Midnight SPOILERS - 10 Steps to Save the World

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10 STEP PLAN TO SAVE THE WORLD!![edit]

RESCUE THE PIRATE PRINCE[edit]

Work to "save" the Norfall House of the Corbron Isles by helping the Pirate Prince be freed from a coven of Succubi that have control of the isles. Once rescued, ask him to rally the Pirate Princes into a fleet.


RALLY THE RADIERS[edit]

With the Pirate Prince's aid, try to contact and to organize with Roland's Raiders (of the Redgard House) to see that Norfall House is helping and rally Roland to gather their guerilla forces with the Snow Elves that they have contact with.


ALLIANCE OF MEN AND ELVES[edit]

Try to unite an alliance between the resistance villages in the Gammarilian Delta and the Elves of the Erethor, to take out the elf plague carriers. NOTES: the Witch Council just set loose to go into the north to infect orcs, unfortunately it's a desperate plan that will likely commit genocide and come back on the elves.... The Witch Queen finally decided to use these plagued elves to do this because the Whisperer is failing her people. These plague ridden elves have a horrible disease that kills any of "fey" blood in weeks. A group of these plagued villagers now ride north (around the burning line) toward the uppermost Norther Marches, to infect the Orcs, being replaced by their guard warriors (the Arrows - an elite delta force of elves led by Ossion of the Hamlet) who ride with them as they die themselves from the plague.


IF/Once these forces are rallied...[edit]

SEIGE FALLPORT[edit]

By sending in the Pirate Prince ships "fleet" from the south, while at the same time having Roland's Raiders and Elves come in on Fallport from the North by land. The hope is to take Fallport and command full control of the Pellurian Sea for the moment. NOTES: "Fallport was once the capital city of House Norfall. When the city fell, its princes took to the Pelluria with what remained of the Norfall navy and continue to resist the Shadow on the open sea. Built in a deep cove set in the midst of high sea cliffs on the northern shore of the Sea of Pelluria. The cove makes a good harbor, and the natural lay of the land made the unique construction of Fallport possible. Fallport is now abandoned by its original inhabitants, but its many underground dwellings were quick to attract an orc population. Now, the city is the southernmost settlement of orc noncombatants in the Northlands. There are perhaps 10,000 members of the Gray Mother tribe living in Norfall, and the city’s shipyard and docks have become important elements in the orc war effort. Human slaves live packed into the waterfront warehouses and are forced to work as fishermen, ship builders, and dock workers by whip-wielding goblin overseers."
The pirate princes just don't have the manpower to form an effective blockade. Ships from Fallport and Highwall would be all over them, not to mention any number of terrible winged things sent to set fires and thrash sails. The key to controlling the Sea of Pelluria lies beneath the waves. In my game, the sea elves have been mass-producing charms that allow people to hold their breath for vastly extended periods. (basically multiplying the normal length of time by 10) A disruptive, distracting attack on the River's Fangs would allow a large group of Sea Elves to swim through the channel unnoticed and meet with the pirate princes. After that, they establish a base in the islands in a few underwater caves, and summon an air elemental (with a scentless spell) every once in a while to replenish the air supply. From there, they could fairly easily burn the ships, shipyards and ports of fallport, making a siege unnecessary, and then disappear again.


OCCUPY FALLPORT[edit]

while there for the several days it would take any Shadow armies to come in to retake it - they blowup Fallport's mirror. Making a plan to rig a hole in the Shadow Temple so the sun will hit the mirror at high noon... While their army (the Raiders and the Pirates) retreat into the sea. Hopefully taking out some Shadow armies when the mirror explodes.


