(3/17/02 1:41 pm)
Sierk's Saturday Sessions|
OK, my campaign got back on track yesterday.
We played several precursors to RTTOEE. The last of which involved the party stopping an evil magus from assassinating and overthrowing a LG Duke. The magus had a symbol of the Elder Elemental Eye on him. Consulting with several knowledgable clerics identified the mark, and pointed the crew towards Hommlet to see if this marked the resurgence of this vile cult.
The party reached Hommlet, talked with Elmo, and found out about hobgoblins at the site of the old temple. They stormed the temple, and after many close calls managed to prevail (this one was documented in another thread where I cautioned against running the Old Temple first with 4th level characters).
This session began with the party deciding to go to Verbobonc in order to sell much of the loot they found at the old temple (Joman Dart's cash limit having been quickly exceeded). They did so, and picked up some scrolls, wands, cloaks of resistance, etc.
Recap of the characters (they all went up a level at the temple):
Xymlluan: Elven Ranger 5th
Isvindel: Human Druid 5th (future Shifter)
Birgitte: Gnome Sorceress 5th
Lorien: Elven Rogue 4/Wizard 1 (future Arcane Archer)
Urzin: NPC Human Bbn1/Cleric(Kord) 4 (future Templar)
The party returned to Hommlet, and had dinner at the Inn. Previously, they had talked with Vesta, but this time Maridosen took their orders, being rude enough in the process that Isvindel decided to spend the night outdoors with the ranger (who never stays at inns).
They also saw a drunk fighter-type listening to a rather poor musician. Isvindel began talking with him, eventually telling him about the Old Temple. That got his interest, and he started asking about fire and magic. Eventually (I had fun with this scene), they agreed to take Xaod along next time they went out.
Maridosen overheard some of this and contacted Chatrilon. Chat came over and insinuated himself into the party. And so did Redithidoor.
Next morning, they were about to leave (to return to the Old Temple). Xaod came up with a hangover, but said that Haunor let him know (entirely too early in the morning) that Spugnoir was missing, presumably he'd been at the moathouse. Chat was not pleased with this turn, trying to steer the party back to the temple. Nor was he pleased to see "Twinkletoes" the bard in the group.
After some chatting with Renne and Haunor, the party began trekking out to the moathouse to find Spugnoir. They met Ol' Del along the way (I tried to play him like Grandpa Simpson). They didn't believe in the dragon at all. They made it to the moathouse without any incidents. At which point U charged out at them. And here I will indulge in a blow-by-blow as this is one of the most well-known fights in the module:
U: Charge Power Attack (2), Bites Chat for 9
Xym: Longsword for 10
Lorien: Arrow for 9
Redithidor: Whips out his recorder
Urzin: Greatsword for 13
Isvindel: Casts Shilelagh
Birgitte: Wand or magic missiles for 3
Xaod: Longsword misses
Chat: Rapier misses
U: Begins hover, hits Xym for a total of 28
Xym: Longsword misses, shortsword misses in the blinding cloud
Lorien: Arrow misses (too much wind)
Redithior: Bravely continues his inspiring song
Urzin: Greatsword misses
Isvindel: Moves, trying to get out of range
Birgitte: Tries to cast sleep
U: Hover, 23 points to Xaod (spreading attacks to play with them, overconfident)
Lorien: Moves to wall
Redithidor: Had enough, tries to find his way out
Urzin: Casts Sound Burst, which becomes the turning point of the battle. 1 point of damage, but U rolled a 3 on his save which failed. I ruled that his hover stopped at the point he became stunned, though blinding effect lasted for one more round.
Xaod: backs up 5' and lays hands on himself.
Lorien: slippers of Spider Climb climbs up wall outside blinding affect, readies an arrow
Urzin: Misses, and now everyone can see
Isvindel: casts flaming sphere (save made)
Birgitte: Magic Missile (6)
Xaod: Longsword for 9
Chat: Rapier for 5
U: Flies up to the tower
Xym: drops sword, pulls out shortbow (misses)
Lorien: Arrow for 6
Urzin: drops sword, misses
Isvindel: directs his sphere and moves
Birgitte: magic missile for 12
Xaod: Arrow for 7
Chat: Arrow misses
U: Breathes a line of fire (26). Urzin (saves), Birgitte (saves), Birgitte's familiar (saves), Xaod (saves), Chat (saves) are all hit.
Xym: Arrow for 6
Lorien: Arrow for 9
Redithidoor: watch him run
Urzin: Arrow misses
Isvindel: cure light
Birgitte: Magic Missile for 9... U crashes to the ground, dying.
Whew. But wait, there's more. Post-battle, Xaod makes sure U is dead, and lots of cure light wand charges are expelled. Chat goes out to find Redithidoor (party was a little suspicous at that).
The party begins to look through the upper moathouse. Meanwhile, Chat has killed Redithidoor, used his wand to become invisible, and now attempts to sneak through the lair to the steps to warn the crew down below. Several characters beat his move silently role and heard something. That includes Birgitte, who whips out a scroll of see invisible, and is surprised to see Chat sneaking through the room. The party calls after him to stop. He ignores that and continues to the staircase. Isvindel tries to cast faerie fire, but Chat is already on the stairs.
The party begins a chase, with Isvindel in the lead. They move to the stairs, but Isvindel can't see any further. Everburning torch is produced and given is Birgitte (in second). Isvindel proceeds downward, where he is set upon by two gnolls. They are quickly dispatched, highlighted by Urzin jumping over Birgitte and taking one of them out as he falls to the ground.
The party hears some doors and some faint voices. They proceed into the room. Xym opens the door to find Spugnoir, but meanwhile just about everyone else is going eastward toward where they heard the doors. Several doors later, Birgitte opens the door with the cleric and two gnolls. She fails a random action (drops everything) and gets attacked a couple times (she's blocking the door). Another failed save (command) and she's on the floor. Urzin charges through and fells the cleric (20 hp damage) with one mighty blow. Gnolls are dispatched, party looks at items on the cloth.
Urzin opens the door to the skeleton room; Birgitte fills the room with a mass of webs, and Urzin then manages to destroy the entire lot with his turning attempt.
Back at the ranch, Xym's saying, "Uh, guys, I got the spoon guy, shouldn't we head back?" But sounds of footsteps are heard through the wall. Eventually, Lorien finds and opens the door, revealing the staircase. But then the second secret door bursts open and two gnolls and Garrik burst out. At the same time the back of the party is attacked by 4 more gnolls. Chat got to the gnolls, got some to loop through the secrect stairs, and come back around to try to trap them all. The clerics couldn't be found in time. The party screwed up their plans a bit by opening the secret door.
Quickly, the gnolls are dispatched (sleep takes Garrik down). But when the sorcereress gets back to the rear of the group, she sees Chat getting ready to attack Urzin. She calls out a warning so Chat sneak attacks Urzin (he'd been trying for a death attack but only had 2 rounds of study at that point). By this time I was really tired, we'd been going over 8 hours. Chat didn't turn visible (oops). But he succumbed to a scroll of Tasha's hideous laughter, and was quickly located and killed (strangely, he had a scroll of Tasha's laughter on his body).
The party finally agrees to leave (during Chat's attack, Lorien Xaod and Isvindel went insvestigating up the back stairs). But then a ghast nauseates Urzin, and the ghouls come out. Xym started to become paralyzed by a ghoul, but then the DM realized he was an elf (told you I was tired).
Finally, they leave, encountering a dire badger on the way back. I ended the session there. Spugnoir hadn't had a chance to tell them what he knew about what was going on. So at this point the party is still a bit confused. They saw and recognized the Elder Elemental signs. But I think the party is still fixated on the site of the Old Temple (even though all they found were hobgoblins), instead of finishing the moathouse (where they found clerics of the EEE) alive and doing something. Hopefully they won't need much of a clue bat.
Chat's plan turned out poorly, and leaves the clerics all alone. I think I'm going to have another crew of gnolls having been out in the coutryside when U showed up. They'll now be in the moathouse protecting the clerics.
(3/18/02 12:40 am)
Re: Sierk's Saturday Sessions|
Hi Sjerk, and thanks for a good read. I really liked the blow-by-blow story of the fight with U.
One thing: OK, so you missed the clerics in the great fight - fair enough. But why use more gnolls? There's an almost unlimited supply of ghouls and ghasts in the warrens. Or perhaps you could use the cultists in town (that would also be a good way of pointing them away from the Old Temple).
