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Here for a while
(12/22/02 3:43:56 pm)
What now? Kill my party?

My party of 5 10th's, an 8th and a 7th (plus Tarren who is plotting his escape, but also plotting Hedrack's death) is very low on spells, though they are near max hp.

They are encamped and arcane locked in one of the side chambers at the Air door. The stalkers, arrowhawks, summoned elementals and the ogres from 37 have been killed. Ukemil and Bethe were killed earlier.

Now what?

Were I Hedrack, I'd send the Earth Elemental guardian. Now, that'll have the downside of leading to a TPK. No one has a +3 weapon, and I don't believe there is enough spell damage potential to kill the thing before it wipes the party out. Escape would be tough.

Thrommel could be sent (gaseous), to try to deal with them, but this doesn't really seem his style somehow.

Maracla and Dirass could volunteer to show their loyalty to the cause. The party could survive that, even weakened as they are.

The Cornugan might have a little trouble getting in the room by himself.

I don't see Hedrack or Naquent getting personally involved yet.

I might have to have Varachan intervene to get them through the night, though I'm not sure what he could do to convince Hedrack not to attempt to destroy the party until morning.


Here for a while
(12/23/02 12:43:15 am)
Re: What now? Kill my party?
Hello SIERK,

i'ts been a while, since I played the temple, but my characters had a very, very hard time with the Earh elemental as well.
First question is - what does Hedrack know about them. If it ran normally, he knows quite a bit. He might not know, where they are at the moment. He could ask Varachan to find out, though, this might be interesting as well...
... Varachan will probably really try to scry, giving the characters a scry check to notice (and change position, if they are intelligent).
... Varachan might tell Hedrack a wrong position and can always say later, that they used to be there but must have spotted his scrying...
... Varachan might tell Hedrack the truth but send some kind of warning to the players about what is to come...

I actually did not remove the Earth Elemental from the Outer Fane. I somehow thought it to be linked to the Island and could not really think that it would move through one of the doors, over one of the bridges...

Isn't there this guy with the 3 abysmal dire lions left? Or was that Ukemil?

I would not think, that the drow or the Cornurgan would want to do Assassine jobs for Hedrack.
If Hedrack is still high on spells, he could call a planar ally that will try to deal with the PCs.


Here for a while
(12/23/02 5:52:01 am)
Re: What now? Kill my party?
Do the players have the Hammerspheres? Mine used them against the earth elemental to great effect.

If your players think that the Outer Fane is a standard "clear one room, rest right here and then move to the next" type of place, you must break them of that habit RIGHT NOW.

Do not let them rest. Harrass them with whatever forces you can muster if you can find them. Just be sure to make all the rolls to scry, etc. so you don't "cheat" them.

My party was a little luckier. If anyone remembers the "Hedarck - one very, very dangerous man" thread I posted, the next session after that looked like this:

Fade in - players standing around outside Hedrack's quarters with 50% casualties, arguing what to do, rooting through stuff from their fallen allies, etc.

Luckily, Varachan was on his way, being sent be Thrommel. Varachan arrives, there is a tense moment when I think my party will jump him but they actually try to talk to him! In doing so, they find out he is the "mysterious stranger" who left them the note.

Varachan (looking nervous) - "You have to leave! Now! The entire Outer Fane knows you're here."

Players - "Uhh, how?"

Varachan (looking at them incredulously) - "When you came in you didn't have a plan for getting out???!???"

Players (all looking sheepish) - "No."

Man, they felt dumb. Varachan used the Wnad of Silence and hustled them to the storeroom (29) and hid them in empty crates. Then he finds Hedrack and tells him the intruders must have left via magic, he will retire to his room and scry for them with the crystal ball.

Varachan lets them there all day, tells Hedrack they're back in Verbobonc, then while he should be preparing to pray for spells at midnight, sneaks back to the storeroom with the goodies from his room. He has a question & answer session with the PC's, gives them his notes and item stash from his chest. The PC wizard, having had time to rest, teleports them out.

Man it was close. I also figure it'll be the end of Varachan. Such an overt act will be discovered soon.

Here for a while
(12/23/02 7:02:23 am)
Re: What now? Kill my party?
Hey Zenon,

yep, I remember your threat and am glad everything worked out...

...I don't know about Varachan, though. In my campaign he hid the PCs as well as loosing an important battle against them (officially). But before Hedrack had a chance to check more on him everybody who could have suspected anything was dead (inclusive Hedrack).

So Varachan stayed in the outer Fane, together with the 2 drow and the gelugon I think. I think they had one or two ogres left as well and the earth elemental...


Here for a while
(12/23/02 11:55:51 am)
Re: What now? Kill my party?
"I actually did not remove the Earth Elemental from the Outer Fane."
The party is parked in the Outer Fane, so this would not be removing it. Anyway, I agree that that should result in a TPK. A prepped EEE would be way bad. Imagine putting a silence on him (and perhaps other buff spells from Hedrack or the drow), and have him glide up underneath the sleeping party. He would get at least 1/2 cover, but maybe as much as 3/4 or 9/10 cover.

I agree with Zenon. Do not let the party sleep. Launch the attack, however, just past midnight, after Hedrack prepares spells, specifically choosing ones that target against the party's weak/strong points (i.e. defend against strong, attack against weak). Once roused, IMO, the entire Outer Fane should attack the party until they are dead or manage to escape. Hedrack is in command, is very smart, and would not tolerate intruders. After all, he has to report directly to the Triad on his failure, and that would not be fun for him.

Option A: Send relatively weak forces, increasing in power, until the party leaves or is killed. Start with a single planar ally or some summoned monsters, with Naquent standing at the top of the stairs to area 34. (Imagine here as the party exits the room and sees Varachan push Naquent down the stairs and then wants to join the party...)

Option B: Send the EEE as above and shoot for a TPK. Have Thrommel wait at the top of the stairs with Naquent.

Option C: Attempt a capture. Have anyone (preferably Naquent with a hold person and similar spells, or maybe Ukemil and his pets) wait at the top of the stairs. Then send in the EEE to do subdual damage and capture at least one party member. Throw any captured enemies in 32A and "let" the others escape. Don't forget to take a few hair samples, etc., for scrying purposes. Later on, dominate the PC and send him back with a nicely target Greater Planar Ally.

Here for a while
(12/23/02 3:03:26 pm)
Re: What now? Kill my party?
Thanks for the thoughts.

I have a vested interest in avoiding a TPK. The entire CRM has been wiped out, and the party has all of the keys, which would then revert to Hedrack's control. I don't see easy hooks to pick back up at the Outer Fane. Basically, I see a TPK as the end of running this module. While this might necessarily be true, I don't want to get tracked off on that tangent. I want my party to live.

Okay. Here's what I'm thinking about now.

Hedrack will be beginning to roust the defenses, primarily the Earth Elemental guardian. Varachan will realije wxat this will mean, and will use a scroll of Summon Monster to summon a small earth elemental to carry a message through the floor to the party.

"This is not a safe place to rest. If you remain in the Outer Fane, you will be destroyed. Hedrack will not extend defenses to the Mines. Return only when you are prepared."

At this point, if the party decides to continue resting, they will get what they deserve, which is a TPK at the hands of the Earth Elemental.

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