Part 2 of the Scarrowfell campaign started with:
Grom the Minotaur Cleric, Jesse
Abbas the Tiefling Wizard, Colin
Tess the Halfling Fighter, Chelsea
Ayler the Half Elf Warlock, me
Lyla the Halfling Rogue, Dan
We started mid battle. With Abbas and Grom on their last legs, we hatched a convoluted plan that involved Abbas delaying, and Tess using her Fighter's mojo to pull him from the battle. Once he was in the clear he conjured up a flaming sphere in the center of the orcs, and it attacked the main one, the one we were worried about.
He died. All that pent up worry and he died. Unfortunately, he is not the threat we should have been worrying about. There were still two orcs standing in the room, and one of them attacked and dropped Grom (again). Lyla, who was standing in the doorway to the next room, stiffened and was dragged from view. Ayler kills one of the remaining orcs, and Tess charged from the room after Lyla.
In the next room Lyla is being repeatedly hacked at by a goblin, while two more of the little beasts prepare to shoot Tess with poisoned crossbow bolts. She closes quickly and kills two of them with one blow, beheading the third when he tried to shoot her point blank. Sadly, it is too late for Lyla.
Grom expires as the two arcanists now face off against the last orc. It takes some spell slinging, and Ayler keeping Miles between them, but the last orc dies eventually and combat ended.
Some interesting things happened right then. A bolt of lightning erupted from Grom's corpse, and there was a loud clap of thunder from the adjoining room. In that room we encountered three new allies. One was a Razorclaw Shifter rogue, one was an Dwarven Warlord, and the last was the source of the thunderclap, an Eladrin Warlord. The first two were part of an earlier attempt by the lord of the town to send an adventuring party to eliminate the probable source of the plague that obviously failed. The last was a bit of an enigma, as he recalled seeing and experiencing things that the party had been through, such as the shipwreck, but was sure that he was not present for those things. We all agreed that even though we had the ability to remove the slave marks and escape, we needed to see this through. The seer had told us that our memories and this plague were related, and our future is surely linked to the level of our success in this endeavor.
So, our party now consisted of:
Theldar the Eladrin Warlord, Jesse
Abbas the Tiefling Wizard, Colin
Tess the Halfling Fighter, Chelsea
Ayler the Half Elf Warlock, me
Borga the Dwarven Warlord, Dan
Firus the Shifter Rogue, Mackenzy
The new members of the party suited up and we continued our exploration. Searching the room that held the prisoners net us a Speak With Dead scroll. We elected to perform the ritual on the apparent leader of the orcs here, the one with demon horns. We were allowed two questions. We didn't learn much, but we did find out that he was torturing and interrogating people in an attempt to ingratiate himself with his god, and to impress and form an alliance with a dark power that lived deeper underground. Hopefully this was the same power we were looking for and we would be able to find it.
The next room held an altar. From the looks of it, we interrupted a kind of ritual, though we were never able to tell exactly what it did. The altar had some bloody bundles, and wrapped in them were some organs, possibly humanoid in origin. Examining the altar revealed little, so we opened the door on the right. It was small, sized just right for the remaining halfling in our party, and she opened it quietly and peered inside. The far wall of that room was dominated by a set of small sized bunk beds. The soft sound of snoring issued from them. She noisily slammed the door, and we had a hushed conversation about what to do.
Abbas, the man of action, kicked the door open and bathed the far wall in flame, and then followed it up with yet more fire. One screaming, writhing form fell from the bunks and rolled on the floor briefly, before dying.
The door directly behind the altar opened into a cavern. Ruined pillars lined the sides, and a small offshoot cave opened to the right. The pillar in the best shape, in the far right corner, was dimly lit and difficult to see. Our scout, the newly met Shifter, snuck into the room and peeked into the cave opening off to the right. There was a strange writhing in the very back of the cave, and not until he tossed his torch back there was he able to discern what it was.
A mass of goblins, not fully grown and obviously scared, scrambled to get away in the corner of the cave. One of them, more brave than the rest stood in front with an over sized shield and rude club. Firus had a short conversation with him, he promised that we were not there to hurt them and was able to glean some information from the plucky goblin. Their neighbors were a ghost and a dragon.
While Firus and his new contact conversed, Tess scouted ahead. As she approached the middle of the room it was deja vu all over again, as the weak ground gave way and she disappeared, landing with a splash. Theldar moved to help her out, only to share her fate and plop in the drink. Soon we all joined her in this new cave, and began poking around. We sloshed through the shallow water, choosing the left passage as always.
The passage soon opened up into a larger chamber, with deeper water in the middle. As Firus checked it out a glow on the opposite end coalesced into a tiefling ghost with a longsword. We attacked first:
- Theldar opened up by rushing forward and flinging his javelin straight through the ghost.
- Ayler curses the ghost with a supernatural cold, allowing his allies to gain an upper hand in the fight.
- Theldar and Firus work together, hitting it hard.
- The two shortest members of the party have a difficult time in the deep water, but manage to hit nonetheless.