I think the reason why I disagree with just adding more gnolls is that your players have done well, and should be "rewarded" with a somewhat easier fight. OTOH, if your players will start making too many out-of-game remarks about the p*ssy fights their DM sends them, then you should up the ante.
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
(3/24/02 7:35 am)
How big is your clue bat?|
So, this session picked up immediately where last one ended up.
The characters returned Spugnoir to his shop, and had a chat with him. They learned of the cult having uncovered a hidden chamber underneath the dungeon, as well as the secret entrance to 36.
They then talked with Y'dey (having learned that she's the most powerful cleric in town). Y'dey was disturbed by the news of the EEE returning. She asked them to investigate further and let her know what they found out.
So the next morning the party went back to the moathouse (despite the protests of Lorien, who wished to return to the old temple). Xaod was ambivalent about returning (actually, since the party didn't really want him he left town to consult with clerics of Heironeous). I played the moathouse straight up: Geynor Ton left for Hommlet, leaving Ysslansh alone in the chamber (well OK, with Festrath).
The party meticulously searched through the upper moathouse, spotting the gray ooze, and dispatching it without injury. Xym and Isvindel grabbed some dragonhide (the dragon was still there, all other bodies had been removed). They returned to the dungeons, and extensively searched them. The portcullis had been dropped, but Xym, Urzin and Isvindel together lifted it. They found lots of nothing until they found and read Geynor Ton's journal. They learned of the "obelisk", the mention of Chat, and breezed by the mention of the flourmill.
So they continued searching. They noted the stairs leading down to the chamber (I was going to have the ghast jump out lower down), and took a right hand turn. So they hit the crypt and found the secret door back to the "hall of the undead" as they called it. They returned to the crypt, and began searching the ghoul caves. They made their way eventually to the secret shrine.
Aha! The Obelisk! They searched the 4-sided statue and found what was inside, taking those things. Isvindel searched the altar and activated it. As it started shifting, he jumped back. Eventually it stopped shifting. More turns and twists through the caverns, and they found their way back out. Urzin covninced them to take a look at the rooms they missed (gnoll leader's room, and the steps to the obelisk).
They finally headed down to the obelisk, and dispatched the ghast quickly. Ysslansh they met on the far side of the pit. He was also dispatched quickly. Now came an interesting quirk. The party cast light on Ysslansh's dead, stripped body. Then they tossed the body down the pit, so they could see what was down there. Fairly soon after it landed, tentacles writhed and the body disappeared. Perhaps this was a mistake, maybe I should have left him there (as he was already dead). The party decided not to disturb the "creature", even though they now were a little in doubt whether the 4-sided statue was the aforementioned obelisk.
So, they decide to return to the ghoul caves. I had them search for 2 hours, finding nothing. In the meantime, Geynor and Chenashi return, realize something is further amiss, revive the skeletons and wait for the party in the dragon lair. Eventually the party surfaces and a battle ensues. Geynor is captured alive (Chenashi called out his name when he was slept by the sorcerer) (BTW, he was also wielding Thaque's mace, which they didn't bother to detect magic on). Isvindel decides to take him back to Y'dey gagged, blindfolded and tied up.
With all the time they spent, it was late in the day and they camped. Yeth hound attacked overnight, no problem (Xym and Birgitte failed their howl saves). Next day, Geynor tried the sit, don't walk trick (I wanted to see what the party would do). Isvindel tried to charm him (no go). They threatened some (lousy intimidate checks). Eventually the DM (and the players) got bored, so he resumed walking.
On the return to town, they made a scene marching Geynor through town. Elmo fairly quickly arrives, and insists on taking Geynor into custody. The party doesn't like this, but agrees if Y'dey can question him at the jail. Elmo reluctantly agrees. Questioning begins, with Geynor leaking some information (some of it verified by Y'dey's detect lies). He didn't answer when asked if any cult members were in town.
Later, the party chats with Y'dey, and now they learn all sorts of things:
* Obex (from Ysslansh's body) is a symbol of Tharizdun.
* The 4-sided statue is not an obelisk
* History of the moathouse (including Lareth)
* What Tharizdun is
* There are probably more cultists in town
* The troglodyte they killed was not Festrath mentioned in the journal.
So, they're pretty sure something might be going on in town, and that they're looking for cultist activity. So of course (hrm) the decide to return to the abandoned temple where they had found only hobgoblins when they were there before. They hadn't searched the tower, so they did so now.
The tower had been taken over by Alubya (promoted to 4th level adept). Another 2 hobgoblins arrived, plus another elite in the week or so since they had been here. They holed up in the tower (more defensible). The party arrived and heard dogs barking (they made enough noise they were heard). So the party continues towards the tower, being shot at by 4 crossbows per round from the arrow slits. Not many hits as the party approaches. They get right to the door (Xym fails to kick it open), and 4 flasks of alchemists fire drop. Urzin gets a direct hit, the rest only splashes. Birgitte uses a scroll of knock to open the barred door, which opens, and Xym gets more bolts coming at him.
To make a long story short (too late), the party dispatches 10 hobgoblins, 1 elite, Alubya, 6 dogs (one brutally slain while it was slept), and 4 unarmored goblins. In looting phase, Birgitte is attacked by the rats, making a fort saving throw after being bitten.
So the party begins to return (did not find secret tunnel), and the session ends. RL, this session ran from 2:30 to 12:30, with an hour break for dinner. In another thread, I'm going to ask for suggestions for next episode...
(4/8/02 5:08 pm)
It all starts to make sense...|
Saturday Session became Sunday Session, after a week hiatus for Easter. Short session, only about 5 1/2 hours. DM realized after the fact he should have read his last post beforehand to refresh his memory.
OK, if you followed another thread of mine, I was considering having the cultists kill Vesta, trash Hommlet and leave with the wagon. I decided not to do that. Instead, Geynor Ton had been set free by "Elmo" (really doppel-Jaroo), and the wagon crew was at the moathouse loading what was left, basically just the 4-sider. Geynor and Toridan were at the moathouse with the wagoners.
Good thing I didn't spend too much time figuring out what happened to Hommlet... the party went straight to the moathouse from the Old Temple trail. They noticed recent wagon tracks in the packed earthen trail. Oddly, the party actually thought about things rather than just rushing in.
Lorien was invis'ed (Chat's wand), and sent scouting. She has slippers of spider climb, so she climbed up the outside of the moathouse wall, peered over and got a look at what they were going to be facing. My wagon crew was a CLE 5, a CLE 2 (same as Chenashi), and 3 human F1's. Also buffered by Geynor and Toridan, with the Grick not yet released.
Birgitte was sent off to the side, so she could see the courtyard (which is where everyone was) through the broken down wall. She webbed the stairs up to the Great Hall to prevent retreat, and used her owl familiar (Hermione) to alert the other characters that she had done her part. The remainder of the group rushed in (traipsing past Utreshimon's rotting corpse). The wagon group was quickly dispatched, including the grick, which had been let out of its cage by one of the fighters.
Looking in the cart, they find Elmo all trussed up. He insisted that he knew nothing of letting Geynor free. He says he was scouting the moathouse to look things over, but was captured. After a couple cure lights, he heads back to town. They also try to break the 4-sider, but had enough trouble that they just dumped it into the moat.
It was then off to Spugnoir's secret entrance (they almost didn't find it despite the directions). They made their way in, noticed the stone rat. Isvindel (the druid) deduced that it had been turned to stone, and was not some odd sculpture. First two cockatrices were taken out (Xym made a save). Third cockatrice turned Isvindel into stone.
Isvindel was hauled back to the wagon, and eventually to Y'dey. 500 gold out of the party's coffers (Lorien wasn't pleased), turned Isvindel back to his (rather surly) self.
Back to the Welcome Wench, where Vesta apologized in advance for the price of food being raised again, but the flourmill raised prices again. They blamed it on the drought (it just rained that night for the first time in weeks). The party didn't pick up on that reference to Geynor's journal. As the DM was walking out the door to pick up dinner, Urzin (NPC) says, "Flourmill. Why does that sound familiar?"
The party eventually remembered, which became their next course of action. Sart (Vesta) met them at the door. The group was there under the pretense of just looking things over (the gnome was interested in how it worked). Vesta wasn't interested in letting them in, but then they flashed an EEE medallion. So she took them to the cellar. Master Dunrat, who had seen them coming, was ready for the group. He cast Hold Person on Xym (succeeded), and Vesta turned around and cast burning hands on the first three (Xym, Urzin, Isvindel).
