Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hungover Heroes Guild, Part Eight, Nine, Ten, and Eleven

First, a quick recap of our characters (more details can be found here).

Baravis: Played by Luke. A tiefling from Sigil, currently a 3rd-level Favored Soul (of Marthammor Duin) and 2nd-level Warlock.

Sven Lackman: Played by Shaun. A half-elf Waterdhavian Urban Ranger 2/Rogue 3 who seeks vengeance against the Cult of the Dragon for the murder of his Harper parents.

Drog Fangblade: A Rashemar 5th-level barbarian on his dajemma.

Vlad: A Zhent 4th-level Dread Necromancer who is seeking for his hidden, secret god.

Our Story Thus Far: After solving the riddle of the Dream Fever in Dagger Falls, the PCs came to Shadowdale searching for answers to several more clues--Baravis for a way home, Vlad for the secret god he seeks, and everyone for the location of the Sword of the Dales. They commissioned several weapons and armors from the local businesses and took up a reconnaissance job with the Twisted Tower in hopes that it could help them solve the puzzle as to what sort of stampeding herds were trampling the farms north of the Old Skull hill. They were offered 100 gp each and 20% of all loot acquired beneath the Twisted Tower of Ashaba as payment for mapping the tunnels and clearing out all monsters. They descended beneath the tower, fought a few quaggoths, boogins (half-orc, half-quaggoth), and a half-orc.

Part Nine
After defeating a group of boogins, led by a half-orc, they discovered an emaciated dwarf who called himself Simon Stonebreaker. Simon had apparently escaped from a dark-elven slave pit deeper in the tunnels. He led the PCs to a large room with an exit. They gave him a weapon and sent him to the surface.

The pool of water in the room contained an aballin--aka a "living water," a magical ooze that tried to absorb and suffocate both Drog and Sven before Vlad, thinking quickly, threw an open vial of Drow poison into the creature. The diluted poison knocked Sven out, but also did the same to the aballin.

The PCs then began to crawl down a long, low, thin tunnel that extended for hundreds of feet. Baravis blasted a swarm of rats, but was forced to hide behind his shield when the cave badger that was chasing the rats attacked him. Sven managed to kill the badger and they continued.

Part Ten
They made their way to a huge cavern with many exits and determined to explore as much as they could after resting many hours. They were almost taken in by a huge illusory treasure hoard (Drog kept feeling uneasy and I let him make a second Will save to disbelieve, which he did). Excellent roleplaying ensued in which Drog convinced the other PCs to disbelieve the illusion as well. Continued scouting led the PCs into an ambush by Mongrelmen and a drow patrol, which they dispatched. They crossed a chasm, encountered a gelatinous cube, then fled back across and pelted the cube until it collapsed into a gooey mass. (This was quite funny, as only Luke knew what the cube was. When I revealed the cube to the PCs on MapTool, Luke freaked out, screaming "run!") But that wasn't all the running they did. They stumbled upon the lair of a drider, and spent several rounds fleeing that as well. Luke's spider walk enabled him to cross the chasm, but Sven and Drog managed to successfully jump across it like something from an action movie. They continued fleeing until they were certain the drider had given up pursuit. At the end of the session, they encountered Tirrendale Talltales, a dwarven cleric whose voicebox had been severely damaged by a drow slaver. He told the PCs that the dwarves had been sold to the drow by the Zhentarim and the drow overmage was turning them into a horde of gibberlings that he released into the tunnels. The gibberlings would then pour out of a cave in the northern face of the Old Skull, descend and rampage through the fields in dead of night to pour into the forests and hopefully begin to destabilize the area during planting season.

Part Eleven
Armed with new information, the PCs found the secret tunnel that led to the drow fortress. They fought their way past another guardpost of ambushing Mongrelmen and plundered their corpses. They equipped themselves with the most excellent drowcraft adamantine mesh armor, drowcraft enchanted short swords, drow poisons, and prepared to turn the drow's own weapons against them (this really upped the chances they'd survive the upcoming encounters--without doing this, I doubt they'd have been able to succeed so well). But first, they finished mapping the regular tunnels, slew a carrion crawler in a drow graveyard, dispatched four monstrous spiders in a vast lair, burned the webs, and amassed as much treasure as possible from the enormous room (which they knew wasn't everything, but time was pressing in).

They rested and returned to the secret passage. Baravis used his spider walk to cross the lake beyond the Mongrelmen outpost by sticking to the cavern walls. He commandeered a boat and soon the entire party was across. Baravis and Tirrendale (the dwarven cleric) found a set of secret doors, Sven discovered how to bypass the trap set there. Beyond lay a chasm full of lava and a raised stone drawbridge on the other side. Vlad blew the code they had found (on a scrap of paper in a Mongrelman's pocket) on the horn dangling on their side of the chasm. The drawbridge lowered and the PCs (with NPC Tirrendale) charged and overwhelmed the Mongrelmen beyond.

As they made their way into the drow fortress, they heard a female voice chanting eerily. (I played Kanno Yokko's "A Sai En" for the drow chanting.) Baravis lept to the ceiling and together with Drog, bellowed out a roaring challenge. Silence fell deeper in the fortress and the party charged around the corner (Baravis, with his satanic features was quite intimidating crawling on the ceiling and yelling curses in Infernal).

The following encounter could have killed the PCs. As it were, three things saved them. 1) The dice were on their side. They rolled well, their opponents failed most poison saves, while they passed almost all of theirs (save one). Only one critical hit struck them, nearly incapacitating Vlad. 2) They had Tirrendale to throw a couple of cure light wounds at them. 3) They had the drow adamantine armor and drow-poisoned weapons.

Four quaggoths and three drow fighters (2nd-level) charged them, while the drow priestess tried to hit Drog with hold person and the drow sorcerer slung Melf's acid arrow at them (missing every time). Drog muscled through the hold person. Sven's two-weapon fighting with drow-poisoned blades put many a quaggoth unconscious and swayed the battle in the party's favor decisively. Drog finally fell unconscious beneath a poisoned drow-blade but the tide had already turned. The unconscious quaggoths were dispatched, the drow fighters were slain, and the priestess cast meld into stone and the sorcerer simply vanished. The PCs and Tirrendale now stand in a vast cathedral-like cavern with an altar to Lolth on a dais. We'll find out what happens next on Friday.

No comments: