Arashi (Swordmage 4) - Came to the session with a new friend. It seems that in a recent violent storm he acquired a little lightning lizard. He named him Zap (is this a traditional Genasi name?). Zap earns his keep in the first session, as you'll see.
Phaedra (Cleric 4) - Came to the session with a new friend. Somehow she has gained the loyalty of a ghostly minion (Arenal elves and their ancestor worship). Unlike Zap, this undead friend has no name that we know of, and did not really earn his keep this first session.
Paulic (Ranger 4) - Already has a pet horse that communicates via fart, and a pet falcon. We are not allowed to know the names of his pets. I suggested his horse pull a cart (to literally pull his weight in this party) but my idea was not taken under advisement.
Jasper (WizardWarlock 4) - Our newest addition, he does not have a pet, though as a wizard it would be fitting the theme. In fact, at that point we would have more pets than not. Jasper, though on the exterior a jolly little gnomish wizard, is in fact a powerful, murderous fiend. His spells suck folks into other dimentions. Don't piss him off.
Hogorth (FighterWarlord 4) - Plane jane with no pets or dimensional portals, he is still not sure about this group of adventurers.
Dame Orena summoned us to the cathedral again. It seems that after a few days of arguing, she is eager to push us in *some* direction, but including yet another new member. His name is Jasper, and he was told by Mord (our benefactor) that we were his new Archaelogical team. We straightened that issue out, and then got to the business of deciding where to go. Since Jasper was all about visiting the Mournlands, that broke the deadlock and we wasted little time in getting started.
No, really, we didn't. I can see how that last bit could be taken ironically, like by having this paragraph describe our extensive preparations, and shopping guides, and divination or skill checks, but we really did pretty much just start walking immediately after that decision.
Our job was to locate the previous group of adventurers that had tried to do this mission, and to retrieve the artifact they were sent to get. This was a favor for the Prince of Cyre, and in atypical adventurer fashion we had not established any kind of reward for completing this deed successfully. Oops.
Our newest member performed a bizarre ritual involving a tuning fork and our vibrating brains, and we walked through the day tirelessly (MC Bard ritual). Our woodsy Ranger, Paulic, did some scouting and found us a great place to spend the night. It was on a lightly wooded hill, with brush thick at the base. It gave us a good view of the surrounding lands and provided us cover against anyone seeking to attack us.
Arashi took first watch. During his watch, his lizard (who has low light vision) spotted a figure sneaking around. He pointed it out to Arashi (who does not have low light vision), and Arashi started after him. During the following "encounter"
- The hunting habits of shocker lizards was discussed. Do they hunt in packs, taking down much larger prey, like elephants? Charging up like Blanka from street fighter, and hurling towards them?
- Paulic was pretty much it here. With an insane longbow range, and the far shot feat, he was the only one to effectively hit the fleeing spy.
- Hogorth managed to, using 2 magic items, immobilize the spy as it transformed into a cloud of bats and took flight. It immediately made it's save and kept flying.
- In a last ditch effort to stop him, Arashi flung Jasper into the air - *20 feet*. Jasper still fell short of hitting the druid by about 40 feet. The phrase fastball special was indeed uttered. Jasper also managed to avoid falling damage by activating his magic sandals. Was he intending on being thrown? It sure sounds like it.
- Paulic plugs away, but only manages to bloody the thing before it finally flies too high to hit.
We are sure that this guy was just the tip of the spear, but continue our rest anyhow. Paulic had pretty much pegged this spot as the best place to rest up within a few hours walk, so it made the most sense to finish our night here, and take off the next day. Paulic's watch was next, and since he has the perception skill of a demigod, they did not attack. Hogorth took the last watch, and since he has the perception skill of a clam, they sprung their trap then.
Just kidding. That was how a mean DM would have done it. They attacked while Paulic was on watch. He spotted them (for there were a few, now) skulking around and quietly roused everyone but Jasper. Phaedra was sleeping in a tree (Elves!?) so she stayed put. Hogorth and Arashi stayed low. At the last possible moment Hogorth woke Jasper up, in time for him to make his hide check and avoid the first round of pain. The enemies prepare to charge in, but we jump the gun and hit them first...
- During our surprise round, Paulic scurries up the tree, making this the tree to be in if you were an elf right now. Hogorth plants his banner and yells a battle cry. Jasper peeks through his tent flap and casts a spell at the bunched up attackers. An icy blast from The Frozen Hell explodes, and the ground is covered in treacherous ice. One unfortunate soul is caught in the portal and gets pulled across the planar boundary. Our respect for the tiny caster goes up a notch.
- A Stillborn assassin (incorrectly referred to as an Abortion (which Jasper pointed out would make a great band name)) teleported into our midst. The three original party members recognize her as the same elf that tried to murder Nolan DiVidalis while they were in town. They thwarted her attempt then, and for some reason she was out here near the Mournlands trying to kill us. With friends.
- Aside from the Assassin and the Druid, we fought 9 or so minions. They had an axe throwing problem, and Jasper quickly cured them of it. Unfortunately, as each one died they threw one last axe, usually at Paulic or Jasper. For minions, they were nasty, which takes the fun out of killing them. Jasper finished them off anyways, with another horrible spell to watch, one that physically removed several combatants from this plane of existence. They still found the energy to throw axes through the shrinking portal. Jerks.
- With the minions out of the picture, Arashi set into the Druid, and Hogorth tried to hold off the Assassin. Focus fire on the Druid eventually brought him down, though he managed to apply some nasty effects to a few party members before he croaked.
- The Assassin must have known she was coming after us, because she now had some kind of warding protecting her from Arashi's lightning damage. Unfortunately for her, she had neglected to ward against radiant damage, arrow damage, and spear damage.
- Jasper's spell that sucked all the minions away continued to restrain her, and we saw the end in sight. She was bloodied, stuck, and flanked by our two meleers. Of course, since she is a recurring villain, she had to Dimension Door away and escape from us. Someone, I don't know who, called her a whore. I don't know what the basis for that is, but I like it.
With that, we are able to finally finish resting, and prepare to enter the Mournlands. Paulic instructs his horse to wait for us (using a series of complex whistles). The horse agrees (using a series of farts). Next session, almost certain death...
Trying to avoid the rut I stuck myself in, so this post is an experiment in a more lighthearted style. I hope it sticks. I planned to take more comprehensive notes during combat, and to write down things I found entertaining. I ended up with notes like "Shocker lizards hunting an Elephant, Blanka style" or "The Frozen Hell". I may need to work on my note taking.