Saturday, March 27, 2010

AP: The Lakeside Shuffle

And on we continue with our quest. Participating this session:

Iolo (Half Elf Bard/Rogue) - A freelancer hired by house Vadalis to investigate the failed assassination attempts. The eccentricity of the group will drive him to alcoholism. At that point, he'll fit right in.
Paulic (Elf Ranger) - Continues to exemplify the perfect Ranger. And the perfect Valenar. A new measurement was created this session, Paulics per Million, or PPM. Paulic is all PPM. A regular ranger might be 30 PPM. He is like, the chosen one of Rangers.
Phedre (Elf Cleric) - Her wandering accent hides a vulnerable side. I think her left side? This must also be the side that encourages her to flounce. Elves, right?
K'rrul (Kobold Assassin) - Discovered the sexy side of assassination, earning the name "Cruel. . .Sexual Assassin".
Arashi (Genasi Swordmage) - Again, the battle basically swirls around him. Of all the characters in the game, he is the one most likely to be a kick-ass action game hero. Also, is intimidating to *crazy* people as well as non-crazies. Look out!
Jasper (Gnome Wizard/Warlock) - Hopefully adventuring with a band of felons and misfits only enhances his reputation as an explorer, not tarnishing his reputation as an academic. Since really, he's the scariest of us all.

The travel weary and teleport-lagged Eye of the Storm trotted into Lakeside after a journey of a thousand miles. We were after Serin. He was our latest clue in a continent spanning treasure hunt, with the prize being a spoiled Vadalis heir that was targeted by a cult of deathless assassins known as 'The Stillborn'.

Luckily for us, the Vadalis compound was easily found. In this small town of roughly 1,000 people, the Dragonmarked family was the largest institution. We made our way directly to the stables to drop off our charges. We were paid (surprisingly), and directed to where we could find Serin.

Yes, Serin was actually Nolan. He had been hiding out here since our departure, and had not been idle. He introduced us to Iolo. Iolo had been doing some digging about these assassination attempts, and had discovered:
- They were being undertaken by an organization known as "The Black Flock"
- A certain assassin known as Crow had been asking around Irongate, looking for sellswords. Presumably this was to replace the ones we have killed.

Over the next few hours discussion we learned that Nolan was a Dragonmarked scion of his house. His dragonmark allowed him control over animals and other beasts. Whether the flock wanted him for that, or for other nefarious purposes, we didn't yet know.

Iolo's investigations had also discovered that some unknown group was descending on Lakeside. We were pretty convinced that Nolan's cover was blown (and just in time, naturally). Luckily, while we discussed this, Nolan started getting more and more drunk on fine brandy. He agreed to go with us to the town's only Inn, and set a trap for this group.

When we arrived we found out that a woman had been asking around for Nolan. While the party arranged to purchase the second floor of the inn, Arashi told a stable boy to go to this woman and tell her where we were. The Innkeeper was kicked out. The party spread out on the first floor, and Paulic took a spot in the second floor window overlooking the entrance.

Three figures approached the inn. Paulic quarried one, but did not shoot. They entered, and after a short (and fruitless) conversation, a bar fight broke out:

An insane Kalashtar Monk, a Black Flock Necromancer, and an archer, just inside the door. Nolan was in the rear. Iolo was right up by the enemies (and Phedre's MC Shaman Spirit Companion). The middle row on the left was Phedre (on the bar), Arashi, and K'rrul (hiding on the stairs). Jasper was in the back, and Paulic was upstairs.

- Iolo darted in and with a flick of his rapier, spectacularly missed. The miss was most likely a feint, though, as he slashed across the face of the lead caster (minor action attack crit following his standard action miss).
- Paulic moved to the top of the stairs and executed a crit himself. Things looked smashing for the heroes!
- Phedre turned undead. . .and nothing happened. Seems her keen elven eyes and highly trained Clerical knowledge took a back seat to her hatred of Stillborn and she failed to check whether this necromancer was undead before she tried turning her.
- *Immediately* after she turned undead, the necromancer summoned a good handful of skeletons. Don't think the party didn't point out this poor timing to Phedre at the time. It's a good thing her flouncing on the bar top didn't provoke an Opportunity Attack when she moved in to Turn Undead.
- The tide began to turn. A skeleton ran at Nolan, cowering in the back of the tavern, and cut him down.
- The crowded inn was filled with explosions of thunder and lightning as Arashi and Jasper cut down skeletons in an effort to turn the tide.
- Paulic must have spent the months traveling in honing his craft. Instead of turn after turn of twin strike, he used all the tricks available to him, shifting around the battlefield and in general, filling even more things with arrows than before.
- Iolo's skill set was a perfect fit for our eclectic group. With no real solid front line, or a battle strategy worth anything, our plan is usually to scatter like roaches and chew at the closest or weakest thing we could find. Iolo was a natural at this.
- K'rrul, towards the end of the battle, leaped into the shadow of the necromancer. Due to the unintentionally suggestive things that got said about his status, he was dubbed the Sexual Assassin.
- When the outcome of the battle started looking inevitable, Phedre shrieked "I won't be denied!", as she wanted to be the one to deal the deathblow to the assassin.
- Paulic had a great time shouting that same thing before each shot for the rest of the encounter.
- The archer was cut down, and then the Necromancer, but the monk was still kicking. Like, really still kicking.
- Once bloodied, he was intimidated into surrendering by Arashi.

As it was well past our normal ending time, we stopped right there. . .


Iolo is our friend Dan's character. A hybrid bard/rogue. He fits really well, and it looks like the powers of those two classes are pretty complimentary. He has quite a few ways to gain combat advantage by himself, as well as some leadery things (like CA for *everyone* and his 1/encounter heal). He is already more liked in the party than K'rrul. Can you blame them though? He's a half elf. . .

And Andrew (Paulic's player) was so bugged that we gave him a hard time about only twin striking, that he spent the intervening weeks poring over his cards. He was really, really effective with all his powers available. I highly approve!

This was our first fight since our shopping trip. Sadly, I don't think much got used. Arashi kept forgetting to activate his bracers to resist necrotic damage (until too late). Jasper changed the damage type of his curse once or twice, to no real effect. Of course, that is just how I like it. I like the power residing in the PC's, not their trinkets.

K'rrul hid in the Necromancer's shadow for one round, but the comments lasted the rest of the encounter. I can't wait until he can do that Daily, for an entire encounter. The lulz will never end. . .


PS - blogger is being a tard about me uploading the one picture I have for this session. I'll work on it.

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