Scales of War

44. The Conquerer

_8/18/09: We were able to finish up the fight with Sarshan tonight and begin Haven of the Bitter Glass. Tonight was the last session that Dave could play, as he’s heading off to college. since this was his last session, I let him do some fairly crazy things with his character, Barhash. The players also came up with a name for their group: Falling Force 7. Because they make bad guys fall a lot (including in this adventure, heh heh). _

RPGA Sanctioning #: 09-08-2023114

Anjou Beurre *- Half-Elf Warden *Aramil *- Eladrin Wizard *Barhash – Dragonborn Warlord Corth, Friend of Falrinth, Betrayer of Troglodytes, Whisperer of Lingering Spirits, Slayer of Sarshan – Dragonborn Paladin Devilock – Tiefling Bard Galasis – Eladrin Wizard Storm – Razorclaw Avenger

Sarshan had given a githyanki general a mercenary army and planar weapons in an attempt to take over the city of Overlook. The General failed, and Sarshan was on the run, hoping to use the blood chaos ooze and his magic to kill off those who knew too much. But Sarshan had turned a dragonborn paladin named Bhardran into slime while putting his plan into motion, and now some associates of Bhardran were coming after him for revenge, and to end his meddling with the city of Overlook and the Elsir Vale once and for all.

Sarshan was fighting he heroes, who called themselves Faling Force 7, atop a tower in the plane known as the Elemental Chaos. A fall off of the tower was certain death (20d10 I believe). Sarshan was protected by a force dome, which he could teleport in and out of. His allies, a githyanki warrior, a shadar kai, and a githyanki mindbender, were not faring so well. Arimel appeared in the teleport circle to aid the heroes.

Galasis cast Spectral ram, which sent the warrior hurtling over the side. The githyanki held onto the side, dangling off the tower. Arimel summoned an Abyssal Maw to aid the heroes. Storm closed in on the mindslicer. She knew he was too powerful for her to fight alone, so she made a telekinetic leap. But as she did so, Storm took one more swing at her. She held up her silver sword to block it, but the avenger’s swing was so strong that he shattered the blade and bloodied her. She soared through the air, blood spraying, and landed next to the teleport circle where Arimel was standing. She blasted the eladrin with her psychic power as she clutched her bloody wound.

Anjou was inside the force dome with Sarshan. He let out a massive blast, a cahos nova (4d10+5!). Anjou endured it, and Sarshan was impressed. He told her she should be with him rather than against him. She immediately rejected the offer.Anjou held out her branch-like spear. Vines and branches shot out from it, wrapping around Sarshan, immoblilzing him.

Barhash cut down the githyanki warrior.Devilock stole the remaining life force from the mindslicer, and added it to his own. Arimel used a spectral ram to send the shadar kai warrior to the edge of the tower.

Inside the force shield, Sarshan let out another chaos nova, blasting the half-elf again. She knew that the heroes would need to destroy the dome, as Sarshan was simply too strong to fight one-on-one. Arimel called forth a wall of fire and curled it around half of the dome, starting to damage it. The heroes began focusing their attacks on the dome (which had 500 hit points). Storm hacked into the dome, and cracked it with a huge blow.

Sarshan saw that his force dome was not going to last much longer. He let out his blood chaos flare over and again, trying to infect the heroes and turn them to slime like he had done to Bhardran. Arimel teleported inside the dome, cast a stinking cloud, and then escaped (A D&D Dutch Oven, I guess).

Sarshan made his way out of the cloud-filled dome and stumbled over the the precipice of the tower. He let out another blood chaos flare (which initially caused ongoing 10 poison, and after two failed saves, turned you to slime). Anjou was infected. To her horror, she watched as her body became translucent and rubbery. With her final moments upon her, she charged Sarshan and crashed into him, sending him over the side. As she collided with him, she turned into a liquid puddle.

Sarshan toppled over, but grabbed onto a battlement. As he tried to pull himself up, Storm cut into him. Sarshan’s wound exploded into another blood chaos flare, infecting more of the heroes! Sarshan pulled himself up, but Barhash sent him over once more. The crafty Sarshan was again able to hold onto the side. Storm felt his body shifting.. he too was turning to slime!

