These are GM notes for the sessions run by Alex. It contains detailed information on those events and some of the character’s origins. It is not however formatted beyond shorthand and on the fly note taking.
The exile and the runaway
Legnar(Lucas) and Sorillia(Josh) meet when Legnar is traveling to bury the bodies of his sacked caravan. Sorillia is rummaging through the remains trying to find useful items. She has been surviving in the Wilds for about a week. Legnar initially is angry and tries to intimidate Sorillia into running away but the last week of travel has hardened her resolve. Things get tense and they come close to battle. Eventually Legnar calms down and ignores her. He buries his family starting with his childhood friend Sheperd. She offers him whiskey and asks for his story. After he finishes burying Sheperd they hear a noise in the nearby forest. They are attacked by 3 Blight Wolves but defeat them easily.
The renegade and the vanguard
Coryn(Phil) and Beresaad(Chris) meet in a small town. Beresaad has been traveling with the purpose of finding a mage to study. The Circle Tower has already turned him away and warned him not to meddle with the Chantry or Templars. He is worried that his mission will be impossible when he meets Coryn in a small pub. Beresaad has been given a small stone that glows when a mage is near and it grows very bright when he passes by Coryn. He is confused, he was under the impression that all Ferelden mages were controlled by the Circle. He manages to strike up a conversation with Coryn trying to learn about the use of magic in Ferelden. This of course draws the attention of the local guards and templars who begin to suspect Beresaad is part of a Qunari plot against the town. The King’s Army has been ordered to watch any outsiders very closely as Teirn Loghain suspects that Orleis will attack soon. The two manage to flee somehow and both see a mutual benefit in traveling together. Beresaad needs to study magic and Coryn needs a strong companion and protector against the Chantry and the Circle. Beresaad’s lack of knowledge of Apostates and Ferelden laws ensure that he will not turn Coryn into the Templars and his knowledge of the Qunari give him the impression that if he can win Beresaad’s trust, he will be loyal to him alone during his travels. Coryn and Beresaad agree to travel together and eventually head towards Vivinter as well. But not before breaking into Denerim’s Circle Warehouse and destroying Coryn’s phylactery and setting fire to a local brothel.
The Dalish Curse<finished>
Part 1-Trouble in Vivinter
Fuldor Farm-page 44
Blight Wolf encounter. Discovery of the ten dead family members
Dalish In Distress-page 45
Discovering that the Blight Wolves did not kill the family. Finding the elvish word “Mythal” in blood. Finding Eshara and the Link of Rage on her person.
Mob Justice-page 46
Travel to Vivinter. Town anger over the presence of Eshara. Accusations that Eshara is evil. Confrontation with angry mob. Meeting and negotiations with Coalan. Calming the mob. Tarl Dale returns and meets with the party.
Eshara’s Tale- page 47
Eshara regains consciousness for the first time. Tale of Harralan and the incident at the harvest festival. Eshara gives directions to Mythallen’s lair in the forest.
Part 2-Into the Forest
The group was scattered during the Revenger attack in the destroyed Dalish camp. Sorilia and Coryn were taken to the keep where the elves were being held captive. The elves inform them that Mythallen and his army are moving to attack Vivinter. At the same time Beresaad and Legnar head back to town for help only to find the darkspawn army on the move. They beat the army to town and set up a defense against the coming invasion. They rally the townspeople into action as well. They hold their own against the overwhelming force but the tide really turns when Sorillia and Coryn make it to the town with help from the elves. A few villagers die in the battle but the men and women in the Chantry are safe and no buildings are harmed. The party are heralded as heroes and spend a week in Vivinter gathering resources and information while helping both the elves and the villagers rebuild and encouraging improved relations between the two races.
‘Til Death Do us Part<finished>
After the party has dealt with Mythallen and the Dalish Curse in Vivinter they meet Lorn Brightmore a mage sent on a diplomatic mission to Vivinter to try soothe the town’s problems with the Dalish Elves. He was raised Dalish himself and is a skilled diplomat. The Circle suspects that a maleficar may be involved in the Dalish’ odd behavior. Lorn is surprised to find that the party has already dealt with the threat and asks them to accompany him to the tower to give their report to the First Enchanter as well as to enlist their aid in a situation in a nearby Arling. If the party refuses for some reason Lorn can blackmail Coryn(if he finds out he is an apostate) or offer Beresaad access to the library under his supervision and offer the party access to the magical store in the Tower.
