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Fire Mountain Games, publisher of "Way of the Wicked" launches a subterranean adventure path for the Pathfinder RPG -- Throne of Night
Fire Mountain Games, publisher of "Way of the Wicked" launches a subterranean adventure path for the Pathfinder RPG -- Throne of Night
314 backers pledged $40,640 to help bring this project to life.

July Update and Four Book Synopsis

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Greetings,

Another update is sorely overdue.

Almost all of the art of all four of the remaining books (and the bonus adventure, which we'll talk about more in a future update) is in and looks great. Michael Clarke continues to do amazing work and none of the delays this project has experienced are his fault. Those all rest firmly on my head.

Most of the text of the four books is also roughly finished though it still needs much editing and refinement.

I am aware that this kickstarter is long overdue. Be assured we are still intent on fulfilling all of our obligations and getting you your books. Mike has started, for example, to do the custom artwork that was commissioned.

I am working upon finishing all five of the remaining PDFs (the four books and the 32 page bonus adventure) and then sending them to print and mailing them out together. I don't have a definite date for those releases yet, but I will post updates as I have them.

As a taste of those PDFs, I've put together an illustrated synopsis together. Some of this art you've seen before. Some is new. Be forewarned, this synopsis very thoroughly spoils most of the adventure path.

And thanks again for you patience.

An Illustrated Throne of Night Synopsis Book Three Through Six

Warning: Spoilers ahead

Book Three: Death or Dammerhall

The Cover

 After the events of Book Two, the PCs should have discovered a route to the lost dwarven city of Dammerhall. They discover that road is hidden and concealed behind a living secret door that is as much a golem as it a method of passage. They must discover how to get past it by demonstrating their worthiness either by honest deed or dark deception.

They discover even before they enter the city that they are not the only ones interested in the goings on in the city. An agent of death, a psychopomp, has been sent to this plane of existence to track down the so-called King of Dammerhall, a corrupt dwarf of the old city who has achieved immortality using forbidden magic and dark pacts. She can be either a useful ally or a deadly enemy, but she definitely has her own agenda and the PCs must tread carefully around her. 

Finally the PCs discover the gates of Dammerhall and thus begins the overwhelming bulk of the adventure – a dwarven city exploration sandbox. There are dozens of points of interest, dangerous creatures and secrets to discover. There is great wealth, the potential to become the rightful high king of the dwarves and a deadly deathless enemy who wields a frightful weapon crafted by the dwarves of old at the full height of their power and craft.

As the book ends, the PCs may either reestablish a thriving dwarven city with them as its rulers or plunder this hulk for the wealth necessary to build an army to expand their ever-growing underworld empire.

Book Four: City of Night

The cover

 The PCs either learn of the threat of a nearby drow city, Taaryssia, or perhaps bring their plans to get revenge against the queen of the drow who banished them to fruition. The journey to the city is not without is perils, but they pale compared to the countless dangers within this haven of evil. The drow city is a roiling cauldron of intrigue and treachery. Five drow nobles house vie for control of the city. The PCs (if they’re drow) likely come from the destroyed sixth house. Each house proudly wears amulets made of mithral and various gemstones to show their allegiances. 

For dwarves, infiltration is possible, but you must always be wary of capture. If the drow capture you, they may force you into fight in their deadly arena. Is there any way to escape or will you die for the pleasure of debauched dark elf masters? Can you even rise to become a champion of the arena, earning a personal audience with the Queen herself?

Who can you trust? Which houses truly desires to see the queen deposed? Everyone has an agenda and the PCs must navigate this web of intrigue if they are to survive in this deadly city of the dark elves.

And perhaps even worse, the city is not populated merely by the elves. Taaryssia is a nexus of worlds. Portals open to multiple layers of the abyss and to other more esoteric planes of existence. Even the drow nobility of the city has crossbred heavily with demons and one of the houses is guided by a sinister marilith who may become friend or foe depending upon how she feels the PCs can serve her needs.

And finally after negotiating its countless dangers and discovering its many secrets, there lies the queen herself. This merciless monarch of the drow will not easily give up her power to upstart challengers. And if she is not stopped, she will soon raise an army that could crush the fledgling empire that the PCs have been growing.

Book Five: Sailors on a Sunless Sea

The cover

With Taaryssia dealt with either by war, assassination or alliance, the PCs began to realize that they may face an enemy greater than either drow or corrupted dwarves. Caravans start to go missing. Reports of strange aberrations appearing in the depths come to their attention. And everywhere there are dark omens that something of terrible magical power is awakening the deepest depths of the earth. To find out more and to reach these rarely visited depths, the PCs must cross the great Sunless Sea.

What soon becomes apparent is that the Sunless Sea is not one sea, but many, each with its own unique character -- a great subterranean network of waterways, dark islands and flooded caves. Some portions are shrouded in mists. Other seas boil like a hot cauldron over a ceaseless fire. Some are the domain of monsters never dreamed of by the sunlit realms.

There are strange tribes of weird creatures rarely even heard of by the those who dwell above. The PCs must conquer them either by guile or by force if they are make this epic underworld journey across the sunless sea.

And as they make this journey, their true enemy comes closer into view – a dark enemy below with horrid designs upon the realms above. These waters are not merely the home of monsters. This is the domain of the fearsome aboleth and they do not tolerate outsiders.

