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 Post subject: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:10 pm 
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PART ONE: ABYLOS DREAMS

South and east of the Northlands is a land that has slumbered for generations, but once the world shook beneath the tread of its armies, and once the people of less-civilized lands shivered in fear at the might of its wizards.

The sprawling cities and majestic temples of Abylos remain now only as scattered, carved stones found in a field or ruins half-swallowed by the desert, but once it knew greatness few countries have achieved...and infamy reserved only for the most wicked.

While dancers clad only in masks and gossamer robes swirled and capered for the pleasure of regional pashas, fork-bearded priests cast sacrificial victims into great fires at the feet of pot-bellied idols. While tribute trains from conquered lands stretched miles long, the lines that marched to the execution block were even longer.

Rarely in recorded history has success and excess existed in such harmony, yet like all endeavors of mankind must, the Abylossian Empire fell.

Abylos slumbers and dreams of what once was...only now something stirs beneath the sands, sensing the approach of its destiny...the Scroll of Ruin.

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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:28 am 
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PART TWO: DABISTAN RASSAD

The nobility of Abylos valued higher learning for its sons and daughters, and many schools flourished during the days of the empire. The Dabistan Rassad was considered by many to be the greatest of these seats of learning, where alchemy, astrology, history, logic, mathematics, philosophy, and theology were taught alongside rigorous physical and mental conditioning exercises.

Protected by stout walls and a brotherhood of warrior monks, the Dabistan Rassad endured sieges by barbarians, slave revolts, attacks by rival schools, and infernal extraplanar incursions. Its great spire, the Bridge to the Heavens, stood as a beacon of higher thought even as the empire started to implode.

Yet the school was not to survive the empire, its end brought about by he who would pen the Scroll of Ruin: Yash'ar Aref-efendi.

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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:52 pm 
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PART THREE: THE EFENDI

The Dabistan Rassad featured a unique spire, the Bridge to the Heavens, built to house an observatory the likes of which has never been duplicated. From this height, the learned of that bygone age contemplated the stars as they wheeled in their orbits. It was said of these astrologers that the stars whispered to them tales of the forgotten past and the unwritten future, and numerous records from the time indicate that the empire's ruling caste kept a Dabistan Rassad astrologer on retainer.

Greatest of these was Yash'ar Aref, given the honorific "efendi" by the school's masters. He personally advised the satrap of Xur Teshmet and the Black Priest of Sarnaka. His name is written on the Tablets of of Ka-ul and carved into the Thousand Steps of Nur (Yash'ar Aref-efendi being one of only seventeen to make that journey and return).

From the Bridge to the Heavens, using all he had learned, Yash'ar Aref-efendi saw through the field of stars, into the darkness that waits beyond them...

...and beheld that which looks back.

This entity, this darkness, he named "Aubaridan Ahktar," or the Devouring Star.

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Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63

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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:27 pm 
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PART FOUR: DEVOURING STAR

In the place which is at once beyond the stars and between them, there waits a power incomprehensible to the rational mind. Utterly alien, Aubaridan Ahktar has been observed before. The tortoise-like falsoom of the pre-draconic world wrote of an all-consumer known as "Zhun." The madmen dwelling in the Cape of Demons south of distant Zimala call out to "Ixtlac-mictzo" on moonless nights. The frost goblins of the Blackice Mountains sacrifice herd beasts and captives to their Black-Sky-Worm, "Azaz-oonaz."

Yash'ar Aref-efendi knew the waiting doom as Aubaridan Ahktar, and through his blasphemous writings many in civilization have come to know that name. In one particularly harrowing chapter of the Kitap Bahis Yokluk (or the Libro Discurso Nihil, as its translation is known), the efendi describes receiving emissaries from Aubaridan Ahktar, robed figures that seemed unsteady in their cloaked bodies, and spoke in bitonal voices. These emissaries taught the efendi secrets of thought transference and remote domination among other gifts of mentalism. They also taught him the rites to make proper obesiance to the Devouring Star, practices even Yash'ar Aref-efendi found he could not commit to paper.