Regardless of why the PCs visit the tower with Lorn upon arrival they discover that Lorn’s wife Ranalle is dying of a mysterious illness and has fallen into a coma. From there Lorn and the party(if they agree to help) will devise ways to cure Ranalle before she slips deep enough into the coma that Fade demons can possess her. They can conduct research in the library or speak with other mages in the tower. A cunning(arcane lore) test with a TN of 16 will allow the players to discover a cure. However this cure is considered dangerous and the tower forbids it. They are also told of a curative herb that could restore her naturally.
Regardless of how the party rescues Ranalle, if they succeed at all, it is revealed afterwards that the First Enchanter put the curse on her himself in an attempt to curb the sometimes rebellious Lorn’s actions and to punish the couple for attempting to have a child. This was done on the Chantry’s orders. Feeling guilty the First Enchanter will help the players escape and offer to destroy Lorn’s (and Ranalle’s is she survives) phylacteries so that they cannot be followed by the templars. The party can choose to fight their way out of the tower(and destroy the phylacteries) or take the Enchanter’s offer and escape with little incident. At the end of the adventure many things will have changed. Lorn could live, die or become an apostate and traitor to the Circle. The outcome can also determine his specialization-Arcane Warrior if he is forced to kill Ranalle turned abomination, or Spirit Healer if she is cured or killed by some other means. If he dies(sacrificing himself so that Ranalle can live) Ranalle will join the party as a Spirit Healer. If somehow the party manages to save both Ranalle and Lorn they will return to Lorn’s home amongst the Dalish, eventually becoming Keepers within their tribe and have several children.
’Til Death do us Part has 3 acts. It is possible for the party to skip several elements of the story and move forward quickly.
Act 1-travel to the tower and deciding whether or not to help Lorn’s dying wife(the party has the option of ignoring Lorn’s plight and moving on to another adventure, however neither character will the join the party if that happens)
Part 1- Meeting the Heroes
Lorn travels to Vivinter to investigate the reports of a battle involving an abomination and a mage. He is quite pleased to find that the party has already dealt with the problem though as a Dalish elf he is greatly saddened to hear what befell Harralaan and his tribe. For the party’s efforts he offers to escort them to the Circle Tower near Lake Calenhad to report to the First Enchanter and receive a reward for their valor. He also mentions a possible job in the Arling just north of the tower. Lorn enquires about the rumors of a mage in the battle and tells the party that he must investigate that before returning to the Circle. He asks the party for information about the battle and the possibility that a mage was involved during the attack. The mage they speak of is of course Coryn and so the party must find a way to keep that a secret from Lorn who would surely attempt to arrest Coryn as an apostate. There are several ways for them to do this: frame a villager, convince Lorn that it was the Dalish Keeper(Lorn often protects Dalish from the rule of law of the Circle), convince Lorn that it was a random traveler who has since left, simply tell the truth and see how Lorn reacts, or tell him Coryn is a mage from outside of Ferelden such as Orlais or Antiva(the signet ring helps with this).To convince Lorn of an outright lie a character must pass an opposed Communication(Deception Test). If the characters tell the truth Lorn will react in an interesting way. Seeing as Coryn has yet to delve into forbidden magic of any kind he will not arrest him. This is in thanks for helping the nearby Dalish tribe and for using his magics for good and not ill. Lorn is loyal to the Circle but is not a zealot by any means. He judges all men, apostates included, on their actions. He finds Coryn to be honorable, if just a bit selfish.