SEIGE STEEL HILL[edit]

Make landfall soon after with Roland's Raiders and the Snow Elves marching on Steel Hill. Trying to seige Steel Hill. Because Steel Hill is at "the heart of the Enemy's army, a dark forge where slaves and sorcerers labor day and night to equip the orcish hordes with weapons, armor, and equipment."
Steel hill. Once again, there's no way to siege it effectively. My (extremely convoluted) solution involves getting a large force of dwarves across the continent. (this event is about a year of in-game time, and 3 levels worth of adventure.) They will end up going through the ancient and unused Deep Paths (kind of a Midnight version of the Underdark) most of which were destroyed during the sundering. Long story short, they will make it, but have to make a deal with the devil to do it. (Illithids live down there, and while they aren't servants of Izrador, they're not exactly good samaritans. I love illithids.) So, then we've got dwarves in the Highhorns. After while spent tunneling into the mines at steel hill, there's some awesome opportunity for monkeywrenching and guerrilla warfare. I'm toying with the idea of the dwarves piping in gas from a sulfur vein and eventually blowing the entire place up.


BLOCKADE BADEN'S BLUFF[edit]

While the land army marches on Steel Hill, the Pirate Prince navy sails to put a blockade on Baden's Bluff (to cut troop movement)


RAID THE ARTERIES[edit]

With this happening the PCs rush to the Arteries (Ardherin's laboratories) to try and rescue Whisper Adepts that are being corrupted to corrupt the Whisper which is failing Aradil and quickly becoming the biggest problem of the elves ever...


DESTROY FALLPORT[edit]

The destruction of Fallport slows/stops the flow of Armor/Weapons and supply lines from Steel Hill to the Gammarillian Front. With the Blockade on Baden's Bluff would stop Shadow troop movement.


NUTRALIZE THE WRATH[edit]

The Enemy's BIG-GUN is Zardrix. But Adam and Andrew seem to recall that *something* has held her off at bay before. If you can figure out what THAT is they can use it to protect those seiges/forces from the Wrath of Shadow's dragon fury.
Zardrix. This was my big "how" question. It needed to be something sufficiently big, and there is no way the PC's are ever going to fight a Night King. So here's some of my (even more convoluted) ideas about how it might be accomplished. The Witch Queen is going to basically use a lot of resources and influence to create a rebellion in Sharuun. With the chaos caused by the loss of control in the Sea of Pelluria, it's actually going to succeed. Sharuun is going to basically throw of the Shadow's control. It's doomed to be short lived though and the Witch Queen knows this. She's betting on the Wrath of Shadow (and possibly the Sword or the Priest) being sent to make an example of the rebellious city. Which is exactly what will happen. The PC's will use Zardrix's absence as an opportunity to stealth into theros obsidia (keep in mind, the PC's are about 17th level at this point.) and steal her heart. Of course, this isn't going to stop Zardrix from razing Sharuun to the ground. The Witch Queen is basically sacrificing the city for a chance at taking down the dragon. My eventual plan is to have the PC's reunite Zardrix with her heart, and have the dragon go on a suicidal, rage driven rampage the will destroy Theros Obsidia.


QUESTIONS to Consider[edit]

  • What would the Shadow do?
  • What are the logical ways they would learn of the unfolding of these plans?
  • What would the various Night Kings be told to do?
  • What armies would rush to retake these places?
  • Which Orc Generals would be told to go do this? Grial? One of his Commanders? Jahzir himself?
  • What would the other Night Kings be doing?
  • Are there other major supply lines to consider?
  • Is Fallport, Steal Hill and Baden's Bluff as important as my PCs are thinking?
  • How much resistance would their be at Fallport? At Steel Hill?
  • Would Baden's Bluff work with the Pirate Prince's blockade?
  • What other Shadow forces?
  • What other Shadow cities would be involved with these actions?




IDEAS From ONline Sources[edit]

On the trust issue, there are already (in my opinion) some alliances already in place. Houses Norfall and Redgard have a history of cooperation and both have never stopped fighting. The elves near House Redgard have provided assistance and refuge for years and House Norfall would never have the wood they need to replace/repair their ships without access to the Green March and the elven communities there. The biggest difficulties will be trusting the unknown resistance fighters in the small communities or getting dwarven clans to unite.


