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Here for a while
(1/9/03 7:22:12 am)
Lost Jaroo -- what now?
I messed up in Hommlet -- I used up Jaroo way too early. I had the DG and Mardiosen attack the party in their rooms at the WW overnight, between raids on the moathouse. At that point, Chat was already dead, Utreshimon was driven off, and Gren had come back to Hommlet for reinforcements, letting Dunrat know about the party and that they were probably going to be a hassle for the moathouse operation.

I expected Maridosen to get captured or killed, and Jaroo to escape after beating some fear into the party. Only thing is, I screwed up, putting Jaroo in medium armor and failing to Alter Self out of it in time to run away, and he got killed. Now I have no way to subtly tilt things back in the cults favour after the party finishes the job at the moathouse.

So here's the current situation. The morning after killing Maridosen and Jaroo, the party went back to the moathouse, and killed about half the gnolls as well as Garrik (guarding the great hall now that Utreshimon is gone), and then cleared out most of the ghouls/ghasts, who had been moved into the north-west area of the dungeon to guard the main stairs. The remaining forces at the moathouse should be pretty easy for them, especially considering that three of them are 5th level now -- 4 ghouls, the clerics (including chenashi), 2 brigands hired by Gren that she met on the trip to hommlet, and 5 gnolls. I think I'll bump up the forces on the wagon to make that interesting (it arrives this game day at 3pm, so they _will_ encounter it either at or on the way back from the moathouse), but I fully expect the party to get away with all the artifacts.

So what would Dunrat do, without Jaroo? He doesn't really have any way to influence the town (especially Elmo) any more, and with 6 party members (plus Xaod, whom they've gotten tight with), most of whom will be 5th level by the time they're done with the moathouse, he knows he can't handle a frontal assault on the party, either. He can't just run back to the ToAC with his tail between his legs, because he knows what happens to failures. He doesn't really have time to recruit any new forces. Any suggestions would be very appreciated...

Still here? Wow.
(1/9/03 7:41:30 am)
Re: Lost Jaroo -- what now?
A nighttime theft, or outright assault, on the PCs would be one solution. He's desperate enough to try it, and it doesn't *have* to be successful, just enough to show Dunrat's fanatical devotion.

An ambush on the road to Rastor is another possability.

Either one works...just gather up all the force you have left and strike as hard as you can. Don't worry about win or lose as a DM, people don't have their levels stamped on their foreheads. Just take your best shot either way and don't sweat it if you don't get very far.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

Here for a while
(1/9/03 8:23:11 am)
Wait, I just thought of something!
Do you think Utreshimon would cut a deal with Dunrat? The party drove him off from his lair, and stole his loot (which I augmented with a big ol' pile of copper and a couple sapphires), and he's pissed. Dunrat knows that about the dragon (Garrik was spying on the party during that fight, and reported to Gren who reported to Dunrat), so Dunrat knows about the dragon as a potential ally. Utreshimon hates the party enough now to go along with it, with the deal being that Dunrat gets the artifacts, Utreshimon gets everything else (including dinner).

I think I'll have Dunrat and his crew lay low in the mill for the time being, and Utreshimon will be flying recon missions high over town, watching the party. I'll clue them into that with a stray lightening bolt on their way back to moathouse tomorrow, and the occasional sight of him overhead. When U sees the party on the road (presumably either on foot or with a cart), the cultists will ride out on horses to ambush them. Hmmm.... can a medium dragon take a human-sized rider?

Should I drop any hints about the mill? I want to give them a fighting chance to find the cultists, but not give it away. I'll mention the stale bread next time they eat at the WW, and if they do assault the mill, I'll have the cultists blow it up and try to escape out of town, to lay low until they can set up the ambush.

That should be a really nice epic closing battle for the first chapter of the adventure.

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