Part 2- Follow the Yellow Brick Road
During the two day travel to the Tower the characters have a couple of opportunities to engage in combat or avoid it. The first involves a small group of darkspawn along the road. The encounter involves 3 Genlocks, a Hurlock, and a Genlock Emissary. This presents a problem for Coryn who will have to disguise his spellcasting or tell Lorn the truth and hope for the best. Options include telling Lorn that he is a mage from another nation such as Orlais or Antiva. Coryn has a signet ring in his possession that could aid in this lie. However, if Coryn casts a spell outright he will be unable to convince Lorn that he is not a mage. Lorn will react the same way to the truth as stated in Part 1. The party can attempt to sneak past the Darkspawn as well though Lorn wants to engage, part of a Circle mage’s duties is to act as a protector in time of a Blight.
The second encounter is avoidable and random. During camp, if the GM rolls an even number on a chance roll the party will be attacked during their rest by a group of wild animals. This encounter is fairly easy and involves two bears, and a wild Mabari hound.
Act 2- R&R-Rewards and Requests
Part 1-Bad News
Upon arrival at the tower the Templar guards inform Lorn and the party that Ranalle, an enchanter specializing in Creation Magic and Lorn’s ‘wife’ has fallen deathly ill. She is currently in a coma and is not only at risk from the illness but also from an extended period in connection to the Fade. The more time that passes by the higher the chance of demonic possession. Lorn is understandably distraught and goes to Ranalle’s aid while the heroes speak with the First Enchanter.
Part 2-Idle Chat
Irving is interested in the tale of Mythallen as he suspects it may be connected to an impending Blight. He questions the party exhaustively before rewarding them each with 50 silver and access to the Circle’s store. He also tells the party of an Arling in distress to the north that is in dire need of a group of brave adventurers. The Alr’s daughter seems to have been kidnapped by a group of Avvar bandits. Unbeknownst to the party Irving sent Lorn to fetch the party so that he could poison Ranalle in his absence. The group can make a perception TN 18 to figure out that Irving isn’t telling the whole truth. They cannot discern the nature of his lie as of yet but passing the test is enough to let them know he is withholding information. He keeps the party occupied to prevent them from snooping around in the Circle Tower or aiding Lorn in any way. He mentions to the party that a cure may be found for Ranalle in one of three nearby places. The Frostback Mountains to the north, a stone and steel quarry to the south and a cave to west that is frequently flooded by lakewater. The cave is the closest location and the Frostbacks are the farthest. The players are officially on the clock from this point on. Ranalle has two days before succumbing to her sickness. This makes the mountain choice, a day’s travel there and back, a red herring and if the party pursues it Ranalle will surely die.(this leads to a different final confrontation detailed in Act 3). The cave is the only option that allows the players to succeed in actually curing Ranalle naturally without entering the Fade as well. The quarry is the middle ground which allows the players to find the cure and administer it. However the party will have to enter the Fade to prevent demonic possession as she will have been in the coma for just enough time for demons to get a foothold on her mind.
Part 3-Searching for a Cure;Choices Choices
Note-Part 3 can be skipped entirely if the players choose to attempt the Blood Magic cure. This will take the group directly to the alternate cure detailed near the conclusion.
The group can either leave Lorn in the Tower to stay with his wife or convince him to accompany them so that his knowledge will help them find the cure. If the party brings him along they most certainly find the cure and if they leave him there is a chance for failure.
A character can make a Cunning(Arcane Lore) or Cunning(Research) to find an alternate cure. To do the research test they must be in the Tower Library to which Irving has granted them access. However this is forbidden and considered blood magic. The players can cast this spell with the aid of Lorn if they convince him that is the best way to save Ranalle. This requires a Communication(Persuasion) opposed to Lorn’s Communication(Persuasion) to do. This allows the players to bypass the 3 options for a natural cure completely and instead find a way to way secretly cast the spell without knowing. The spell requires a small sacrifice of life on the part of the party. Lorn will of course volunteer himself but the players can choose to use anyone else. The subject of the spell must make a Constitution(Stamina) check TN 14 or die. The spell is still successful if the subject dies.
Option 1- The Cave
The cave near the lake is only an hour’s worth of travel to and from the Tower. The cave is flooded(though it is not full to the top). When the players enter the cave they are assaulted by several fanged skeletons. 5 if they brought Lorn and 4 if they did not. To find the herb needed to cure Ranalle a player must swim to the bottom of the cave. This requires TN 13 Strength(Swimming) check and a Perception(Seeing) TN 16 to find the herb in the murky water at the bottom. It is along the edge cave floor in a patch close to the entrance. Any player that spends more than 2 rounds under water will begin to drown and will have just one round to surface before dying.