The Shadow will likely not change it's tactics overmuch. Elimination of the sanctuaries (Erethor and the Kaladruns) is still key to their success. Smaller resistance groups will either be ignored or fought with local forces until the two major threats are gone. If a city is taken, the Shadow will bend all its resources to destroy that city to make an example of it. As the resistance becomes more successful expect the Shadow to become even bloodier.


The equivalent of the mouth of saron to give them an ultimatum.
"Cease you ways and join Izador or for every town saved we will burn 10 to the ground, for every soul they save 10 will be hanged, the people of the land will curse your names and if anyone joins you not only will their life be forfit but the lives of anyone they ever knew.
...in strait places gar keep all store, And burned ye plainland them before, That they shall pass away in haist What that they find na thing but waist. ...This is the counsel and intent Of the gud King's testiment and command."


Probably the best way to have "success" in fighting the Shadow (using your 10 ways above) is not to actually take cities but to make holding the cities less valuable to the Shadow. Coallpsing the great mine in Steel Hill to cut off the supply of ore for weeks or months, raiding Fallport and destroying the piers and ship building facilities, a quick strike into the arteries to disrupt/destroy Ardherin's plans would all help tthe resistance and not tie down/expose precious forces. If the resistance took a city, the Shadow would make an example of it and the threat you propose would probably work. A scorched earth policy by the Shadow would greatly reduce support for the resistance and could lead to betrayals from long term supporters. You may want to influencce your players to be less territory oriented (taking ground) to more destroying capability and killing critical members of the order of Shadow. A trap that kills a greater legate or favored servant of the Night Kings, a daring raid into Fachtendum to release prisoners, killing Grial, etc, are more damaging then taking a city for a few days/weeks.


The easiest thing to do would be to stop, slow, or poison any of the first three steps. The enemy is likely to have poisoners, spies, and skilled diplomats available - people who can paint the PC envoy in the worst possible light. Dealing with rulers especially it can be pointed out that the PCs are powerful extra-legal forces with no allegiance to the ruler. Documents can be forged and stolen, misdirection and divination spells can be used to "prove" that the PCs are assassins or revolutionaries.


Fallport is not as important as Steel Hill to the Enemy. But it is the main port for the Shadow's navy and shipyards. Taking it out would leave the open seas to the Pirates. It's also the port of leave for Steel Hill taking supplies/weapons/armor to the south across the sea.
Steel Hill is literally THE place where the majority of armor/weapons are made. There are no metal working mines to the south. This is where the majority of the armies gain their wares.
Baden's Bluff is probably the key port city on the sea. It's the quickest point across the sea to any other place. It is the main port for nearly all the Enemy forces to come across the sea going south. It's also the key point of the Human resistance cells.


So as you can see... even without my "inflation" of those cities, they're pretty powerful. The ONLY flaws in the Enemy's forces are that He:
  • just throws sheer numbers of orc at the problem
  • relies on His religion and magic draining mirrors in His temples
  • has limited points of industry to supply the lines


However, in my opinion, the opposing factor to the plan isn't actually the Enemy, since the players are planning on making lightening-fast raids and similar to minimise the likelihood of engagement (pretty sensible considering the vast hordes of the Shadow's forces).
Pretty much, the stumbling block is going to come from trying to convince people to stop pursuing their own agendas in favour of pursuing the player character's.
Convincing the battle-weary captain of a resistance cell that you would like to endanger him and his men in a dicey scheme against the Shadow is a mite difficult. Should an NPC take dislike to the PC's (either on a personal basis, or because the plan they have is flawed in some way in their opinion) they can work to poison folk against them, possibly suggesting alternative military gambits that sound less risky, but conflicting with the main goal of the mission.
Lastly, there is, in any group, a good chance one of them is a traitor to the cause. They might have a good reason, or just be a legate in a clever disguise ("Aha! A perfect caper, methinks! I shall wear white robes! I'm a genuis!"). The more who know of any particular plans, the more likely one of the sorties is met in ambush and decimated, hurting morale incredibly. Hell, one of the PCs could be challenged after such a defeat as a traitor, making for a nice one-off trial game