- With a splash the ghost is defeated and his sword falls into the water, the only thing left of him.
A quick examination of the sword is insufficient to unlock all of it's secrets, but we learn that it has soul draining powers. We continue on, up to a room with the water's source. Water runs through the center of a room with a worked stone floor. The wall on the far end of the room had a door on either side of the canal, with the water coming from the other side of the wall.
It soon became clear that this room was more complex than it appeared. Firus narrowly escaped a large chunk of the ceiling falling on him, and Abbas began to notice the pressure plates all over the room. Poison gas began leaking from the holes in the ceiling left by the falling trap, and the battle to survive began:
- It was quickly determined that the water in the middle was not trapped, and the floor was avoided as much as possible.
- The gas began poisoning us, and with each falling block the poisoning got worse.
- Theldor narrowly avoided being smashed by a block, only to discover that it was now blocking the door he was trying to exit through. He began smashing at it with his spear.
- Firus made it to the other door without incident, and popped it unlocked with his tools. We began moving for that door.
- Abbas made a misstep and despite Theldor trying to pull him out of the way, he was crushed under a chunk of the ceiling.
- The beefy halfling hit the block at a run and toppled it off of him.
By now we had been through the wringer, and a rest was mandated. The room we stopped in seemed safe enough, and after a few arcane wards were put in place we took a few hours to lick our wounds and recover.
Good thing too. The large double doors at the end of the room we slept in had a dragon motif. Beyond the doors was a staircase descending quite a ways, and opening into a large natural cavern. Stalagmites and stalactites provided some minimal cover at the edges, and the middle was dominated by a large pool shrouded in mist. Firus snuck into the room, but was unable to find the dragon. We knew that it was likely there was a dragon down here, so we cautiously entered the cave. As soon as the last of us cleared the entrance he struck. From the ceiling a blast of acid bathed the party, and a large dragon plopped himself down in front of us:
- The dragon fear takes most of us, and for a few seconds we could do nothing but stand and quake.
- He then cloaks himself in a massive cloud of darkness.
- Abbas answers back with his own cloud of freezing damage. It didn't seem very effective.
- Borga, from inside the darkness, begins leading the attack, shouting directions and positioning the troops. A howl of pain bolsters us, we know she has hurt him.
- Firus throws a dagger into the darkness, and is answered by the dragon's flank appearing. He somehow manages to trick it into leaving concealment.
- Theldar takes the opportunity to shove the end of his spear in between to scales and twist. The dragon is enraged by this and it's tactics begin to falter. Bolstered by this, we press our attack.
- Tess now takes her shot, and scores a devastating hit on the dragon, bringing it into a rage and it answers by spewing gouts of acid all over the party.
- It tries to move over and attack the soft flank of the party, but is held in place by Tess' mark.
- With the direction of the two warlords the dragon is hammered again and again, finally falling to a blow from Tess' hammer.
First off, Chelsea made this awesome lizard for me to ride. It even fits in the proper number of squares. Awesomest. Much better than balancing on the back of a spider.
This was the second and final (for now) session of Dan's Scarrowfell campaign. We will revisit this world later, at 5th level, and try to answer some of the questions that remain.
So, in the intervening week we had discussed some what to do about surviving the fight we were in. Colin and Chelsea had worked out the plan I described, he moves, delays, she uses her fighter utility to get him away, and he drops flaming sphere where he was. Funny because the big bad took 7 or so points of damage and died. Threat over? Nope, Jesse had a handful of hitpoints and dropped, failing his last two death saves. Kind of a shock. Who would have thought the meatshield healer would die. He put together the Eladrin Warlord while we explored the next room and was back at it pretty quick.
The ghost we lucked out on. Dan said that had we not made our saves to be immobilized he would have been able to unleash a devastating attack. We creamed him though.
The trap room though, ouch. Each time someone triggered a trap another poison cloud was added to the initiative. By the end we were all getting attacks vs Fort three times a round, for 10 damage, 2 ongoing. A few of us had amulets that gave 5 poison resistance, but it still ate up our HP's. And then Colin got smashed by that block. . .yeah. It was rough. A good encounter.
Colin was out of healing surges by this time (something I wasn't sure I'd ever see). We took an extended rest. As an aside, the Eye of Alarm ritual is my new favorite thing. Very cool.
Then, the dragon fight. Mackenzy scouted out the cave, but specified where he was looking, and not once did he mention the ceiling. I was starting to think it was a trick, but . . .no. I guess it was a trick, just the breathe-acid-from-the-ceiling kind, not the kobolds-instead-of-a-dragon kind. The dragon fight was not too tough, Dan's NPC's daily allowed us to shift our allies, and Jesse's daily gave us all +5 to hit (!). Mackenzy was able to trick strike the dragon out of the cloud, and suddenly instead of -4 or more to hit we were at +5. Dailies were used, crits were rolled, and Chelsea ended up dropping him.
Solo fights suck for Wizards and Warlocks. Discuss.