Divinity Quest Draws Week 14

baron-nashor-new-small

Quests are subplots that are related to but separate from the main dispute of the arc. Factions pursue them in parallel with the arc’s main objective. They are meant to give meaning to week-by-week Balance of Power standings, and to allow factions a chance to make progress on some story goals even if they don’t win the overall arc.

Rules and Mechanics

Quest draws rely primarily on Balance of Power:

  • Balance of Power roll. Roll dice based on the faction’s BoP standing. The format is X minus Y, e.g., d6 minus d8. The better the faction’s BoP, the more favorable the X/Y balance.
  • Tarot draw. Draw a tarot card. This determines the type of challenge the faction faces, and the difficulty of the challenge. (The challenge type may be Might, Vision, Influence, or BoP itself.)
  • Stat base. Add the faction’s appropriate stat.
  • Modifiers. Add in any modifiers from, e.g., the previous week’s lore events.

If the BoP roll plus the stat, plus any other modifiers, meets or exceeds the difficulty of the challenge, the faction progresses. Else, it suffers a setback. Either way, there’s some story development.

Balance of Power

Week 14 was the week of August 22. The Friday was the 26th.

At the time, the Balance of Power standings were:

  • The Freljord: 43 (rolling d12 – d6)
  • Bilgewater: -7 (rolling d6 – d6) (+d3 from Week 13’s FMs)
  • Bandle City: -18 (rolling d6 – d8)
  • Icathia: -18 (rolling d6 – d8)

Stats

Faction Might Vision Influence
Icathia 6 6 6
Bandle City 4 7 7
Bilgewater 6 4 8
the Freljord 9 6 3

Modifiers

From Week 13’s FMs:

  • Bilgewater gets +d3 to its roll this week.
  • The Freljord gets +3 to its next Influence check.

From Week 10:

  • Bilgewater gets +1 to BoP “stat” checks (e.g. when Staves are drawn) for the rest of the arc, representing the assistance of Archsummoner Talik Lathner, overseer of the League’s defense against the Black Mist. (King of Staves)

Rerolls from prior weeks:

As for Week 14’s FMs, I’m moving those ahead and combining them with Week 15 FMs as modifiers for the final Week 16 round of Quest draws.

Faction by Faction Updates

This is how each faction fared in the tarot card draws.

Bandle City

Bandle City Mothership Logo ph

Bandle City continued its Influence Quest. After a “we’re helping!” setback last time, it’s still at the first phase of this Quest:

Step I: “Yordle Traitors!”
After a few unfortunate events which produced the term ‘betrayordles’, many human civilizations have come to regard the fanatic Mothership-worshipping yordles as fickle, unreliable, and self-centered.

It drew the King of Swords:

king-of-swords

introducing Sgt. Maj. Zuzu “Two-Pints” Shiptown and a Might challenge at Difficulty 5.

After a brief but destructive renewal of hostilities between the northern and southern factions of Nyroth, Ionia and Bilgewater managed to work out a truce between the two sides. However, during the fighting, southern partisans used a half-reconstructed ritual to reactivate a buried cache of ancient automata. The damaged automata went on a rampage, destroying everything in their path. Bilgewater turned to the hextech enchantress Desmeya for aid, but meanwhile Nyrothian forces took heavy losses as their swordblades literally broke against the mechanical monsters’ armor.

Bandle City and Piltover therefore jointly dispatched a detachment of Bandle Gunners, augmented with seasoned Piltovian officers, including Sgt. Maj. Zuzu “Two-Pints” Shiptown, a yordle who acquired his rank in the Special Shuriman Expeditioneers during the Hextech Revolution and the War of Shuriman Independence. (As for his colorful nickname, he picked that up after downing two brimming pints of strong ale, which the inebriated yordle slurringly called “juish”, and somehow staying on his feet for a full two hours afterwards.) Two-Pints, an expert on artillery and combined land-air operations, brought with him the latest in hexplosive ordnance.

Bandle City succeeded with a roll of 6.

The yordle moonbase easily detected the distorted thaumic resonance of the automata smashing their way through the dense jungle of southern Nyroth. Piltover deployed its infantry in a wide semicircle ahead of the automata’s path and readied its heaviest ordnance. The automata marched straight and steadily ahead, as expected, and the soldiers fired a massive hexplosive volley that flooded the jungle with smoke. Over the clatter-clang of weapons being reloaded, they began to hear another sound—an chorus of earthy pounding. The smoke had barely cleared when automata burst out of it at the speed of a locomotive at full steam. Those in the center of the formation were massacred; those on the wings broke into a panicked retreat.

But Two-Pints kept his cool amid the chaos.

“Mr. Pints! They’re not even dented! Their armor’s too strong for—”

“Like sunberries it is! Nothing’s that strong. READY KINETIC ROUNDS!”