It seems likely to me that groups of pirates or raiders would include in their number people who could be bought. That means the Enemy can, and probably does, have spies among them. Maybe not saboteur-level spies, but at least a few informants.
Raiders and pirates are not going to have good skills or the disposition to conduct seiges or blockades. Both are slow, plodding, methodical, and technical modes of warfare, the opposite of raiding. Hmm, ok, I just realize that when you wrote "seige", you really meant "capture." The plan doesn't call for long, drawn, out besieging of the target cities. That's good, because seiges and blockades are *very* vulnerable to aerial attack.
Fallport sounds like an extremely hard nut to crack. Underground city occupied by thousands of orcs, with an active shipyard building warships? Ouch, and ouch again. Hard to see how that could be captured quickly without a lot of magical power.
ditto Steel Hill. It's full of sorcerers!
This feels a little too much like frontal assault planning. Seems like there might be other weaker spots to start with. Maybe get the pirates operational, and spread them out, raiding lots of different places to force the Enemy to spread His defensive forces out more? Then start to hit particular targets hard?
Also, is Baden's Bluff neutral? It seems like burning the ships and docks, and then frequent raiding cruises around it might be more efficient than a full-scale blockade. Combine this with good intelligence, get an agent in the port who can transmit information about when troop carriers are leaving, and then you're in business. Obviously this is a bad idea if the ruler could be brought over (or at least made less cooperative with the Enemy) instead.
I wonder if they need more attacks like the rescue of the Adepts earlier in the process, to get the most power on their side as quickly as possible.


spies and informants[edit]

I'd use it as a plot management tool. If it occurs to them to try to prevent espionage and seek out agents, then give them something to find, and let it grow as much as you want. If it doesn't occur to them, they should probably get bit by it sooner or later, but how and when can suit your plot needs. If you think everything's going too fast and easy, this would be a good way to trip them up. If they're struggling, having an npc bring them a spy who can provide them with some information (and might explain how they got so pummeled in the last fight) would be good. Another way to reveal espionage is to have some mid-level enemy commander get over-eager, and act without permission from higher up. Hisattack might almost catch your heroes off-guard, but in the process gives away that the Enemy has a source of secret intelligence, and that they need to clean house.


sieges[edit]

before gunpowder weapons, it was very hard to break down well-built fortifications. So if you surrounded a city, they could close the gates and wait for your forces to get sick, hungry, or dis-affected and go away, or for another army to come to their rescue. A substantial body of technique developed in building seige weapons (battering rams, rolling towers, catapaults) and other methods (e.g digging tunnels) to try to break in. That can take weeks or months. Keep in mind that strong fortified places have concentric rings of defense: an outer wall with fortified gates and towers, an inner wall, ditto, only stronger and smaller in area, and maybe a citadel inside of that. This applies to the harbor too. Very possibly a massive chain or cable, floating on rafts or ship hulls, is drawn across the harbor to keep sailing ships out. inside that there will be a wall, separating the dock area from the rest of the town. Pierced by gates of course, but still a fortification. There may be a fort right at the mouth of the harbor, armed with ballistae or other anti-ship weapons.
Seiges and blockades are slow, grinding work. Seiges work is lots of digging and building, waiting for a wall to get knocked down or gate to finally be smashed in, all the while trying to stay alert for attacks from the beseiged. Then when a wall or gat is breached, a sudden charge into a hail of fire from the defenders. Often this fails, the defenders repair the wall, and you're back to waiting again... Not the quick savage in-and-out of raid. Similarly, a naval blockade is a lot of sitting at anchor or cruising back and forth, back and forth, making sure no enemy ships go in or out. You can't leave your station, so prizes (captured ships) have to be kept around, and can't be sailed away for repair or sale. Not the pirate's life of plunder and retreat.
You heroes don't have that kind of time. They'll either have to blast their way in, or sneak a force in that catches the guardians by surprise and control the gates long enough for their allies to come streaming in, or get someone inside to open a gate for them...
Another thought: pirates capture ships, they don't sink them if they can avoid it. That means hand-to-hand fighting, not ramming or using much artillery. The pirate fleet may not be equipped to sink enemy ships. Of course if they're good at hand-to-hand, then every victory adds ships to the fleet. But if they enemy has orcs to spend, you can be sure every one of his (few and valuable) ships will be packed with fighters.
As for fighting in Fallport or Steel Hill
orcs will block the entrances to the tunnel systems where the raiders are attacking and then come popping out behind them from other entrances.
ordinary stones are deadly weapons when dropped from a height.
surely these cities have means of direct communication to the enemy, so relief forces can be sent quickly
Disruption is key. Your heroes should be smashing any infrastructure they can.
The players might want to try to disrupt Baden's Bluff, but blame it on the Enemy. Maybe some orcish troops riot and fires burn the docks. Maybe an overladen (and sabotaged) ship capsizes and sinks as it leaves, partially blocking the harbor. Maybe some weird creepy stuff is happening in the city, and the dockworkers won't step foot on a ship until the sea spirits are appeased. Remember that before big cranes and containers, it took a lot of men a long time to load and unload cargo ships...