Fairly easy battle with Dunrat, Grune, Vesta and a Toridan clone. Funniest part came when Birgitte webbed half the room (with Dunrat in it). Dunrat made a concentration check, and commanded Birgitte to "come over here". Save failed, and she walked into her own web. Lorien tried pulling her out. Then Isvindel did the same. Then Urzin tried, but got stuck in the web himself (after he succeeded in Hold Person on Dunrat). Isvindel then got caught. Finally, Lorien just lit the webs on fire from the lamp, and everyone in the web took damage. Dunrat was coup'ed. Done.
They now will be heading to Rastor sooner or later. They might stop in Verbobonc for more re-equiping. They might even go back to the Obelisk chamber (never did go down the pit). They might brave Nulb for some odd reason. Next session won't happen this weekend, not sure when it'll be. All characters will start next session at 6th level (they started mid-4th).
(4/8/02 10:46 pm)
Re: It all starts to make sense...|
Short session, only about 5 1/2 hours.
Short? In my campaigns that would have been a relatively long session, since we tend to play at most 4 hours. Nice story by the way.
(4/10/02 4:15 pm)
Re: It all starts to make sense...|
Short? In my campaigns that would have been a relatively long session, since we tend to play at most 4 hours.
We've played 10 or 11 sessions with this crew. This was the second shortest. Most go at least 8 hours.
(4/22/02 12:40 pm)
Re: It all starts to make sense...|
...Well, I thought it was making sense.
Saturday Session became a split Sunday session (player of Isvindel had a softball commitment), which interrupted us midway through.
When we last left the group, they had cleaned out the wagon crew and the Hidden Cult. Jaroo (never encountered) and Maridosen are still alive, but have left Hommlet (players don't know that, though).
Through two weeks of player emails, they finally decided that they didn't really agree on what to do next. This crew is amazing, you should see us order pizza. Or do we want Chineese? Cheesesteaks? Whatever. Your turn to decide. I decided last time. No shrooms. So pizza? Oh, whatever.
Anyhoo, the party all levelled up to 6th, which dramatically increased their power level. Lorien (elf arcane archer in training) took Rapid Shot feat. Xym (Quick Draw), now gets 3 attacks for a full attack option. Isvindel took alertness to finish his Shifter prereqs. Urzin (NPC) is now Bbn 1/ Cle 5, so he's got 3rd level spells now, and took endurance for his Templar prereqs. Birgitte took spell focus (evocation), and lightning bolt as her 3rd level spell.
Party eventually votes (3-2) to return to the moathouse to investigate the "creature", which is really the obelisk. They begin the descent. Isvindel changes into an eagle, Xym works the rope. Partway down the second pulley system, the Grell attacks. He misses Birgitte (aim for the short ones to pull them away). Urzin takes a swipe (hits), and Xym continues to lower the platform. Urzin begins to lose balance. I played the platform as more flavor than anything, having everyone rolling lots of reflex saves, but allowing others to catch them before falling. They kill the Grell, which falls and bounces off the platform, causing more reflex saves.
Soon, Festrath shows up, flying. There were several DC25 spot checks, so they see him coming. Lorien calls out, "Festrath!". He pauses, and thus begins a dialog where the party tries to convince him that Naquent sent them to fetch him. The party makes several blunders, and he eventually disbelieves them. He summons 3 dire hyenas onto the platform, adding to the fun. I forgot to have him saw at the rope, but he would have died even quicker that way. Several will saves (Hold Person on Urzin, Random Action on Xym) later, Festrath goes down from a lightning bolt and arrows (and a couple eagle attacks).
On the bottom, the party looks at the pool, and the signs. They spot the archway and go to investigate. Xym touches it and out pops another grell. Quickly killed. He then does it AGAIN just to make sure. Another one quickly killed.
Eventually they investigate the point where the pillar meets the obelisk. Xym touches it (with a rapier, but I ruled that was close enough). Here's how I ran it: I took Xym aside, and gave him the spiel. He set the fruit down. Everyone else was taken care of individually as well (they all followed). Birgitte was the only one to take a bite. IMC, nothing immediate happened. They compared stories, and Birgitte admitted to eating it. Made the party nervous.
Deciding nothing else could be done, the party sent Isvindel down to collect the animals (riding dog and wolf companion), and they left for Hommlet. They clued in Y'dey, then left for a forced march to Rastor. They took some subdual damage along the way, and had a couple random encounters. 2 gargoyles gave no problems at all, but the 5 ogre highwaymen did. Xym was in the lead, and took 4 attacks (3 hits) when they charged. Total of 45 damage, which put him at -3. His wolf companion also went down. The rest of the party scrambled to come up with something. Birgitte got in line to catch two with a lightning bolt. Lorien got a couple arrows off. Urzin cast sound burst, which stunned 2 of them. Next round Lorien got her sneak attack against them, killing one. Eventually they go down, and everyone is healed.
Rastor finally comes into view, in all its squalor. They stop at the gray lodge, ask after Naquent (who?) and Tal Chammish, and find he has an herb shop just down the road. They also mention the crater in passing, which causes the innkeep to point out the general direction. They then wander off that way. Isvindel takes to wing again (with his 2 eagle companions) for a scouting run. He finds it without trouble, and does a flyby, which ended when he and his eagle companions all took 21 hp from a lightning tower. He returned (sans companions), gave his report. The party turned back to look for temples and such. Met with Rerrid, who they thought was not nearly helpful enough. IMC, he's still a bit clueless about who is worshipping at the crater, and what is going on there. So he couldn't tell them much, in fact the party had more info than he did.
Session ended there, with the party ready to bluff their way through the gate wearing ochre robes. Or maybe stopping to see Tal Chammish first.
BTW, a couple things I failed to mention. Isvindel hates orcs, which makes Rastor interesting for him. Also, Birgitte has started to hear some whispering in her head since eating the fruit. So the party is a little suspicious of her. Her stat increase (str) happened about a week after the fruit incident.
2nd edit... there was another random encounter. 4 hobgoblins on the way to the moathouse. They double moved into Xym's range. 2 longswords, a shortsword and a cleave took all 4 down before anyone else had a chance to act. It was a bit amusing.
Edited by: SIERK at: 4/22/02 5:13:44 pm
(4/28/02 7:11 am)
Assault of the main gate|
OK, so the party decided to stop by at Tal Chammish's "herb shop". After a (long) discussion of whether to wear robes into his shop, the party decided to put on a few EEE signs. Their cover story is that they were sent by Festrath to help out at the temple, and they were just asking where to go in the temple. While their story was kind of weak, their bluff beat his sense motive. A little suspicious, he told them just to go to the gates and talk with Mereclar.
They did so, just walking up and knocking. Birgitte (the spokeswoman, the only one with a decent charisma) tried talking to the human guard (who became quickly overwhelmed with her chatter). He sent one of the guards off to get Mereclar to deal with these weirdos.
Mereclar came by and started asking questions. They gave the same cover story. Mereclar was not familiar with Festrath, so asked which Temple they were going to. That baffled the party. Coupled with a miserable bluff roll, Mereclar decided they were intruders. Ah, well, so much for bluffing... they'd have had a better chance had they been using Naquent's name.
Mereclar ushered them towards the Howler room (doors were closed). The Area 3 humans (the ones that opened the door) were trailing along behind, and the party noticed the Area 2 gnolls. The party was feeling very nervous about this, but were still following along.
Mereclar opened the door (displaying the howler), then bellowed about intruders. Thus began an apocolyptic battle that lasted the rest of the session.
First off, Xym shuts the door. Birgitte gets 3 humans with a lightning bolt, the 4th is quickly dispatched. The others get ready. In a surprise move, Birgitte whips out a scroll of Arcane Lock, and locks the door to Area 6. Break DC goes up by 10, so a break DC of 28 is pretty hefty. At first, Mereclar and crew don't want to chop through the door. And the gnolls and humans take a couple rounds to get ready, and unchaining the Howler, etc takes a little time. So this crew is temporarily not in the battle.
