Tolling Bell Cultist
(12/14/03 3:36 pm)
Having fun with Vranthis|
So after last session's boiling of Moolowik, the party finally met Vranthis. Now, you have to realize I had already instilled what pretty much amounts to dragon-fear in the players by dropping (false) hints of the "huge green dragon". I described the caves as enormous with 60' ceilings, dark, and creepy.
So they were thoroughly unnerved by the time they made it down the 5' ledge hugging the waterline leading to area 28, and reached the fork with the southwest tunnel going towards the platform room. The rogue calls for a listen check and I tell him that he seems to detect, at the edge of his hearing, a faint "whooshing" sound of an air current, as if a large body was moving quickly through a tight space (this being Vranthis flying towards them, entering the tunnel from the platform room). He almost jumped.
Then, of course, the dragon appears, finds the group conveniently in a straight line on the ledge, and uses his breath weapon. Nobody dies, but they are in a world of hurt. Next round, Vranthis uses his multiple attacks to drop the rogue (although not kill him), and then flies away, laughing evilly.
My decision is for Vranthis to use the next two rounds to fly (full move, 600'/round) all the way around to the pit room, squeeze into the ettin room, then follow the tracks to the water, get into the water, swim, and surprise the party from the back).
Its a madhouse. The group hasnt even bothered to ask me how big he really is, in their relative state of panic. As they regroup, they set everyone in formation facing the southwest tunnel. It takes a couple of rounds to get it all sorted out, when I tell them they hear the sound of a large body sliding into water...
So of course they all turn backwards and ready all sorts of actions "against the first opponent they see". Next round, and Vranthis breaths on them from underwater, not triggering any of the actions of course... then he climbs out of the water.
This does trigger their actions... those who are still up that is (they are minus a wizard and cleric now, although not dead again). The rogue has the highest DEX, so he jumps into the water and misses the dragon... the cleric would have gone next. Then comes the sorcerer... who casts his fireball... only to realize that because of Vranthis' proximity the fireball will engulf not only the dragon, but also the Rogue, himself and the ranger! Yep, our sorcerer is becoming very adept at frying the party
Vranthis completes his move by disappearing down the tunnel again. They are really freaking out. After healing the wounded (they are now pretty down on spells, and are not feeling too hot), they try to decide how to deal with things, when they hear a taunt coming from the tunnel "want treasure? come here to get it... puny humans!"
After another round, the sorcerer finally decides to use another fireball, and send it maximum distance down the tunnel. If it hits something along the way, good. Well, of course it does - it ignites the platform. So now they can see.
It takes them an hour (in real life) to tiptoe their way into the cavern and then start northwards. They try to taunt the dragon, but to no avail. The sorcerer then uses mage hand to move a cloak northwards, following it tepidly. As the cloak reaches the entrance to Vranthis' lair room, it is snatches from his control (opposed concentration checks on mage hand), and disappears into the room, only to reappear a moment later, with a piece of wood stuck inside so it appears like a floating body, jiggling this way and that, inviting them in...
So they follow. What else could they do? Vranthis plans to lure them in, then use the cloak to topple the pyramid as he descends from the southeastern niche ceiling where he is waiting (spider climb). The group hastens this plan by the sorcerer, who shoots his last fireball at the pyramid and calls the Girallon... at the same time melting all the gold in the cauldron into a huge 230 lbs. mess which includes the coins, gems, and statue.
Vranthis uses his first round to "mage armor" the girallon, then his breath weapon, then attacks... the girallon deals 58 HP of damage to the rogue on round 1, and the breath deals another 28, which would have killed the rogue had he not been in the midst of a barbarian rage... so he's only at -6 (grrr). A couple of rounds later, and having dropped two more characters (but none of them to -10! One went down to -8 ) Vranthis decides its time to go (down to 7 HP), and flies out south and east... unfortunately for him, the Rogue was already healed, and uses his boots of striding and springing to move fast enough to find Vranthis in the tunnel and kill him.
It was a fun fight, and certainly memorable for the group... when I told them after the battle that the carcass was no larger than the Girallon, they wanted to kill me
Edited by: lightnng at: 12/14/03 3:40 pm