Unexpected Shadow Historical Wins[edit]

The Shadow won 100 years ago by unexpected use of cavalry. Shadow cavalry will be the first to turn up wherever there is trouble. Not much help when the Pirates hit port and go underground after the orcs, but worg riders will be in the way of Roland Redgard...
The value of Steel Hell, er, Hill, is the skilled work going on there. You could slay all the mining slaves and the Shadow would just empty more villages to replace them. You could put out the furnaces by freeing the bound elementals, and the Legates would just bind more. Get into the city and killing the smiths will set the Shadow back decades as it tries to replace them/train new smiths. My thought (from a campaign I played but we never got that far): have a Snow Witch juggle three bad storms until they collide over the city and bury it under 15' of snow. PC led forces get into the city by walking up the drifts and over the wall to free/kill the smiths (and possibly unbind the Fire Elementals who might want revenge on the Legates). By walking on top of the snow, the PCs evade the defenders problems of having to tunnel.


Unless the PCs have been very, very good at staying under the radar the Shadow will assign Razors (badass demons) to hunt them down.
The Shadow will learn of these plans from their own double agents, spies, and divinations.
Jadhzir should still be busy with his two fronts. He would order reinforcement of Baden's Bluff to prevent another Fallport incident. He would also order any nearby dragons to burn ships to break any blockade. The nearest ground troops would be moved to retake Fallport.
Ardherin would watch closely to see if he could capitalize but he's busy corrupting the Whisper. He would take the time to cast a Weather Control spell to interfere or break up the attack by sea. Any move made on the Arteries and he pops the cork. (It is designed to kill everyone inside so no one escapes. Sure it would be a loss of mystic power but all of that death would be a large boost to the Shadow.)
Sunulael's busy on the elven front. But would have his priests begin commanding the army of Fell that rises from this battle to hold Fallport until reinforcements arrive.
Zadrix is their doom unless she is busy burning the elven wood. They would have a few days before she could get there. (I described her size to my players that she was as big as a 747, almost as fast, and they saw her fiery breath destory something a mile away.)
The black mirror in Fallport would be underground. It is too big and too important to be where the sun could possibly touch it directly. If there is a mirror where a simple hole in the roof would allow sunlight to touch, its a fake and a trap. The PCs would have to rig up something similar to the movie "Legend" to get sunlight down to the real mirror (depending on whether you would allow that to work).
Fallport, Steel Hill, and Baden's Bluff are MORE important than the PCs think. They are so critical to the Shadow's forces that it will illicit an immediate response by the Night Kings to protect them. Threats on these locations would bring a level of cooperation that is rarely seen ever.
This looks like a "Market Garden" plan. It wants to go too far with too little resources and take too many chances to hit the jackpot of crippling the Shadow.
That being said, destroying the docks and ships at Fallport would be a win. Somehow destroying the mirror there would be a super bonus. (Destroying the mirror also means the Shadow's knightly order of the mirror starts hunting them.)
The ally that escaped the Arteries is a turncoat that is supposed to lead them into the trap. If the PCs escape the Arteries, everyone imprisoned there dies when the cork is popped in an attempt to stop them. Are they saving these poor souls from being living batteries being sucked dry or are they responsible for the murder of thousands? Still a win, but a hard one to swallow.
After Fallport, the Night Kings will reinforce those vulnerabilities and rebuild. There will be mass punishments throughout the Shadow held lands as much to destroy hope as it will be to break any resistance's will in the face of even more suffering.
Now what do the PCs do? Do they try to capitalize in the Midlands and the South while the Shadow's troops are temporarily cut off from reinforcements and resupply? The elves, dwarves, and whatever human resistance can take advantage of orc leaders tendency to throw bodies at them when reinforcements aren't coming. This could be the turning point for Sarcosans to take back their lands and throw off the Shadow's yoke creating a new haven in the South.