The heroes were starting to drop. Corth advanced on the shadar kai, who was holding onto the side. (Corth charged and bull rushed Sarshan. Sarshan is a solo, and has +5 to his saving throws. In addition, the battlements gave an additional +2 to saving from falling over the side. So sarshan only needed a 3 or higher on his d20 roll. Corth hit him… and Sarshan’s roll – a 2). Corth ran up to Sarshan and cut off his fingers. Sarshan screamed and plummetted all the way down, crashing into the side of the tower and then plunging into the lava, never to be seen again. Sarshan had been defeated!

The heroes turned to celebrate, and watched as Storm turned into slime before their eyes. They were horrified, but believed that Storm and Anjou could be healed magically. The heroes destroyed the force doom(which only had 34 hit points left). Inside was a teleport circle and a chest. Also inside was a jar of slime – the remains of Bhardran! Devilock snatched it up. The tower began to shake – the magic was fading. The heroes quickly divided up Sarshan’s loot and used the teleport circle.

(I just want to note here that Beyond the Mottled Tower was by far the best 4e adventure I have run. It may be basically a string of encounters, but it’s a string of awesome encounters)

It brough tthem back beneath the Mottled Tower in the village of Talar. They climbed up and found Falrinth and Megan on the roof. The heroes asked Falrinth if he could perform the ritual to save Anjou and Storm. He said he could – for 750 gold.

The heroes were utterly enraged and began to argue with the portly sage.Anjou gave him a death stare. Barhash raised his sword. Corth, Falrinth’s good friend, haggled with the sage using his magic astral speech (with a great diplomacy roll). He talked the sage down to 250 gold, for just Storm and Anjou, not Bhardran.Megan Swiftblade talked everyone down and calmed them. She muttered under her breath, visibly upset that their was now a second adventuring group in the Elsir Vale upstaging her Freeriders.

Corth, Falrinth’s good friend, haggled with the sage using his magic astral speech (with a great diplomacy roll). He talked the sage down to 250 gold, for just Storm and Anjou, not Bhardran.

Corth helped the heroes perfrom the Remove Affliction rituals. They were both successful. The first thing Storm and Anjou saw was Falrinth hovering over hem, suggesting they sweep up his tower. He felt they owed him at leas tthat much after killing his pet monsters as the tower was sinking.

Anjou gave him a death stare. The heroes were utterly enraged and began to argue with the portly sage. Barhash raised his sword. Megan Swiftblade talked everyone down and calmed them. She muttered under her breath, visibly upset that their was now a second adventuring group in the Elsir Vale upstaging her Freeriders.Outside, Devilock used monster blood to paint “The Badasses were here” on the side of the Mottled Tower.

The heroes headed into the half-destroyed village of Talar. They found Alain Cuthbert Rocannen, who was very friendly with the pregnant woman he had rescued. Galasis was approached by Sariel, the eladrin who had thrown a drink in his face before the tavern collapsed. She tried to be sweet to him, and asked if she could accompany him to Overlook. Galasis said yes.

Faling Force 7 made the week-long trip back to Overlook. There, they checked out Devilock’s church/bar and had some drinks. They rested in the city for a week, getting to know the people and doing some shopping. Devilock met with Rufus Crumley, the necromancer, one night. He handed Rufus Bhardran’s remains. Devilock asked Rufus to turn him into a dragonborn/dracolich. Rufus cackled with glee and agreed to do so. Devilock noted that Rufus’ tower was brimming over with undead. The attack on Overlook had supplied him with many bodies to animate.

Sariel, it turned out, worked for a merchant in Brindol. she began trying to make deals with merchants in Overlook…

One day, when Falling Force 7 was hanging out in Devilock’s club, a city guard approached. The rat Cultists and Lost Ones shrieked out and ran, hiding their contraband as best they could. The guard told the heroes that a flying warship was heading for Overlook, and that the city council wanted their help. The heroes jumped up.

The warship had crashed just outside the city. It was grounded but not destroyed. One lone creature, a githzerai, was on the deck, hands up. City guards had crossbows trained on him. The heroes approached. The githzerai called out that he meant no harm, and that he needed help.