The automata, he noticed, were indeed hardly scratched. But while the panicking troops seemed to attribute this to their impossible superiority, Two-Pints quickly derived another explanation: in a way, the volley had been too powerful. The thaumic radiation leaking from the automata had triggered the hexplosive shells’ detonators early, and thus the automata had been struck only by the secondary waves of smoke and heat, not the primary charges. He ordered his troopers to switch to conventional kinetic rounds and lay down cover fire for the retreating soldiers. As predicted, the lower-powered rounds seemed more effective at hobbling the automata than the huge opening volley had been. Meanwhile, he handed out firing solutions to his heaviest artillery pieces, as the automata reformed into a tight melee formation and charged.

Having regrouped at a distance, the Piltovians saw only Two-Pints’ squad still on the field. Surely, they were about to witness a horrific slaughter. Their fears seemed confirmed when the first volley of heavy artillery fell short of the charging automata. The poor fellows must have panicked.

And then the automata vanished. Clank. Clank. Clank. The explosives had not been aimed at them, but at the soft ground ahead of them, and had blasted open a crater into which they’d come crashing down. The second volley went up in a brief arc and came down into the crater, where the explosions reverberated and overlapped into a crucible of force and heat. When the smoke cleared, the automata had been obliterated.

The astonishing victory in defense of Nyroth did much to improve Bandle City’s reputation with other members of the League. As for Two-Pints, his commission was temporarily transferred to Bandle City.

This takes Bandle City to:

Step II: “Yordle Traders”
Guided by advice from the Mothership-stored spirits of famous yordle merchants, Bandle City’s traders have overcome the prejudices (some of which, to be fair, were more like postjudices) of humans and established more cordial relations with the major commercial capitals.

It has also acquired Sgt. Two-Pints as an NPC, increasing Might by +1 for the rest of the arc.

Icathia

voidlings-portal

Icathia began its Vision Quest, which focuses on using widespread pyrikhosian technology to exert greater influence over Valoran.

It opens with:

Step I: “NoxiToxis”
Zasho Brands made a name for itself with ThaumaKola, but has since added further items to its highly profitable line of consumer extradimensionally enhanced products, such as SpectriYum and Porphex. Years after these Void-tainted comestibles first went on sale in Zaun, no serious side effects have been reported. However, Zasho continues to urge customers to enjoy responsibly.

This week, Icathia drew…The Devil:

The Devil.jpg

This Major Arcana draw represents Icathia summoning Pesh’Jeth, the Mask of Desire, a Void demon associated with mad debauchery and reckless indulgence. The challenge type drawn was Influence, with the Difficulty set at 7 as for any Major Arcana test.

While the HexKorps’ military equipment and key Zaunite industrial facilities had been converted to use “purer” elemental magic to reduce the side effects of pyrikhos, many consumer products remained essentially unchanged into the year 26 CLE. (“ThaumaKola: same classic formula, same great taste.”) There had been some modifications, by necessity. For example, with the Void-contaminated regions of Noxus purged of the infection, Void ooze for “NoxiToxi” consumables typically came from refined byproducts of pyrikhos processing operations.

Icathian Summoners called upon Pesh’Jeth, Mask of Desire. They proclaimed that, were he to leave the bliss of the Void, they would offer him new delights as master of Zaun’s dark revelry.

The thing about summoning demons, though, is that it involves summoning demons. Icathia rolled low, and even with a reroll courtesy of some “friends” in the League, came up with only a 3 against the Difficulty level of 7.

The Summoners were rebuffed. They were a humorless lot, and Pesh’Jeth was uninterested in their schemes.

Determined to seize the opportunity before them, the Summoners brought their ritual to the Guardian’s Sea nexus itself, and used certain connections in the League to allow them to practice their prayers quite close to the central field.

This time, Pesh’Jeth did answer. He looked out toward Zaun, but recoiled at the sour taste of Shuriman elemental magic interwoven through the much-simplified Void signatures that empowered these “NoxiToxis”. No, he was not pleased with their offering. But Icathia itself, that was another matter. So much passion, but turned to such dull ends…

Though outsiders did not fully understand why, for the next week, Icathia burst into mad debauchery such as to put the wildest Zaunite club to shame.

Well, no progress here, but you did have some great parties.

Bilgewater

Bilgewater The Dead Pool Ship

Bilgewater continued its Influence Quest, which it began last round. The previous round, Nami and Fizz failed rather spectacularly at convincing the Atlanteans to help with the defense of the coastline against the Mist, leaving Bilgewater still at:

Step I: “Divided We Fall”
In a world of fanatical fascist regimes and mindless undead hordes, Bilgewater’s decentralization and internal dissent are serious liabilities. It’s hard to organize a successful defense with a culture that strongly believes a shipwrecked sailor doesn’t have to outswim the sharks if they can outswim their slowest mate.