Option 2- The Quarry
The quarry to the south is about 6 hours there and back again. It is an abandoned rock quarry. It is currently being used as a hideout for a group of bandits, the leader of which is a malef3icarum and is quite powerful. The party will have to fight their way to the bottom of the quarry where the healing regeant is located in damp pool close to what used to be a steel mine. In that is also a small collection of Lyrium dust(2) for the players to collect. If any player makes a Perception(Seeing) TN 12 test they can find the Lyrium, the herbal reagent and a small collection(4) of gems worth 30 silver each. The first encounter is with 3 Fereldan Brigands at the entrance to the quarry. The Brigands are hardly a threat for the party but one will immediately begin running to warn the camp’s leader of the intruders. The party can make stealth checks opposed to the guards Perception(seeing) to avoid being seen and catch the guards by surprise. Without a warning from one of the guards the players can sneak past the rough shacks housing the bandits without incident. If the guard alerts the camp or the players fail to stay out of sight they will be forced into combat with the bandit leader and 4 more brigands. The bandit leader acts as a Hurlock Emmissary and the 4 bandits are lowly Ferelden Brigand. If Lorn accompanies the party there will also be one Mabari Hound in the encounter. The players may also attempt to avoid combat through intimidation(TN 14), deception(TN 16) or Communication(Persuasion TN 18).
Option 3- The Mountains
The Frostbacks are a full days worth of travel from the Tower. The party can reduce this time to half a day if they make a forced march. However, this will drain their HP to half at the end of their travel. When they arrive in the foothills of the mountain they encounter a group of Avvar Hillsmen on the prowl. The party can avoid the encounter with a Communication(Persuasion TN 18) or Strength(Intimidation TN 16) test. If they fail the Avvar attack. There are 6 of them if the party travels normally and just 4 if they used forced march to reach the mountains more quickly. The curative herb is plentiful in mountains and the group must make just a Perception(seeing TN 9) test to find it. Due to the harsh weather they find no other valuables.
Act 3- The Cure(one way or another)
Part 1-Attempting the Cure
Once the player’s return to the Tower, Lorn immediately urges them to accompany him to Ranalle. If they traveled normally to the Mountains they find that Ranalle is already dead. If they instituted a forced march the cure can still save her but they will also have to enter the Fade to save her from possession. The same is true if they travelled to the quarry. However if they travelled to the lake cave the cure can succeed in saving Ranalle by natural means. To do this a character must make a Cunning(Healing TN 15) with a +3 circumstance bonus from using the curative herb.
Part 2- The Fade
If the party travelled to the quarry or took a forced march back from the Mountains the cure can succeed but the party must enter the Fade to save Ranalle from Demonic possession. Entering the Fade is a dangerous thing and any character can opt out if they so desire. Any character entering the Fade must make a Willpower(Self-Discipline) TN 16 test or succumb to the terrifying effects of the Fade. Any character that fails this test deals with a small nightmare of their own creation. They can make another Willpower test each round to resist the effects. When a payer succeeds on this test, they gain priority and can either seek out the demon on their own(not a good idea) or find their companions in the fade. This is done with a Perception TN 16 test to find party members. They must aid their party member in getting out of their Fade induced nightmare before progressing
Beresaad’s Nightmare- He is surrounded by fellow qunari, and they are shouting at him angrily, calling him a failure and an abomination(make a Willpower 16 TN), The force him to the ground and begin to cut out his tongue as punishment for casting forbidden magics.(Willpower 16 TN) when they are done cutting out his tongue they put him on a leash and tie him to a tree, forcing him to create enchanted weapons with simple spells for the rest of his life.(Willpower 16 Tn until test is passed or a party member helps break him free of the nightmare).
Legnar’s Nightmare- He is back in Orzammar in a council meeting. He is in the center of the room being accused of war crimes and betrayal of his people.(Willpower TN 16). Instead of exile this time they sentence him to public execution and they take him to the town square to stone him(Willpower 16 TN). All of his closest friends and family approach and begin to beat him to death. (Willpower 16 Tn until test is passed or a party member helps break him free of the nightmare).