Book Six: Dark Dynasty

Cover (not yet with layout)

In the deepest depths, the underworld grows strange indeed. The creatures here are utterly alien, bizarre and malevolent.

The PCs began to learn that their ultimate enemy plots nothing less than dimming the sun so that their dominion can extend across all the world. It is a plan that they have already carried out on other worlds and their work on this one grows close to completion.

Finally, the PCs get to infiltrate the aboleth city only to learn that even the aboleth are only lesser servitors. They must navigate the non-Euclidian architecture of this timeless place and find the great engine that will be the agent of untold havoc. Will the PCs heroically save the world from annihilation or take control of the Sunkiller and use it to extend their own dark dynasty across the face of the world? Are they saviors of legend or will they be conquerors of a world cast into unending darkness?

And finally the ultimate enemy is discovered – a horror from another world intent on making this world its own. Even the aboleth were only pawns of this transdimensional terror. How can anyone hope to oppose this mighty creature?

 That's all for now.

Gary McBride

Fire Mountain Games

mirtexxan, Robert Huss, and 9 more people like this update.

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    1. Missing avatar

      James Cameron on September 17, 2015

      I have to agree with Robert when he says "if Gary gets this out in full, in the next two years, and the quality is consistant with previous work I won't care how long it took - I'll still buy his stuff." This campaign is shaping up as a real a tour de force, perhaps the best selection of 'underdark' content yet created, so keep at it!

    2. Aaron aka Itchy
      Superbacker
      on July 19, 2015

      Thank you for the update, Gary! I am one of those quiet folks who is patiently waiting for some really exciting AP content. Keep plugging away, keep posting updates (even if they are as simple as "X words have been added, would have been more but life happened."), and I'll be very excited when it all arrives.

      Please remember to ask for updated addresses when you are ready to ship as many of us have had address changes since the Kickstarter ended.

    3. Derek Blakely on July 19, 2015

      When it comes to aboleths, and even aberrations in general, I'm rather in the dark regarding motivation. My experience and number of encounters with them over all of these years is extremely limited. As it's written right now, it's "acceptable". That's in quotations for a reason. It could potentially be better, but I've no idea how. Make it undead or a dragon, and I could probably manage.

    4. Missing avatar

      AstralWanderer on July 18, 2015

      Nice to have an update which shows that Michael has been producing good work. I'm in agreement with Robert that posting all 5 physical books in one go makes sense, especially given increasing postage costs (and hopefully, this will mean earlier books being revised to correct issues pointed out by others here). Sadly, I suspect his 2 year estimate might be accurate too, and I would suggest that it would be better to give such a figure, than to just leave backers to guess at a completion date (plus offer refunds to those tired of waiting).

      As for the plot outline - the "wheels within wheels" approach is a good one, but the motivation of the aboleth needs reconsidering in my view. As a deep aquatic species, they're in no position to benefit directly from reduced sunlight (indeed, the ice age it would almost certainly cause would probably disadvantage them if anything).

      The 2nd Edition AD&D "Night Below" campaign had aboleth creating a magical structure to greatly increase the range of their domination ability, which would be more plausible. Alternative approaches could include the aboleth creating a psionic amplifier (cue attempts by other psionic species like illithids or githyanki to hijack or wreck it) or to nullify/reduce magic leaving others more vulnerable to psychic domination. Or being lied to by the otherworld horror, though such a deception should be extremely difficult to carry out fully (maybe the aboleth suspect treachery and have counterplans of their own).

      The meat of this update is promising, as has been the quality of the work released so far and I don't want to discourage further such updates. But the PDF release of book 3 (even in "beta" form) needs to be done ASAP if backers here are expected to hold out long-term for the rest.

    5. Missing avatar

      Robert Brownsword on July 18, 2015

      I think releasing as a set makes a lot of sense. Yes that takes longer but it also gets the whole project done and dusted. I think the delays make a lot more sense now we know that all four books are being worked on at the same time, particularly as the creative process is rarely going to be linear. Cool ideas are going to be generated that could fit in any area.

      Let's be honest the books themselves are chunky documents with so much adventure crammed into them that they were always going to take a while to write - neither would I want Gary to just speed through them as the quality has been excellent thus far.

      For me the synopsis confirms that yes this is the drow campaign I always wish I could run, warring noble houses, dwarven ruins, underdark communities, THE ABOLETH AS THE main protagonists with something even more aberrant behind. I have DM'd so many campaigns over the years that I lose count but I can honestly say I have never been looking forward to one as much as Throne of Night.

      This is my personal opinion, if Gary gets this out in full, in the next two years, and the quality is consistant with previous work I won't care how long it took - I'll still buy his stuff.

    6. JHewett on July 18, 2015

      Thankyou for the update. Good to know you are still working to fulfill this project.

    7. Derek Blakely on July 18, 2015

      Appreciate the update, Gary. Thanks.

    8. Ben 'Kthulhu' Bullock on July 17, 2015

      Another few months, another "it's almost here" update.
      A word of advice for Gary: On the off chance that you someday come through with the rest of this project, just shut down Fire Mountain Games, and focus on your day job. You've killed your credibility in this industry.

    9. Chris Riedel on July 17, 2015

      So the plan is to mail everything together? Does that include Way of the Wicked? Thank you for beginning to clarify this issue for us.

      The art is spectacular, and I look forward to the books. This progress report is very encouraging.

    10. Some Guy
      Superbacker
      on July 17, 2015

      Thanks for the update.