The Area 2 gnolls are in the battle, but not for long. Urzin is cleaving away. Lorien is using rapid shot. Area 4 gnolls are all slept by Birgitte. Terrenygit shows up with 6 zombies. Those are turned by Urzin, and begin fleeing (technically, they should have been destroyed but I forgot and it did add some flavor wondering when they'd come back). Terrenygit got off a couple nice spells, including random action on Xym (he hit himself), and hold on Birgitte. He was flanked by Isvindel, which stopped his 5' cast strategy. Tried another spell, relying on his AC26 to protect him, but both Isvindel and Xym somehow got their AoO in. He didn't last much longer than that.
Area 5 humans showed up from the back side of the party, so Urzin crashes into them. He drops his greatsword. He takes some damage from those bastardswords picking up his sword, but quickly cleaves through them.
Meanwhile, Xym opens the door to area 12, which causes those Zombies to move towards him. He takes care of a couple, then Urzin turns the rest (these are destroyed).
By that time, Wormspike has given up hope of bursting through the door without breaking it, and all gnolls and humans are ready for action. Mereclar is riding the Howler, who destroys the door. At this point, all the PC's are clustered in the northern hallway.
Xym comes to take a look, and sees the mess in front of him: Howler and Mereclar, 10 humans, 8 gnolls and a freaky looking ogre. Birgitte comes out and webs the passageway. The Howler (with Mereclar riding), and Wormspike are not caught, basically everyone else is. I didn't want to bother rolling a bunch of strength checks for 18 characters, so basically those guys were out of the battle for now.
The Howler laid into Xym. That size-advanced damage was brutal. Xym went down to 7 hp. Wormspike lashed Birgitte, which took her down a fair chunk (nice thing about being an 18 Con gnome, she actually has a lot of hps).
Xym and Birgitte hightailed it out the front gate. The remaining crew was caught in the northern passageway. They all retreat into Area 3. Fortunately for everyone, the Howler tried to get the characters in Area 3. Lots of claw swiping, but he couldn't reach them through the door (Howlers aren't brilliant, and the DM didn't want a TPK).
Wormspike did follow Birgitte and Xym, but was taken down from a few arrows (+3 mighty longbow) and a magic missile.
Isvindel turned himself into a snake, was helped through an arrow slit to join the front gate party (now Birgitte, Xym and Isvindel). He healed them a little (back in human form), and Birgitte sent a lightning bolt through the web, killing several of them, but opening a passageway for some of the trailing bad guys.
In the meantime, Urzin has healed himself, quaffed a potion of shield, had a potion of endurance dropped down his throat and gotten ready for the attack. Lorien stuck a couple arrows in the Howler (just about max damage, +2 mighty shortbow (+1 enchant), point blank range). So the Howler retreated southward.
Urzin psychs himself up and flies into a rage. He's hoping his 24 AC and 68 hp will be able to keep him alive. He absorbs an AoO charging in (23hp). I was ruling that the quills required a full attack. Urzin hit for 20 some-odd. Lorien follows him out into the hall and shoots. Misses. Full attack by the Howler and Urzin is all the way down to 16 hp. One more gasp, and Urzin rolls a 19. Confirms with a 20 on his critical. Does 38 damage, which is more than enough to kill the Howler. Whew.
Meanwhile, Xym and Birgitte are methodically killing gnolls and humans, not giving them a chance to escape. Sleep and arrows take them down, along with Isvindel and his club.
Mereclar is dumped from the Howler, which he'd been riding (I ruled that riding a huge beast didn't allow him to attack from its back with a longsword). He gets a shot in on Urzin, dropping him to 10 hp. Lorien critical fumbles her shot, and breaks her bowstring. Urzin chops mightily (17 str, +3 Bull Str, +4 rage), and hurts him but good.
Wrapping up the battle, coup de graces all around, didn't give anyone a chance to surrender or flee. Urzin takes a healing potion for 2 hp. Drops out of rage, taking him to 0, but begins healing himself, so that's ok. He suggests questioning one of them, but the party nixes that and kills 'em all. They listen for sounds (including those fleeing zombies). Nothing. The zombies stopped moving once the 10 turn rounds ran out.
Standard looting procedure comes into play. Gathering all weapons/armor, casting detect magic on everything. They didn't find Wormspike's loot in his room, but grabbed everything magical. The party did a little exploring, hit rooms 1-17 except for 13 (those trogs saw fleeing zombies, heard the Howler, heard it die, etc, so they are outta there).
The party has decided to camp out in the Human bunk room (area 9). A whole bunch of bodies are strewn about, the Earth Temple has been alerted, and the party is just about out of spells. I'll have to figure out what actions are taken during the night.
(4/30/02 10:05 am)
Re: Assault of the main gate|
hehe. im lovin' your game Sierk. your players seem familiar to me and seem to act (in battle at least) like my players quite a bit. thanks for posting.
Abri Melara-- dont drive without car insurance. its mean.
(5/7/02 4:40 pm)
Re: Assault of the main gate|
Yet another Sunday Session. Sat was my sister-in-law's wedding (and dangit, someone got the chainsaw off the registry before we tried to buy it).
So the party begins the session by deciding to sleep outside the main gate (which is now completely empty). No randoms, night passes quietly.
Next morning they head back in the gate and take a look north. They find that both passageways out of area 13 are blocked. Hunh, no secret doors, either. In truth, the earth temple was warned by the trogs from area 13, and stoneshaped the passageways to dissuade attacks for the time being.
I figured the group would just head south (they had already found the mining tracks). But no, they threw me for a loop. Thus began the assault on the South Gate.
The South gate was unprepared, so the characters had the advantage. The human on the platform gets off two shots, but misses as he shouts for help (no one was wearing temple garb). He didn't last long, despite the +7 cover bonus I gave him. Two arrow shots and he's dead.
Kellial and the ogres burst from 78, with Kellial and the humans shooting arrows while the ogres charge forth. The human archers succumb to a sleep spell, and the ogres begin to mix it up in melee. With their 16 AC, they get hit early and often.
As the ogres start to go down, the gnolls charge from 79. Several of them go down to another sleep spell from Birgitte. Meanwhile Isvindel, Xym and Urzin are mixing it up, as Lorien scales the wall (slippers of spider climb), and heads for the platform to shoot from.
Kellial begins to lay out some hurt with his longsword, and now Choranth and Fachish have entered the fray. Choranth's skeletons fill the entire hall as they come down the corridor from the Air Temple. Birgitte lets loose with a lightning bolt, catching several skeletons plus Choranth.
Up until now, the fight has been pretty easy. But now Choranth and Fachish start laying in with spells. Xym and Isvindel make a couple hold person saves. Birgitte zaps another lightning bolt, and takes Choranth down to negative hps. Kellial and the ogres (now dead) have taken Urzin way down to 9 hp. By now the ogres are dead, and Urzin does a step back hold person which Kellial fails miserably. Xym coup's him.
Fachish cures Choranth with a cure mod scroll. Another lightning bolt, but Choranth makes her save and stays alive long enough to run. Fachish sticks around, and casts confusion. Xym, Urzin and Birgitte fail their saving throws. 7 rounds worth of the frontline fighters and the sorcerer basically out of comission. They turned out to be fairly lucky; when they attacked nearest creature, they rolled for who they attacked. They never rolled attacks on party members.
Basically the only things left at this point were a couple gnolls, the huge skeletons, and Fachish. So the skeletons didn't do much damage, but the party didn't do much either. Fachish also managed to blind Isvindel, which took him mostly out of the fray. Lorien failed a will save and was commanded to jump from the platform. 3d6 took her down almost farther than she's ever been (she doesn't get hit much). She failed a random action next round, too.
By now Birgitte and Urzin have wandered out the gate, leaving a confused Xym beating a skeleton with a longsword and a shortsword, a blind Isvindel, and a reluctant melee combatant in Lorien. Fachish is barely hurt, but he isn't feeling good about the battle. He casts darkness (oops, I did a close range spell instead of touch). Now Lorien and Xym are effectively blind (as is Isvindel). One skeleton is still trying to hit Xym, without much luck.
Fachish uses his summon monster for a fiendish crocodile, which begins attacking Lorien. She tries to pull out a wand of shield, and zaps herself. Oops, wand of magic missile. Isvindel pulls out a wand of cure light, and heals her.
By now Urzin and Birgitte have finished wandering off. They return and try to do something. Birgitte blindly webs the passageway (darkness blocked line of sight), and Urzin heals himself. Lorien and Isvindel finally hit the crocodile several times and kill it. Xym kills the last skeleton.
By now, Fachish has retreated towards the Arena pit. Choranth has 2hp and is holding at area 71. Oh, Graud and the other gnolls had fought and been killed a while back.