One rite, however, he did scribe. At the urging of the emissaries, he wrote the ultimate abnegation, the abasement of existence, the final offering to the Devouring Star...the Scroll of Ruin.

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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:12 pm 
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PART FIVE: THE PASSAGE

Using the Bridge to the Heavens, Yash'ar Aref-efendi calculated the time when Aubaridan Ahktar would most fully focus its unblinking gaze on the lands of the Known World, decreeing that moment would be the world's last.

This (translated) passage from the Kitap Bahis Yokluk describes his ambition:

"...in a moon I have learned more
than ever was known before
yet ill-content am I
to think
on years spent serving lord
and years owed death's hoard
with never aught to scry
but worms
By oaths blood-sealed I shall rise
while all that is shudders and dies
Beneath the hungering eye
my god
and in time yet forthcome
others will gaze upward dumb
as I fill their leaden sky
their god..."

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Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63

Author: DCC #55: Isle of the Sea Drake, DCC #61: Citadel of the Corruptor, more to come....


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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 3:50 pm 
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PART SIX: OPPOSITION

Yash'ar Aref-efendi gain tremendous influence in the Dabistan Rassad. Those who feared death, he placated with promises of life eternal (as had been promised him). Those who craved gold, he bought with star-wrought wonders. Those who desired knowledge, he tempted with secrets whispered in a tongue never meant for human ears.

Still, his power was not absolute within the fortress-monastery. The Circle of Revered Brothers, the nominal rulers of the Dabistan Rassad, soon recognized the efendi's growing influence. Demanding that he explain himself, the Revered Brothers ordered Yash'ar Aref to their council chamber. He meekly complied, accompanied by six of Aubaridan Ahktar's emissaries. Yash'ar Aref and the emissaries left the council chamber after a few minutes, and the Revered Brothers were never seen again. No blood was found, nor corpses, nor any sign of struggle. It was as if they Revered Brothers never existed.

After the disappearance of the Revered Brothers, those who opposed Yash'ar Aref-efendi had to be much more circumspect. The simurgh (see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simurgh) known as "Akad," who had long dwelt at the Dabistan Rassad, did not believe the efendi merely sought temporal power. Fearing a greater evil to come, it reached out to thirty like-minded students and faculty members, creating a secret society that spied on the efendi, seeking to uncover his plans. They were almost too late...

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Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63

Author: DCC #55: Isle of the Sea Drake, DCC #61: Citadel of the Corruptor, more to come....


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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 5:07 pm 
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PART SEVEN: DOWNFALL

By the time Akad knew the extent of Yash'ar Aref's ambition - and what he planned to sacrifice to achieve it - the efendi had already begun intoning the Scroll of Ruin. There was no time to plan and no time to summon help. It was act or perish.

The Thirty and the simurgh assaulted the efendi's followers, turning on them with a ferocity born from desperation. They fought their way to the Crypts of the Learned beneath the Dabistan Rassad, where had been interred the fortress-monastery's greatest scholars. Before the skulls of these erudite men and women, Akad and the Thirty fought tooth and nail, trying to reach the chamber where their nemesis called down ruin upon the entire world.

As the simurgh and the survivors approached, the emissaries withdrew, refusing to take part in this battle.
At the end, there were only three: Akad, Yash'ar Aref-efendi, and a wounded young student named Tahir.

The Kitap Tahir describes this moment:

Thus spake Akad, turning to me:

"You must withdraw, Tahir. Like a northland leaf before the desert sun, you will wither in his presence. As you leave, count your heartbeats. If you have thirty, then I will have succeeded and you will have thirty more years of life. If not, I will have failed, and we shall see if simurgh souls and human souls reside in the same house after our death.
Go, and if you are to have life, then write of what happened here."

Weeping tears that burned my cheeks like fire, I ran for the great staircase that led out of the Crypts of the Learned. I had thirty heartbeats, and then thirty-one. And then thirty years, for Akad suceeded.

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Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63

Author: DCC #55: Isle of the Sea Drake, DCC #61: Citadel of the Corruptor, more to come....