He said that the githyanki were attacking his home, a githzerai stronghold called Akma’ad located 140 miles to the southwest. The heroes offered to help. The heroes said they had defended the city from General Zithiruun. The githzerai, named Tokk’it, was skeptical, but the heroes convinced him (with a just-good-enough Diplomacy roll of 16).

Devilock took one look at the crashed ship. Its’ name was inscribed on the front – The Conquerer. The bard knew he had to have it. Tokk’it explained that when the githyanki attacked, they landed the ship and expunged all of the forces from it. He then crept onboard, killed the pilot, and stole it to get help. Devilock cackled, taking a liking to the githzerai.

The heroes boarded The Conquerer. Galasis accompanied Tokkit below to the command deck of the ship. He wanted to see how the ship operated. There was a steering wheel and a wall of windows to see out of. Around the floor of the steering wheel was a rune circle. As Tokkit stepped in it, spectral githyanki appeared all over the ship, and began acting as ghostly crew under his command. (I should point out that Connor, who plays Corth, has taken to calling their new githzerai friend “Hot Tokkit”).

Tokk’it took the Conquerer up and headed toward his home and wondered whether Falling Force 7 could possibly make a difference. He chatted with Galasis as he drove the ship, explaining that the githyanki force included a few more airships, as well as lancers – githyanki knights riding red dragons. He then asked Galasis to keep an eye out for a friend of his at Akma’ad. Her name was Gallia. Tokk’it asked Galasis to keep her safe.

Devilock was in the crow’s nest, revellng in the fact that he could play music on a ship.The others looked over the ship’s ballistas (which do 4d6 damage). Then, swooping out of the clouds came two red dragons, ridden by githyanki knights! The heroes sprung into action.

Arimel surrounded one lancer, a female, and her dragon in a stormcage. Anjou created a storm pillar, and had it hover near the other red dragon. Storm aimed with the ballista and fired, but missed. Galasis fired a force orb at the female and struck her squarely. As she shook off the shot, she gazed down on the eladrin – and fell in love (He rolled a critical, and used the critical hit deck which said she was “charmed”). She could not keep her gaze off of the wizard.

The dragons both were hovering far off the ship. Barhash knew he had only one chance to get to them. He climbed onto the ballista, loading himself into it. And then, he fired! Barhash soared through the air and crashed into the male githyankilancer – sending him tumbling off the dragon. But, to the warlord’s dismay,a faint silvery cord appeared, linking the githyanki to the dragon. The githyanki was able to fly, and landed back on the dragon and ready to fight Barhash!

The female, dangling off her saddle after being hit by a spell from Devilock, flew through the lightning stormcage and dove at Anjou. Her energy lance pierced the warden and sent her tumbling back and over the side! (Even with the +5 bonus granted by all the hanging ropes of The Conquerer and a +1 from her gloves, she still failed her saving throw). Arimel let out a shout and cast feather fall on Anjou. He knew she’d have a long fall, but she’d land on her feet, unharmed.

The Lancer hacked into Barhash with his silver sword. The dragon tried to breathe fire on the heroes on deck, but his aim was off due to the fight going on on his back. Arimel cast spectral ram, knocking the rider prone.

The female had her dragon teleport down the front of the ship, so that she was hovering outside the command deck’s window. One window was open, as Galasis had tried to fire a spell out of it. She called out to Galasis: “This is your one chance! Join me! Give me your hand!”. As she said this, Storm flipped off the side of the deck and landed on her dragon behind her saddle…

Galasis said “Here, take the end of my staff! and held out his staff for her to grab and pull him on. As she reached for it, he hit her squarely in the heart with a spectral ram, which sent her sprawling. She grabbed on to the side of her saddle. Storm then hacked into her as she reeled from the betrayal.

Barhash fought the lancer. He grabbed him and tossed him over the side. He watched in satisfaction as the githyanki plunged to his death. Barhash then took the reigns and forced the pact dragon to swoop down. He hoped that he could find and catch up to Anjou…

To his delight, he saw the half-elf holding on to the bottom of the ship. He flew over and she mounted the dragon. The heroes had the fight well in hand… but this was just the first skirmish in what would become a full-blown war….

Everyone should have: 32,911 XP

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Brock

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