The bad guys have adopted defensive postures, so they didn't pursue the party when they took a look around areas 80-73. Bodies are looted, Fachish's notes are rifled (and taken), the Air Temple censer and trumpet are taken.
Beaten down and low on spells, the party now decides to retreat and finally head to Verbobonc (they still have been carting around stuff from Festrath and the hidden cult).
The party is fairly rich; Lorien will most likely get a flaming bow, and Xym might get a shocking longsword. Urzin might sell off some more things and get mithril full plate. Not sure what Isvindel will come back with, nor Birgitte. Everyone levelled to 7th. Isvindel will be a Druid 6/Shifter 1, and everyone else goes up their primary classes.
Now both gates are alerted. Tal Chammish has been notified. Fachish will be trying his durndest to get his censer back. And the DM has to figure out how to restock and such.
(5/12/02 5:24 am)
Re: Assault of the main gate|
This past session started with a heck of a lot of cleanup activities.
First, the party wanted to discuss exactly how to divvy loot (who kept what, how "exact" to make equal shares). Anyway, that all settled, the party had around 5500 apiece after buying a couple group wands of cure light, a Bag of Holding(3), and a couple scrolls for the group.
Notable items included: gloves of dex for Lorien (22 dex now, sheesh). Cloak of Resistance +2 for Birgitte. Gauntlets of Strength for Xym. Ring of Sustenance for Isvindel. Boots of Speed for Urzin.
Also, they had to finish levelling. Isvindel decided to go Druid 7, instead of starting his Shifter PrC. Everyone else went up primary classes.
And one more thing... if you've followed my posts you know exactly how confused my players have been. So I had a member of the "Watchers for the Coming Sunset" (a bardic college from Song and Silence whose goal is investigating prophesies of the end of the world (Birgitte hopes to become a member some day)) come by and give them info.
Basically, he told them: The history of the CRM (dwarves mined, doomdreamers took it over), the general layout of it (4 elemental temples, bridges, inner and outer fanes), goal of DD is to release Tharizdun, etc.
He was vague on how the keys work. Also didn't know how they should go about their business, nor any of the politics of the temples.
He also told them that the influence of the cult is far reaching. Told them that the paladin Xaod (a paladin?!) had reported back to the Temple of Heironeous (after helping clear the moathouse), but hasn't been seen since. The party almost was thinking about trying to find Xaod (thank goodness they didn't, I'd've had to wing it). The main point of this was to try to convince them that trying to get external help just wasn't going to work, they had to do it themselves.
So, he left them with the following instructions: First, destroy all the temple alters. Next, find their way into the fanes and stop the doomdreamers.
The party went off (much relieved to finally have a clear sense of direction, and a task to accomplish). They decided to go back to the Air Temple, since that was the only alter they knew exactly where it was.
Along the road, there were 3 random encounters: 2 dire lions (which became a huge mess because neither the ranger or the druid wished to harm them). One was eventually killed, the other was left entangled. 2nd encounter: 5 orcs. Heh, that didn't take long. 3rd encounter: a Bulette, which really went down faster than I thought it would.
Here's what happened in the South Gate in the week+:
1. Fachish used his scroll to raise Kellial
2. Kellial was given the Sword of Air
3. Most of the killed-off mooks were zombified
4. An Air Elemental was summoned
5. Temple is "wary"
So the group decides to go and knock on the door. Not sure exactly what they were expecting to have that do. Anyhow, a few rounds later crossbow bolts become streaming out at them. The lowest AC of the group was around 20, so they had a real hard time hitting. A few shots landed, nothing serious.
The door was barred, so Isvindel tried warp wood. 7 pounds worth of warp wasn't enough to do all that much. Then Birgitte used a scroll of Knock (which does free barred doors). Urzin pushed open the doors.
6 human guards were on the platform, all delaying until the door opened. They got a few shots off. The undead were immediately in front of the door. Urzin activated his boots, and Turned... all skeletons and a couple zombies crumbled.
Zombies attacked, but didn't do much. Archers and crossbowmen let loose, but still found it hard to hit. Choranth and Fachish began casting spells. Confusion got everyone except Urzin and Lorien right away. Urzin was able to back up and Dispel Magic. He rolled high on all his turning checks, and everyone was less confused (except for Xym's wolf).
Unfortunately for Urzin, he was Held next round (by Choranth). Other saves were made, and the party began hacking through the zombies. Isvindel showed why he took another druid level, and flamestriked the clerics and Kellial. Choranth went down, but Fachish healed her. Another flamestrike took the clerics to negative, and Kellial to 0. He started to run, but was caught by a magic missile.
The Air Elemental showed up (the idea was to have the undead beat on the party for a bit, since the elemental needs a little room). He started slamming away, then did his whirlwind gig. That caught most of the party. Xym got out of the whirlwind and was able to finish it off.
Cleanup didn't take much time. The platform archers had been mostly webbed. The crossbowmen didn't last long once they were intruded on (Birgitte had slept a couple of them. One of the crossbowmen pleaded for his life. They brought him out to be their guide.
Looting began and all that. The session ended right about there, since I was too tired to wrap things up.
(5/12/02 8:39 am)
Re: Assault of the main gate|
Great story! Please continue!
Do not Meddle in the Affairs of Dragons,
for you are Crunchy & good with Ketchup
(5/26/02 10:24 am)
Air Temple wrapup, Dwarven Temple, Fire Bridge|
Part 1: Air Temple Altar
So, last episode saw the Air Temple vanquished, except for one human guard who was taken prisoner. That human gave his name as Raff, and offered to be their guide. They accepted, and went to the Temple Altar, and began hacking away at it.
After a goodly chunk of time hacking away, the temple altar was destroyed. Which caused the ceiling to begin crumbling. Everyone was caught in the middle of it. Raff went down unconscious and Isvindel stayed back to drag him out. The crew fled to the northwest corridors.
Raff warned them of the hydra. He'd never seen it, and just said it was a really big monster with a few heads. They decided to go that way anyway, since they wanted to loop around to the Earth Temple (don't think they really understood how far it was between the temples).
Well, Lorien was walking by the secret door. She's an elf with a maxxed out rogue spot skill, wearing Eyes of Eagle. So of course she spotted the entrance to the Dwarven areas.
Part 2: Dwarven Temple
They poked around, looked at the Feasthall. Nothing interesting there. Temple Treasury was next. Lorien searched for traps (26, missed) while everyone clustered around. She picked the locks after a little work, then opened the door. Uh-oh. The stone block went smack on the entire party.
The block missed Urzin (natural 1), hit everyone else. Raff died in the rubble, as did Rebel (Birgitte's riding dog), and most notably Moony, Xym's wolf companion (hit-die enlarged). Everyone else survived, though with a fair amount of damage. Lots of cure light wand applications, and mourning the animal companions. Birgitte and Xym left to bury their animals, while Isvindel, Lorien and Urzin poked around to see what they nearly died for.
They were cheered by the sight of gold, lots of gold. Piles and piles, and... Interestingly, they decided to leave the statue of Moradin but took everything else. Taking the statue would have been just too sacrilegious.
They started exploring a little further, and took the emerald (save was made). They rejoined Xym and Birgitte, and went on. Just exploring, puncuated by the stone golem rising from the ground. Xym got smashed (down to nearly single digits in one round). Urzin smacked it good with his +1 sword, but that didn't do anything. Birgitte launched a lightning bolt that didn't have any effect. Uh-oh. They started running. I missed the 10' reach, so no AoO. Xym grabbed Birgitte on his way out and carried her under his arm. Heh.
Once the room was empty, the golem sunk back into the ground. The party was currently in two different parts, but they ran through that room to rejoin one another. Next up, Requilary.
So Lorien searches for traps, doesn't find the glyph, but has rogue evasion and isn't harmed. She and Isvindel each decide to go and grab one of the Hammerstones. Isvindel saves, but Lorien misses both saves. She's now a dwarf, who has seen someone trying to violate the spheres. She attacks Isvindel, while telling him to go away, these are her spheres.
Luckily, Urzin has 2 dispel magics in his list. The first one turns her back into an elf (failed caster check for domination), the second one removes the domination. The party proceeds, and avoids the trap at the door.
Part 3: Orc Caves
OK, a bit of background. Isvindel was raised by a druidic community which was destroyed by a band of marauding orcs. He hates orcs. He rips their arms off, beats them to a pulp once their dead, all that.
So, the party makes their way into area #60. Arrows fly from the darkness. They toss an everburning torch and see the warriors. They let loose some arrows of their own. But then the women scream and they see some of the children. Isvindel is enraged by the sight of orcs, so he starts charging in. Everyone else kind of decides to let these people be. But they can't convince Isvindel.
Birgitte webs the area, trying to prevent Isvindel from killing them. He flamestrikes the area. Xym tackles him, but Isvindel eventually frees himself from the grapple. Urzin tries but fails to help out. Birgitte tries a sleep spell (not enough HD affected). Isvindel avoids Urzin's Hold Person spell. Xym tries attacking with swords, but misses AC24 (barkskin, etc).
Eventually, the party decides it's had enough. Urzin doesn't want to hurt Isvindel. Isvindel launches another flamestrike, and then slaughters the women and children. The party leaves Isvindel to his slaughter, and leaves for other caves.
They sleep (but don't kill) another party of archers. Then they make their way back the way they came. Urzin eventually volunteers to go back and get Isvindel, who is wandering alone.
Isvindel encounters Murant and that band. They can't hit his AC, especially once he quaffs a shield potion. Murant eventually goes down, and Isvindel hacks his way through the rest. They grapple him, but he shifts into a bear and kills them as they flee.
Urzin finds him, and they go back the other way. The party isn't thrilled with him, but doesn't really say much.
Next up, they decide to go for the Hydra. They peer into the chamber, and see it. They start shooting arrows at it. Whole lotta arrows, and a lightning bolt and a magic missile. It's down to single digits before it attacks (they fired shots and backed up). It tries to flee, but another arrow takes it out.
Continuing on, they meet more orcs, who are quickly dispatched (with gusto, by Isvindel).
Part 4: Fire Bridge complex
Lorien opens the door into Area 51 (heh). The gnolls notice them and sound the gong. It's nearly impossible for any of the gnolls or humans to hit the party, so they don't really do enough damage to matter.
Eventually they move over to the hall and begin hacking away. I had D'Gran fly invisible behind the group to try to get the spellcasters. He zaps a cone of cold which catches the whole party. Urzin charges him, and hits. He's got his boots of speed going, so he gets another partial. Attack, and a critical. D'Gran is in single digits. Lorien finishes him to negatives.
Gnolls and Humans mostly dead. Heunar lets the dinos out, which start charging the party. Tippesh launches a fireball. That one was funny. The party was chuckling, but then I asked, "what's the radius on a fireball?" The party stopped laughing.
Dinos didn't take all that long. Tippesh didn't last long. Heunar summoned a fiendish hyena (invis). Heunar was spotted, even invis, and was dispatched. I forgot Slaazh, so he's still on the loose, probably with Krall.
They picked up Descritad, who gave them some info. They saw the giant, who noticed them, but didn't bother to get involved. Birgitte noticed D'Gran healing, so the party went over and tried hacking him apart. Took off his head, cut out his heart, burned the chunks. Couldn't figure out what else to do, since that should all grow back.
Session ended there. 10 hours, 9 of playing. Oof, I was tired, especially figuring out who was in the complex that would be attacking.
Edited by: SIERK at: 5/26/02 10:25:36 am
(6/30/02 4:58 pm)
Trolls, Giants, Umber Hulks and Vranthis (oh, my!)|
Reader's Digest recap: Main Gate, South Gate down. Air Temple gone, and everything through the fire bridge.
Session started with the party resting for the night (it was actually the middle of the day). I'm lenient with my levelling up routine, and as it happened, everyone levelled up after resting. They were packed into room 40, the wizards quarters, for the night.
Xymlluan: Elf Ranger 8
Lorien: Elf Rog 7/Wiz 1
Birgitte: Gnome Sorceror 8
Isvindel: Human Druid 8
Urzin (NPC): Human BBn1/Cle6/Templar1
Descritad is hanging around
Well, after 12 hours of rest, it was still not quite 3AM. Perfect time for an ambush. Or so the trolls thought. Birgitte regained her spells, but Isvindel and Urzin were out.
Slaazh was the "brains" of the group. He recruited Krall and the two wilders for help. Krall started sneakily (for a troll) trying to get in the North door. So, the party arranged itself with the melee brutes readying themselves at the door. At that point the South door burst open and Slaazh attacked Lorien.
A very big battle ensued. The reach of the trolls was a seriously bad thing. As was regeneration. Things quickly turned against the party, and the possibility of a TPK was imminent. Birgitte (hasted) whipped out a wand of invisibility and started zapping everyone she could. Within a few rounds everyone was invisible, and the trolls were very confused.
I was a little lenient with the trolls listening to the players movements. They were confused by everyone disappearing. They split up and began searching for the party. Slaazh had been taken to negative hp, but was back on his feet. He went into a storeroom, but Birgitte webbed him, Xym tossed alchemist's fire in the mix, and Urzin charged in and finished him off. They set the storeroom on fire (Descritad had tipped them off to fire hurting them).
Birgitte tapped the re-visibled party members, who redeployed for the other trolls who had heard the commotion and were approaching. Birgitte got Krall and a wilder lined up and lightning bolted them twice. Krall charged in, but drew AoO from invisible Xym and Urzin. He went down. The lightning-ed wilder didn't last long with his significantly worse AC. The final troll was bead-of-forced and entrapped. By the time he was out, the party was ready for him and quickly finished him off.
Lots of cure light applications all around. The party tossed all the trolls into the burning storeroom, and went to finish the night in the empty troll lair (3 .
But wait, we're not done yet. I hadn't entered the giants into the fray. They weren't too happy with D'Gran, so they hadn't attacked the party as they decimated the complex. But now Rau came by and demanded gold from the party or ... else.
The party wasn't thrilled by the idea of fighting again, so they tried negotiating. They got Rau talking and found out that he wanted melons. There was a lot of talking back and forth, primarily from Xym. He managed to convince Rau that since he ate melons, which had seeds, that melons were growing in his belly and would come out his belly button. I give Xym's player kudos, it was well done. I had him roll a bluff check just as a supplement to the role playing. He rolled a 20. They got Rau to guard the door for the night and they'd talk more in the morning.
By then, they knew about the secret door, and snuck out that way. They left the silver for Rau, along with a piece of paper which they wrote "Baby melon" on, pointing at a thunderstone.
Another funny incident, they found the map to the troll village. I described it as showing a picture of the crater, and then an X on the map saying (I paused here) and they filled in "Don't go here." I finished by saying "Troll Village". They looked around at each other and said, "Yup".
Next up, Umber Hulks. Not too much interesting with them, though Urzin got the fuzzy side of the lollipop. He was confused by the young Umber Hulk, and fell through the pit in the lair of the elder umber hulk. The party did not search for the treasure.
More room searching, the party eventually made its way to area 30 (digester). Urzin almost bought it with that 8d8 acid spray. Then they hit area 29, but quickly backed out as the room began collapsing.
Vranthis heard the sounds of the room collapsing, and quickly buffed himself with mage armor and spider climb. He came out and perched himself on the wall on the far side of the water about as far north as the tunnel to area 27.
This turned out to be a pretty good tactical position for him. The melee-ists couldn't get to him across the water, and it his 26 AC was real tough for the archers. The breath weapon still was able to get most of the party. I was going to do the character grabbing, diving into the water, and breathing routine, but he didn't have the snatch feat, so I left that one out.
His first couple breath weapons had a short regen time (1 and 2 rounds). He did a flyby on Urzin, dropping him down even more. Several rounds later, some arrows by Urzin, a flamestrike, several lightning bolts and magic missiles... Vranthis was down quite a bit. He breathed and took Birgitte down to -9, but Urzin was able to heal her (he was at 14, Xym at 13). She launched another lightning bolt (polymorph other had failed earlier in combat), and dropped him down pretty low. He decided to take off, diving under water (with the last volley, he was down all the way to 4 hp, from 40 the previous round). Isvindel shifted into a shark and took off after him. He eventually caught up, but missed with his attack. Isvindel absorbed an attack, then a full-round attack (ouch), but then shifted into an octopus, which can deal out some serious damage. He was able to kill Vranthis.
Whew. Session over, everyone was exhausted.
(6/30/02 9:12 pm)
Great story, keep ´em coming!
One comment: The Trolls should have been able to pinpoint invisible characters due to their scent ability.