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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 5:33 pm 
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PART EIGHT: AFTERMATH

The Dabistan Rassad was a ruin after the fight. With no teachers left alive, the students took what they fancied and left, stripping its halls bare of most of its opulence. As the Abylossian Empire tore itself apart, there were few who preoccupied themselves with what had happened there.
The great school, the fortress-monastery, the Dabistan Rassad, was eventually swallowed by the desert and forgotten except as a name in crumbling books.

Three hundred and thirty years ago, a rare book collector in Hath Hall purchased what seemed to be an early copy of the Kitap Bahis Yokluk. Inside, however, was a greater treasure: a long scroll inscribed in the language of the outer spheres. Familiar with the history of the Dabistan Rassad, he suspected that he had a copy of the mythical Scroll of Ruin.

As it turned out, however, he had in his possession the original.

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Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63

Author: DCC #55: Isle of the Sea Drake, DCC #61: Citadel of the Corruptor, more to come....


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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:51 am 
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PART NINE: STASIS

Over the next several hundred years, numerous attempts were made to destroy the Scroll of Ruin. It has been chopped at with the most potent magic weapons, it has been targeted by the most destructive spells, and it has been the focus of divine ire.
The Scroll of Ruin was twice dropped into a volcano, once inserted into an antimagic field (with catastrophic results), and once devoured by a dragon.
Nothing has even singed it.
Between attempts at destruction, the scroll was twice stolen: once by an bandit lord who demanded a hefty ransom for its return and once by warped cultists who attempted (and failed) to intone it.

Finally, the great minds of the North bent themselves to understanding why the Scroll of Ruin could not be destroyed. They determined that the Scroll is bound in stasis, preserved forever in the moment of its casting.

It will, therefore, continue to exist unless it is returned to exactly where it entered stasis, and then either completed or reversed.
Completing the ritual contained in the Scroll of Ruin would bring about the destruction of the world.
Reversing the ritual contained in the Scroll of Ruin would shatter the stasis that protects it, rendering it a normal sheet of vellum that can easily be destroyed.

And here fate, or divine providence, or perhaps some darker agency reveals its hand.
Last month, a freak windstorm exposed a ruin beneath the sands of ancient Abylos. Many believe it to be the tip of the Bridge to the Heavens, the observatory tower of the Dabistan Rassad.

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Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63

Author: DCC #55: Isle of the Sea Drake, DCC #61: Citadel of the Corruptor, more to come....


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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:00 pm 
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PART TEN: HEROES

Seven 14th-level heroes have volunteered to carry the Scroll of Ruin to Bridge to the Heavens, descend through the Dabistan Rassad to the Crypts of the Learned, find the ritual chamber of Yash'ar Aref-efendi, and reverse the Scroll of Ruin.

They are:

Abbados, Feykadin of the Scale: dragonborn Paladin and Vassal of the Dragon Kings (aka "Scion of Arkhosia"); seeks a return to draconic greatness, sees the Scroll of Ruin as a threat to this renaissance

Andros of Hath Hall: human Bard and Adroit Explorer; descendant of the scholar who found the original Scroll of Ruin in an old book, dedicated his life to seeing the Scroll destroyed.

Bragis Bloodstauncher: dwarven Cleric and Warpriest; smiting wickedness in dusty tombs and delivering cleansing flame is all in a day's work

Inneyar Frostcaller: elf Druid (multiclass Ranger) and Guardian of the Living Gate; has fought creatures from the Outer Spheres (or Far Realm, if you prefer) her entire life, and this is only the latest mission

Larae Starflower: eladrin Wizard and Spellstorm Mage; drawn to this quest by the promise of knowlege gleaned from the ruins of the Dabistan Rassad.

Ravak the Unchained: half-orc Fighter and Pit Fighter; despite her name, landed in jail again and needs to earn her freedom, volunteering for this job was the quickest way to do it.

Ta'ud Az'ra: human Warlock and Doomsayer; his "mother" commands him from the stars to thwart the plots of her rival, Aubaridan Ahktar.

Only five heroes will be selected to carry the Scroll of Ruin.
Which five? That's up to your team to decide. Look for the Player's Pack in mid-July for full stats on the heroes and other need-to-know information about the tournament.
See you in August!

(this forum is no longer locked)

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Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63

Author: DCC #55: Isle of the Sea Drake, DCC #61: Citadel of the Corruptor, more to come....


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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:35 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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This year the Tournament changed to 5 players rather than 4. We have a team of 4 and ended up with the 5th ticket. Seems like we would be at a huge disadvantage if we tried to go with only 4. But we haven't had much luck finding a 5th though. Are there any adjustments to encounter power if we have only 4? Or can one of us double up and run the extra character this year?


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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:52 am 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist
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I don't believe they'll let you double up (I could be wrong though...I'll let Jengenritz answer that).

Going with 4 would be a disadvantage, since you'll have less firepower...although teams have done it. One team slugged their way through the finals with only 3 players. Actually, I'd take one less player over a random (and potentially bad) player...that's just my take though.

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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:32 am 
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In previous years we've had teams do very well with just 3 participants.
To answer your questions, though, you cannot double-up characters and we don't down-scale the adventure if you've only got 4 with you (that would be hard to do on-site).

Fathead has a point about quality vs. quantity of player. A bad player can cost a team mightily, whereas four good ones can go all the way.
Still, if you're looking for another player, we can try to find you one on-site. There are always extra hopefuls hovering around. I see by your post in the other thread that you've got the Thursday 4pm slot. See me at Gen Con and I'll try to find you a fifth.

In other news, the Player's Pack goes online this Sunday!

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Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63

Author: DCC #55: Isle of the Sea Drake, DCC #61: Citadel of the Corruptor, more to come....


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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:16 am 
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I'll tell you what...let me ask around. I know a few good players (several of which we pull for tournaments periodically)...let me see if any of them are going to GenCon this year, and would like to play the DCC. No promises though...

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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:26 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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If we could find a 5th that would be perfect. Would even give them the ticket for free.

I know what you mean about quality vs. quantity. Have run into that a few times. But based on my experience so far with 4e, I think the extra firepower and hp will be needed to offset the monsters high hp and damage output. Think this is more true in 4e than it was in 3.5.


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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:23 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:53 am
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Hello all! I can't wait for Gencon and am getting really fired up for the tournament! :) Thanks for all the narrative/background to get us fired up... Been reading them, but lazy on posting.

Todd (from Blood Kings)


Last edited by Celtar on Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:04 am 
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gausse,

Sorry...I couldn't come through for you.

I would put a post on Enworld as well (there should be a section on the forums, under the general section, that is set up specifically for GenCon scheduling). Post there and mention that you already have the ticket (so it will be a free ride).

Barring that, Jengenritz (Adrian Pommier) should be able to come through for you. There are always players eager to get into the DCC Tournament. Adrian will be the guy directing the show (he usually has a table set up).

Enjoy the tournament.

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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:11 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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Getting down to the wire now. Still looking for that recruit.


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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:52 am 
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I wish you luck finding that recruit.
If you have no luck, you can refer to the pool of unattached gamers I'll have at the tournament booth, in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

See you in...what...ten days? Nine, now? Yikes.

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Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63

Author: DCC #55: Isle of the Sea Drake, DCC #61: Citadel of the Corruptor, more to come....


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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:04 pm 
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Uggg... *yawn*

I would like to thank the sadistically clever indivuduals that did the seven characters for the adventure. Because of you, most of the Blood Kings were up LATE last night testing the characters. I think I got home at about 2am...

This year, there are not as many clear cut choices for the characters as in last years tourney. Out playtest last night, almost muddied the waters for the five characters we decided on.

(If our competition wants to know what we picked: Barbarian, Sorcerer, Monk, Duelist, and Knight)

This should prove to be a very interesting tourney.

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 Post subject: Re: Year Six Tournament: Scroll of Ruin
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:03 am 
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I know I can't wait to DM it at Gen Con.

Looking forward to see the level of play at my tables.

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