This time around, it drew a Vision challenge.

Unable to sway the Atlanteans with political or moral arguments, Nami changed tactics. She contacted her Summoner associates, and together they attempted to find evidence that the expanding Black Mist would threaten Atlantis itself.

They were set for a failure, but for the buff from Week 13’s FMs. That granted them a d3 bonus, representing Lady Luck’s favor, and they rolled a 3.

On a warm night, with not a star in the sky, the silver-eyed Lady looked out over a vast gameboard. It was shaped like the continent of Valoran, edged in smoky obsidian. Her side of the room was illuminated with the ambivalent light of the half-moon, while her opponent’s lay in shadow.

The Ghoul’s withered hand set the Atlanteans off to the side.

“Wait. I’ll take those.”

The Ghoul paused. “The Marai failed.”

Lady Lucky shrugged lazily. “Did she?” From one sleeve, a golden die tumbled into her palm.

“It’s not enough,” the Ghoul chided.

But she cast the die regardless. It clacked and clattered, and came up six.

“Like I was saying—I’ll take those.”

Bilgewater thereby succeeded:

Nami’s research had proven unproductive. It seemed that perhaps the Atlanteans would in fact be safe from the Mist this year, as they had been before, with their Moonstone blocking out the Harrowing.

She was on her way to make a probably useless pitch to the Atlanteans when Diana intercepted her. She handed her an old stone tablet, which she said had been found during the repairs to the Grey Harbor. It was a fragment of old lore concerning the Moonstones, and Diana had thus thought to hand it over to her. The specific topic was the intersection of lunar and necromantic energy. When Nami showed it to her Summoners, they explained its significance: though somewhat obscure, it provided a sound theoretical basis for expecting that the coming Black Mist, strengthened by divine energy, would not be stopped by the aura of a Moonstone forged in modern times.

Though it still required the utmost from Nami’s persuasive skills and political acumen, with this fortuitously discovered tablet and some hasty last-minute Summoner research, Nami succeeded in convincing Atlantis that its own best interests compelled its cooperation in the defense against the Mist.

This takes Bilgewater to:

Step II: “Atlantis Sends Aid”
The Atlanteans were on the brink of extinction when Bilgewater and the Lunari intervened. Summoners have worked to bridge the gap between Atlantis and the rest of Bilgewater, and Atlantis has pledged to join in the defense against the Mist.

The Freljord

Freljord

The Freljord continued its Vision Quest this round. After its Week 10 success, it’s at:

Step II: “Voices from the Abyss”
Members of the Frostguard return from a pilgrimage to the Howling Abyss with strange new powers, speaking of ancient voices.

It drew the King of Pentacles:

King of Pentacles.jpg

introducing Regnar Arkind, skald of the Frostguard, and presenting a Vision challenge.

Regnar Arkind, venerable skald of the Frostguard and keeper of the old-lore, ventured to the Howling Abyss at Lissandra’s side. After his return, he went into seclusion, where faceless voices from the Freljord’s past instructed him in the spell-shapes of lost runes. When he emerged, he informed Lissandra that he had discovered the spellcraft that allowed the Iceborn to “bring the ice with them”, in the words of the sagas. The runes themselves were lost long ago, but it might be possible to recreate them, and from them to develop “conventional” incantations that would not draw unwelcome League attention.

The Freljord was successful:

Regnar, always more a diplomat and tradesman than a warrior, used his gifts of persuasion to gather to him certain key Summoners who had the skills to assist him but could also be trusted to be discreet. Together, they reforged the lost Iceborn runes, and from them derived non-runic spells that could accomplish similar (though smaller-scale) effects without drawing the League’s ire.

The Frostguard thus came to possess the knowledge to transform the physical and arcane landscape of foreign lands to that of the Freljord, granting a decisive advantage in any military engagement. More than that, Regnar had rediscovered a lost branch of magic, which might bear remarkable new fruit in the modern age.

This takes it from:

Step II: “Voices from the Abyss”
Members of the Frostguard return from a pilgrimage to the Howling Abyss with strange new powers, speaking of ancient voices.

To:

Step III: “They Brought the Ice with Them”
A strange detail serves as a common thread that links many of the oldest stories: claims that the warriors of the Freljord “brought the ice with them”. Lissandra’s study of the divine magic of the Guardian’s Sea nexus has revealed the secret of expanding the Freljord’s permafrost beyond its borders.

They also acquire Regnar, who will grant +1 to Vision for the rest of the arc.

Details

If you want the granular details on these draws, see this GDoc.

—CupcakeTrap

Caitlyn, you monster.

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One comment on “Divinity Quest Draws Week 14

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