Otherwise, sounds like a blast. Interestingly, the Air temple battle in my campaign went almost exactly the same way (see my camapign log thread for details).
(7/1/02 6:57 pm)
They got Rau talking and found out that he wanted melons. There was a lot of talking back and forth, primarily from Xym. He managed to convince Rau that since he ate melons, which had seeds, that melons were growing in his belly and would come out his belly button.
ROTFL! I just spit soda all over my monitor reading that...
(7/2/02 12:47 pm)
ROTFL! I just spit soda all over my monitor reading that...
;-) I was laughing out loud myself during the encounter. Xym's going to get extra XP for that one.
Blackthorne, good point. I forgot about scent. I also was so lenient I wasn't giving the trolls spot or listen rolls. There was a serious chance of a TPK, and I wanted the crew to have a chance.
(7/7/02 8:28 am)
Mines, Main gate redux, Earth Temple|
OK, party starts out regrouping after the Vranthis encounter.
Lots of Healing wands/spells all around, then onward ho.
They found Varnthis' chamber, saw the floating pyramid in the niche. Very confusing, they started examining it and saw the gold and gems in the cauldron. They think about using some spells to get the stuff out, but eventually rely on the big hammer. Or rather, a mace, which they used to smash the pyramid. Xym did the honors, and got mauled to by the Girallon. It died, but almost took Xym with it (-9).
They made their way up through one of the tunnels. They played around the the slime trap, but noticed it in time to avoid it. They decided not to bother with it.
They met the Thoqquas. Lorien won initiative, which put her sneak attack into play. Rapid shot, they were both dead before anyone acted.
Next, they decide to have Birgitte rest with Urzin standing guard (Area 17, examining tracks shows it was basically unused since the last time they were here a couple weeks back). The other three decide to go exploring through the other ore cart area. They meet Malgran and his pet. Marlgran tosses the thunderstone, deafening Isvindel and Lorien. The three of them hightail it back north, and climb the ladders at the pit crossover (21). Xym and Lorien manage to loose a couple arrows before Marlgran gets there (despite his superior movement rate). And they do in fact manage to do enough damage to drive him off (37 damage in one round, critical in there).
They head back to Urzin and Birgitte and bed down for the night. If they keep splitting up, they aren't going to last too long here...
I restocked the main gate with what I thought might be reasonable for what Naquent could have scrounged together. The leader was a Male Elf 4, specialized in Longbow. He had a Cle3, and 5 human War1, 4 Gnolls. They were in the former Howler room, manning the ballistae. Urzin cast silence and the party snuck up on them. Basically, the force was destroyed before they could act (surprise round + initiative on first round). One gnoll tried to surrender, but was within Urzin's silence radius so no one heard him surrender. He was killed next round.
Next up, Earth Temple. Last time they were here, the trogs had stoneshaped the corridors closed, as they were warned by the fighting at the gate. This time, I had only one passageway blocked. So the characters met the trog guards at area 231. The party said they were here to worship, and were wearing EEE signs. So the trogs escorted them, pulling the swordmaster with them as well.
The party got nervous walking through the manticore lair, and past the mephits. They got to the temple in time for the ending of the ceremony. They just barely stayed out of the room (the guards didn't want to interrupt the ceremony). I changed Snearak's spell list to include detect good. The battle was joined.
Snearak and the drummer were quickly killed by a lightning bolt and flamestrike. The Xorn was also hit, but he had lightning restistance, and the flamestrike only did half damage (holy part of it). The Xorn sunk through the ground and reappered in the midst of the party a couple rounds later. He didn't do much before dying.
What followed was wave after wave. Uskathoth was notified, then the manticore, Miikolak, the mephits... All eventually destroyed.
Next task, destroy the altar. The cause fear effect from unhallow really got the party going. Specifically, it got them running down random corridors. Xym ran by the remaining trog guardpost, and they ambushed him on the way back. He was slowly killing them, when Isvindel ran fearfully down the same corridor. He saw the trogs and ran fearfully back the other way.
Urzin eventually started bashing the altar, and managed to destory it. He was the only one in the room, and he quickly left. I tied the unhallow to the altar, so the cause fear ended when the altar was destroyed.
Tenaris and the commoners were found. Tenaris asked to join the party. In the meantime, Xym went wandering off to the Athach's room. He saw the room, the Athach and the gems and closed the door and walked back.
The party gave Tenaris a longbow, and went to assault Axred. lightning bolt, flamestrike, arrows, and Urzin charging in... Urzin absorbed a full attack, and went from 59 hp to -8. He was given a healing potion at -9. The party did manage to kill it, but it was a tough battle. Small chamber battles often get pretty rough.
Anyhow, Lorien picked the trunk lot. Later, they searched his body and found the key. They put the key in the (now empty) chest and used Open Locks to re-lock it. Weird.
The two commoners were escorted to the boundaries of Rastor, then the party (plus Tenaris, who looks like she'll stick as a party member) heads off to Verbobonc. They've got a lot of loot. Sick amount of loot, really. They've been stuffing armor into bags of holding. They have most of the treasure between the South Gate and the Earth Temple. So there'll probably be some interesting equipment for next time.
(7/14/02 11:37 am)
Re: Sierk's Saturday Sessions|
Well, the party reoutfitted itself in Verbobonc, and came away more buff than ever. Recap of the party:
Xym: Elf Ranger 8 (Boots of Elvenkind, added Shocking to his longsword). New animal companion, Ravage: who is a Mountain Lion.
Lorien: Elf Rogue 7, Wiz1 (added Flaming to her bow, vest of escape).
Birgitte: Gnome Sorcerer 8 (metamagic rod of shaping). New riding dog: Fang
Isvindel: Human Druid 8 (boots of striding/springing, Helm of Comprehending Languages)
Urzin: NPC Human BBn1 / Cle 6 / Templar1 (mithril full plate +1)
Tenaris: NPC Elf Fighter3 (Masterwork Mighty Compsite Longbow +2 str, masterwork chain shirt)
OK, the party encountered 7 orc highwaymen on the road back to the CRM. Kind of tossed that in so they could use their newly enchanted weaponry. That didn't take long.
The party discussed how it was going to get to the water temple. The party was considering going in the "front door" of the water temple, but then eventually realized that there were only two aparent entrances to the mines. There is still some confusion in the party about the difference between the temples and the bridge complexes, so the discussion itself had some confusion.
The party was only gone about a week, so I didn't restock the main gate for the second time. The earth temple was destroyed (along with its altar). The remaining trog "civilians" evacuated taking the basic supplies and the things they could find with them. The party made their way through the temple complex, searching it fairly thoroughly. They found several traps, as well as some hidden loot left behind.
They made their way near the Dire Ape lair. The druid and ranger noted the tracks, which primarily lead into lair itself, so they didn't head there. Which meant the apes charged them from behind, right past the spiked pit trap. Xym (in the lead) found that one by taking a header right to the bottom. He got out, but then failed to jump across the 10' pit when the party decided to move on, and fell back in (this time missing the spikes). Urzin noted his problems and borrowed a pair of spider climb slippers to get across.
Right about then the apes charged, leaping across the pit. Before they got there, Isvindel cast invisibility to animals and touched the party members. The apes began sniffing them out, taking some swipes where they thought they might be. Around then, Birgitte went over and touched her riding dog, which ended the spell for all of them (first time the party tried this spell, so only Isvindel knew about that). So now the whole party was visible.
Whole lot of whacking going on. Urzin got a couple around him, but he had taken a potion of shield while invis, so he had an AC of 28. It would prove to be not high enough, as the master ape managed to hit with 2 claws and rake. Down to 13 hp, Isvindel walked around the battlefield (drawing 4 separate AoO) with his boots of striding and cast a cure on Urzin. Lots of arrows and a couple lightning bolts, and a few melee attacks did in the apes eventually. One tried running, but didn't get far before being shot down.
Owlbears next. They managed to surprise them, so those didn't last long. They noted the difference in corridors between the bridge complex and the area they had been in, but decided to just head straight down the hall (and therefore bypassing the Air Bridge complex).
Sea Hag came next. She was hiding along the far side of the island when half the party rowed out to check it out. Lorien was the only one who made her spot check. She made her save and quickly fired two rapid shots (she won initiative), and killed Gouquog outright before she acted. Sneak attack is brutal at times.
The party next went to the Water Temple guard training room, and wasted all the human warriors. You'd think maybe they'd have a F2 leading the drills or something. No, they have a training manual. No wonder they stink, thought the party.