Sorillia’s Nightmare- She is back in her hometown surrounded by guards and human citizens. She in the middle of the market slums holding an axe. In front of her is her family each of their heads on a chopping block(Willpower TN 16). The guards cheer her on and prod her towards her father first. She raises the axe and chops down hard sending the head rolling(Willpower TN 16). The guards force her to kill another member of her family until she passes the Willpower test or is broken free due to the aid of another party member.
Coryn’s Nightmare- He is confronted by the ghosts of those that died during his escape from the Battle of Ostagar. He walks down a corridor as dozens of dead shout at him as he passes.(Willpower 16). Coryn continues his walk down the corridor and notices that at the end stands the soldier that followed him to Lothering.(Willpower 16). The soldier confronts him, blaming Coryn for his death when Lothering was sacked. The soldier then saps Coryn’s magic from him and begins to cast Blood Mage spells on Coryn, slowly draining his life from him. (Willpower 16 until passed or freed by a party member).
Lorn’s Nightmare- Lorn cannot make a Willpower test to break his nightmare sequence and instead must be freed by one of the party members. He is back in his Dalish home with Ranalle and two children. He is quite happy with his illusion as Keeper of his Dalish tribe. The tribe is no longer nomadic either and have renewed their culture and found a homeland. They are immortal and in touch with nature once more. The characters must find a way to break the illusion. This can be done with a Communication(Persuasion) opposed to Lorn’s Willpower to believe in the illusion. Confronting him with the harsh reality of their situation works best. If Ranalle enters the fade while rescuing a party member put into a Fade coma, she will experience the same nightmate.
Part 3- Battling a Demon
Once the party is free from their nightmares they must make their way to the demon attempting to possess Ranalle. Along the way the party will encounter Unquiet Spirits, Shades and various undead. There will be 3 chances for this kind of encounter(more or less at the GM’s discretion). The party can avoid any of these small encounters will a Willpower TN 16(all must pass to completely avoid the encounter) to make themselves invisible to the Fade’s inhabitants. If a character is trained in stealth they can make a Dex(Stealth) check for this test instead. These encounters are intended to rattle the players but not kill them. Any player who dies in the Fade will die in the natural world as well.
In addition(or replacement) to these combat encounters the party must traverse the Fade’s landscape. Lorn or Coryn can determine the location and distance to the Demon but since the land is constantly shifting the players must make a Perception(tracking) TN 13 test to keep on their path. A player trained in Arcane Lore can make a Magic(Arcane Lore) check instead to pass this test.
When the players finally make their way to the demon they find a Desire Demon(with the stats of Rage Demon found in Esoterica Vol. 2) waiting for them. It has been preying on Ranalle’s desire to have a child and is slowly tearing away her resistance. This encounter can be solved in several ways. A player can offer the demon their own body in exchange for Ranalle’s safety(Lorn will volunteer for this again) convince the demon that Ranalle is not worth her time( a Communication Persuasion TN 18), or if they player’s are able to pass a Cunning( Arcane Lore TN 16) they can learn more about the nature of the demon and find clues to how to defeat it. The players have two chances to solve the encounter without combat. If both of these attempts fail combat will begin with the Demon and a few minions. Once this combat is over the players will return to the natural world. If they fail the encounter and are forced to flee the Fade Ranalle will be possessed and become an Abomination which the party must fight or hold off until Templars arrive. The party can fail the encounter one by one as they are reduced to 0 HP. They will not die however.
If the players discovered it they can choose to use Blood Magic to cure Ranalle. This spell requires the life force of another to transfer to Ranalle and destroy the poison running through her veins. Lorn will immediately volunteer for this if he has already been convinced of using the forbidden spell. A character can make a Cunning(Arcane Lore) or Cunning(Research) can find an alternate cure. To do the research test they must be in the Tower Library to which Irving has granted them access. The players can cast this spell with the aid of Lorn if they convince him that is the best way to save Ranalle. This requires a Communication(Persuasion) opposed to Lorn’s Communication(Persuasion) to do. This allows the players to bypass the 3 options for a natural cure completely and instead find a way to way secretly cast the spell without alerting the Templars. The spell requires a small sacrifice of life on the part of the party. Lorn will of course volunteer himself but the players can choose to use anyone else. The subject of the spell must make a Constitution(Stamina) check TN 14 or die. If the subject survives just enough life essence is given to Ranalle to cure her but the character will enter a Fade coma similar to the one she was in. Ranalle can save their physical form with ease but if the character fails a Constitution(Stamina) TN 14 they will remain in the fade until rescued in the same manner described above with the exception of the type of demon. Lorn will attract the attention of a desire demon for the same reasons as Ranalle, Coryn will attract a hunger demon(his lust for knowledge and power), Legnar will attract a true rage demon(because of the shards of the Link in his body and his anger over his exile) as will Sorillia( her anger at her human oppressors and at herself for letting her family down) and Beresaad will attract a lesser pride demon(on account of the qunari nature and belief that they are a superior race).
If Ranalle is cured she reveals to Lorn and the party that it was Irving who poisoned her. The party will then be urged by Lorn to confront Irving about the matter. Irving regrets his actions but explains that he was under pressure by the Chantry because of Lorn and Ranalle’s relationship. Mages are forbidden to have children and a rumor was passing around the Tower that Ranalle was pregnant. Because of his guilt Irving will offer to help the party escape the tower and vow to destroy Ranalle and Lorn’s phylacteries. There is no way however that either can remain mages in the Circle. If both Ranalle and Lorn survive it is revealed that Ranalle is indeed pregnant and cannot join the party. She will travel to Vivinter and join the Dalish tribe there and wait for Lorn there. The party can choose to bring Lorn along in their next adventure or send him home with his wife. If he stays he will begin working towards the Spirit Healer Spec.
If Ranalle dies by any means Irving will still reveal himself to the party and aid in their escape. However, Lorn will ask the players to aid him in setting fire to the Circle Temple on their way out. This is not a difficult task for the players to accomplish and they are left to their own devices to decide whether or not to do it and how to go about it. This will also set Lorn on an a path to become an Arcane Warrior.
If Lorn dies during the alternative cure using Blood Magic. Ranalle will offer to join the party as a Spirit Healer(she already has the training but not the actual specialization). She too will seek vengeance before leaving but instead of harming the Chantry or the Templars she asks the party to help her poison Irving. It is up to the players whether or not they will take part in this quest and how they will go about it they do.
During the adventure the party will have heard several times that an Arl to the north has been having problems with an Avvarian tribe. His daughter has gone missing and he is looking for a group of adventurer’s to help find her.
The party managed to save both Lorn and Ranalle and after confronting Irving, they escaped the tower with both characters and had their phylacteries destroyed. Both elves now travel with the party and they can choose which one to take with them on any given adventure. They also effortlessly defeated a Desire Demon but not before it gave Coryn the knowledge necessary to become a Blood Mage and to understand an ancient spellbook in his possession. It remains to be seen what the demon will want in return.
Where Eagles Lair
A week after the events of Til’ Death Do Us Part the party celebrated Legnar’s birthday. During the party Coryn announced he would be leaving the party for a while and teleported away using an unknown spell. The heat from the spell created an unusual metal in the ground that is now in the party’s possession. Coryn’s spell attracted a small group of Darkspawn and two scouts for Arl Wulf. After defeating an Ogre the party accompanied Retha and Grenthar to meet the Arl. They decided to help search for Izot, the Arl’s missing daughter. Sorilia was hellbent on stealing from the Arl and when the party disagreed split from the party once again. She later rejoined the group after being found by the Arl’s son and led to the Winter Manor where the group was investigating Izot’s disappearance. After a brief investigation the party, under the impression that Izot left the manor of her own free will to be with an Avvarian lover, followed her tracks into the Frostback Mountains. The cold was brutal and Sorilia fell prey to a Red Lion which the party narrowly dispatched before it dragged her off. She now sports a large scar. Soon after that, the group came across a battlefield full of slaughtered Avvar. The party did battle with the darkspawn responsible for the act, defeating them.