will have to be shot in the last act." So everything that the PCs see (or feel) as important, it should reoccur later in your campain.
    Sooooooo, why not both. You can easily create a couple on NPCs that will follow the PC back up to the surface. Maybe the PCs find a differnt kind of "god" underground. I think it would only a couple of changes to both connect your differnet campains and create a feeling of "weird, underground world".
  • Nah, all the Characters are only Tier 2, maybe half-way to Tier 3. I've been running this campaign for a while and I expect that I still have quite a while to go yet. Unlike your problem, I hand out XP and artifacts kinda slow, and they are no where near ready to save the world yet. Though I may start to hurry things along, a little. You're referring to the Rule of Chekhov's Gun, and hopefully I've made that part of the storyline kind of obvious to them. But, you're right there is a god of the underworld that I could mention a couple times so that when they encounter it in the Devil's Spine portion it will have that much more impact. And since I've been doing a lot of peppering so far there is no real reason to stop maybe just tweak it a little. Thanks Felix, Call me Max BTW.
  • As I love all sorts of shows with 'Signs and Portents' in them, I liberally sprinkle these throughout my stories. Matt (Galadiir) is a meticulous note-taker and mapmaker (although it is hilarious sometimes to compare his map to the real one), The Wayfarers get a real buzz when they encounter something and realise "Wait - this could be what this was referring to". However, they don't always remember everything so I just keep dropping in hints of things to come
  • Oh yes, it's the times that they remember something wrong that I love. But the times that remember correctly that are even better. My Daughter is playing a former assassin but refused to give me (the GM) or anyone else (her Party) her real name (Mostly because she really hadn't thought one up). But the game hadn't made use of her past either until recently so she was not very interested in keeping her story straight. That's when I had assassins attack the party and attempt to kidnap her, calling her a name I created. Everyone in the party was confused, but fought the new threat anyway. It she took a moment about halfway through the encounter, got angry and finally yelled "That's Not My Name!" (more at me than the badguys) before the bad guys were chased off. Later, the party was finally out of Uxphon and headed south to the Tithe River (a half an hour, real time, later) when she looked at me and said "Those were assassins from my old guild weren't they?" At which point I just smiled that annoying GM smile, and every one else at the table starts inundating her with questions about it. It was a beautiful moment, worthy of a point of XP. But, the next time I re-use those assassin bad guys and she will be more ruthless and so will the others. My players don't have great memories for some of the big stuff, some names of NPCs or some of the Gods or some places but, the small stuff, they kick a$$. I have to pepper Lore and Portents LIBERALLY just so that some of it sticks.
  • The advantages of a slow paced campain is that you can really play with the expectations of your players. In the campain we´re playing right now there is this one guy who has lost his memories. After a little hunting and riddle solving he met with a woman who claimed to be his daughter. The guy didn´t really buy that, then she died. Whatever happens next in that relationship it will be quite a surprise for the player. Either she really was his daughter and she died without giving the full amount of information or she wasn´t and there is something completely differnt going on. Anyway, it will be pretty exiting.
    Point beeing you can´t control what the players do with the information they are getting. Maybe you make a small mistake, or they misunderstand, or they just have a different take on things, but you can control what information comes next.
    So your players know of physical beeings, "gods", invaders from another dimension, general antagonists. Or are they? daDaDUM!!! Maybe they find hints that these beeings are not so bad. Maybe they finds hints that these creatures are everywhere (that would be the Lovecraft approach).It doesn´t really matter as long as the information evolves. Any kind of suspense is created either by lack of or contradicting information so just give them the breadcrumps they need and just go from there.
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