They followed that tunnel (their MO is to take the left path), until it diverged at the throne room. They turned left again, and Xym conveniently found the pit (his third fall of the day). Isvindel jumped down the pit to help him out once they saw the carrion crawler. But then that was destroyed by a lightning bolt.
In the meantime, Kelashien and Nilbool heard the goings-on, and prepared themselves. They buffed themselves, then Nilbool headed out with his wand of slow. Only Tenaris failed the save. The battle itself was a little bit of a letdown. Nilbool did get off a lightning bolt, which caught several characters. Kelashien didn't last long enough to do much, as Birgitte polymorphed her into a minnow. Nilbool was hard to hit with his AC buffs going, but in the end he didn't do much.
Session ended there. Along the way, Lorien was fearing for her position as the preeminant archer in the party. So she was very distraught when Tenaris hit for more damage than she did. It kind of funny.
Not sure if we'll play this week or next, so it might be a bit before the next update.
A mysterious stranger
(8/4/02 7:10 am)
Re: Sierk's Saturday Sessions|
So we pick this one up in the Water Temple after the party has killed Nilbool and Kelashein.
Here's the larger picture scenario. Hedrack has sent word to the remaining areas, warning them of a band of marauders. Bethe the assassin was dispatched to help the Water Temple, Ukemil and his lions to the Air Bridge complex. So the Water Temple was expecting some sort of attack and thus their defenses were a little more alert than you might otherwise expect.
The party heard a couple of guards coming from room 184. The guards saw the party, and headed back the other way, warning the others and setting up defenses.
What followed was what you'd expect from a band of 8th level characters vs a bunch of low-level mooks. The archers on the platform couldn't hit anyone very easily. The party had some archery specialists, so it was like ducks in a pond.
The (normal) skum came charging out and were immediately webbed by Birgitte. They had trouble getting very far, but the two at the edge of the web pulled the melee guys well into the room. That set up an attempted Death Attack by Bethe, who had been lurking invisibly (surely she had a potion somewhere). But she attacked Xym, who had been Barkskinned by Isvindel, and was standing next to Urzin with his Magic Circle Against Evil. So she missed, and was standing right next to Isvindel the bear, Xym and Urzin. She was dead before her next action.
By now the archers had been killed, and the party could see the back of the web being burnt away. They were clustered in a nice little area, and Birgitte's player said "Gee, this would be a great time for a fireball." Whadya know. Kadiss fireballed the party (the web has been cleared enough that he could see clearly what was going on). Tenaris and the Mountain Lion (Ravage) and Birgitte's riding dog (Fang) were fairly seriously injured, Tenaris at -6. Isvindel went over to help Tenaris, while Birgitte (who'd been delaying) cast lightning bolt down the corridor between 183 and 182. That caught Kadiss and around 8-9 of the human and elf guards. They all died (Kadiss had endurance going, but failed his save).
A couple guards started running, but Urzin, Xym and Lorien ran them down (Xym and Lorien shot them in the back). Urzin was charging down the corridor, so got shot 3 Melph's acid arrows from the water mephits. Somehow they all missed, despite Urzin's touch AC of 11. Quickly killed, though one got off a stinking cloud that got Lorien gagging.
After the looting phase the party headed down, investigating 173-182. All were now empty. They stopped and looked over Kadiss' notes. A couple of interest. One was from Hedrack warning the temple of the party, with concerns that the party had the components for a Master Key. This note had been carried by Bethe. Another letter was a request for a weapons trainer for the guards (they have a training room at 189, but no trainer). Another one was for a work detail to form a corridor between air temple areas since it was so inconvenient having to go by the Hag's pool to get between the areas.
So, the party explored until the start of the ore cart tracks and let out a collective groan at the sight of them. They looped back to the other area (who were still unaware of the group, with all that stone in the way). They found Oomkaan, who tried an Unholy Blight, but to not much effect. In fact, he didn't last long, despite his buff sequence.
By now, Birgitte was basically out of spells, as was Urzin. Isvindel had a little firepower left, but not too much. So they continued on, up to the water's edge. The large skum saw them, and began firing crossbow bolts. The party fired back, dropping one of them.
Then the elemental appeared, and wacked Xym a good one. Everyone started closing in on it, but found that they weren't doing much of any damage (Damage Reduction). Xym got hit three times, and dropped to -6. Urzin healed him back up to 20, and then everyone started backing up (drawing an AoO, which missed on my roll of 2). Isvindel flamestriked it for decent damage (I didn't describe the effects well, it should have been clear only the holy part of the spell damaged it).
OK, by now everyone was just about out of spells, since Xym needed healing. They started making their plan. Basically, it was going to boil down to casting fly from a scroll onto Urzin, who would fly to the altar and destroy it, and hope the rest of the party could distract the elemental long enough to destroy the altar and thus hopefully disperse the elemental. Well, that would have been the end of Urzin, but fortunately for him the party decided to back up and rest and get their spells back.
On the way, they explored the corridor which led to Zeityan's chamber. They decided to talk, and found out lots of stuff. They learned the things that were printed in the module, but also a whole bunch of other stuff. Zeityan had basically spied all around the Water Temple, so knew just about everything the high level clerics would know. She told them how to form a Greater Key and bless themselves, including the key phrase. They asked her of Nulb, and she thought there had been a mention of a cleric there, but she didn't know much of that. I forget everything they asked, but she answered more or less truthfully. They departed peacefully.
So they went to Kadiss' chamber with the comfy bunks, and camped out for the night (uneventfully). They never got experience for the previous session, so they did now, which was enough to drive everyone up a level. This was 9th level, so everyone got a feat, and drove up the party level fairly considerably. Xym (Improved crit), Lorien (Weapon Focus, shortbow (next level will be Arane Archer)), Birgitte (Empower spell), Urzin (extra rage), Isvindel (wild spell). Tenaris went up to Fighter 4, taking Longbow specialization.
So, now the party was well rested, and 9th level. Urzin went up as a cleric (I decided the party was going to need him to be more of a cleric before too long, so no more Templar levels). Isvindel went up as a Shifter.
Now they came up with a better plan. Urzin memorized 3 water walks, to cast on himself, Xym and Lorien. Birgitte was ready with her lightning bolts, Isvindel with flamestrikes. Urzin memorized a greater magic weapon. Urzin was to be the bait for the elemental, while Birgitte and Isvindel hammered at it with spells.
As the bait, Urzin was buffed as much as possible. With everything going (barkskin, potion of shield, cat's grace, haste), his AC was 34 vs evil characters while he was in rage.
The battle shook out that Urlurg and the Kuo-Toas hung back along with the 2 remaining skum, waiting to ambush them in their native element. The elemental hung back as well. Xym and Urzin charged out on the water to engage them until the elemental showed up. Isvindel changed into an octopus, and he wreaked some havoc against the Kuo-Toas. Xym chopped at some of them as well. Urzin got a couple more.
The elemental showed up, and did indeed engage Urzin. But it had a hard time hitting once the shield spell was directed the right way. Urzin, hasted and in rage, hit the thing 3 times with a +2 greatsword, 25 strength, with weapon specialization. That was pretty brutal, dropping around 65 hp in one round. A lightning bolt or two followed, and eventually it was pretty low in hp. It vortexed, which buffeted Urzin around for damage and prevented attacks from him. I told the party that area effect spells would have a chance to hit Urzin (25%), since he was spinning around. Birgitte lightning bolted it, missed Urzin and finished it off.
The rest of the battle was fairly easy, except that Xym was flanked by Urlurg and a large Skum. He was bitten and whacked, and very low on hp by now. So Isvindel the octopus hopped out of the water onto the altar (where Xym is now), reached out a tentacle and cast cure moderate on him. That mental image was pretty funny.
Urlurg surrendered, and one Kuo-Toa escaped. The party blessed themselves (plus their familiars and the animals), and then destroyed the altar, running out of the room as soon as they did so.
Whew, session over. They now have to decide what to do with Urlurg (give him to Zeityan for dinner?), and we'll see where they go. I figure Ukemil has been coming down the bugbear area (would you put dire lions on a boat to come up from the bridge complex?), so they should meet him soon.
A mysterious stranger
(8/18/02 5:06 am)
Re: Sierk's Saturday Sessions|
No session last week, this week, or for a few more weeks. Real life intruding into our weekends. We should be back in business mid-September.