I'd have Izrador (and his agents) try to turn the leaders of the rebellion. It worked once before, and one key player could be enough to destroy the entire plan.
Imagine if, after the rebels successfully capture Freeport, the Pirate Prince sailed off with his fleet. Leaving the PC's and the remaining rebels to deal with an endless number of Shadow reinforcements and no way out.



PROS & CONS[edit]

THE PIRATE PRINCES[edit]

PROS: If they rescue the scion of the princes from a "Wormtongue/Theodan" like coven of Succubi they may rally his flag. This Dorn house was once an extremly proud people, and the founders of Fallport - taking it back and freeing the Seas would be very interesting to them.
CONS: The sheer emmencity of gathering the pirates even for the prince will be hard. They've also hidden for decades, under the radar of the enemy. The connection to other Dorn houses (the Redgards of Rolland's Raiders) is tenuous. They are not an army/navy. They're pirates.


ROLAND'S RAIDERS[edit]

PROS: the pride factor of the Dorn (viking people) may help here. Roland's Raiders is a small guerrilla unit (several thousand) that know how and have fought the Enemy in the areas where the seiges are to happen. They also have forged alliances with the Snow Elves in the past - the best alliance any Elf/Man has had since the Fall of Shadow in the last war 100 years ago.
CONS: the pride factor of the Dorn people may hinder here, especially the apathetic/chaotic view they might have on the Pirates. They're a guerrilla unit, not only will it be hard to organize - would they want to organize?


THE SNOW ELVES[edit]

PROS: the snow elves have just had some HUGE loses in the last months of war, they may be open to alliance on large scale. They know the area like no others.
CONS: their communication means (the whispering wood) is being corrupted and communications are going unheard or changed by the corruption. The recent losses may have depleted or ravaged their courage. Elves are xenophobic and isolationists from their past, this may prove difficult.


THE RESISTANCE FRONT[edit]

PROS: the resistance pocket villages in the south are another batch of humans to be rallied. They fight on like no other human contingent in a losing battle and would welcome aid. They know the south lands, and these lands will benefit greatly from the falter of the Orc supply lines if the North alliances destroy them.
CONS: their Delta is quickly falling to Demon lead armies of Orc. The alliances/communications with Elves of the South have been tenuous at best for 100 years. They have no connections or care (for the most part) with knowledge of what's happening in the north.


SCION OF THE HUMAN KINGS (Baden's Bluff)[edit]

PROS: the key port of the sea is the Bluff, the "true king" of the humans bloodline is at the head of the resistance cell movements (across multiple cities) who's home base is in the Bluff. Their contacts are vast and they know how to get anything on the black market. The Bluff has been deemed to allowed to function as is for the last 100 years because of it's importance the Enemy would reluctantly strike at the city.
CONS: if pushed far enough the Enemy may take the Bluff by force, it's not what they want - but they may if there's no other way. Rallying the resistance cells from quite day-to-day life to full seige mentality may be tough. Finding them will be tough in general.



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