Scales of War

53. Pennel's Last Stand

10/18/09: The fight with Telicanthus took the whole session! We were able to finish the adventure, which IMO was awesome, and will jump into a quick delve for the next week or two to get everyone to 14th level. Connor is thinking of switching out Corth for a new character.. possibly the Son of Corth…

RPGA Sanctioning #: 09-10-2086915

Ark – Eladrin Swordmage Anjou Beurre – Half-Elf Warden Corth, Friend of Falrinth, Betrayer of Troglodytes, Whisperer of Lingering Spirits, Slayer of Sarshan, Harbinger of Critical Strikes, Puller of Chains, Master of Spicy Hobos, Impressor of Scalehammers – Dragonborn Paladin Galasis – Eladrin Wizard Mari – Human Sorcerer Reshkar – Dragonborn Fighter Storm – Razorclaw Avenger

Falling Force 7 was in a cave complex beneath Lord Telicanthus’ mansion. Inside was The Bitter Glass, a hub of planar communication. The githyanki were using the glass to psychically communicate to each other, aiding in co-ordinating the attacks all over the world of Dracos.

Corth had fallen in a pit, as had Reshkar. As the paladin lied, dying, Reshkar used his Chillreaver gem, forging a stronger bond with the great dragon and using its’ power to drag the githyanki closer and closer to the pit.

Telicanthus’ slavish, psychotic human lackey Pennel used his crystal vine spell to drag Anjou and Storm to the edge of the pit. The vines tore into Storm’s skin, dropping the avenger, bloody and dying.

Mari cast a contagious curse spell, which dragged Telicanthus into the pit. Mari ran to the edge and cast chromatic orb at the githyanki before he could get his bearings, but the orb missed its’ mark.

Meanwhile, inside the glass, Galasis began to understand its’ inner workings. He figured out a trick that could delay the glass’ pyschic pulses longer, which would give him opportunities to aid his friends, all of whom were in a very bad way (he rolled a natural 20 on his check.. I ruled that for each 20, he could suppress it for an additional round). In the pit, Corth coughed up blood and died.His confused friend, Cajun Meatshield, stood outside the lair studying rock formations.

Telicanthus whimpered as Anjou and Reshkar closed in on him. He shouted “Pennel! Get down here at once!”. Pennel sighed, and jumped 30 feet down and landed with a sickening thud. He dusted himself off and fired off more crystal strands, which wrapped around the heroes’ necks and dragged them away from Pennel’s githyanki master.

Above the pit, two bloodied githyanki charged Mari. But as they swung their silver swords, she teleported to avoid their swipes. Mari then called forth a chaos storm which killed a githyanki and badly hurt the other. Ark was nearby, dueling a mindslicer. Galasis stepped out of the glass, firing off icy ray spells at the villain. A mindslicer entered the glass from the far side and charged through, cutting Galasis.

In the pit, Reshkar charged Telicanthus and struck him with his voidcrystal blade. Pennel magically absorbed the damage and its’ effect – Pennel was sucked into a pocket dimension. Telicanthus frantically shouted for Pennel as the dragonborn loomed over him.

Ark was faring poorly against the mindslicer, while a githyanki closed in on Mari. The pair found themselves back-to-back. Ark used his lightning lure to yank the mindslicer off the 20 foot-high platform where it and Galasis were fighting. The githyanki rolled all the way down the stairs and was badly injured, but still a threat. Mari and Ark shouted “Gay for Justice!”, and Mari fired off a chaos bolt that blew through the chest of her githyanki enemy, then through the face of the mindslicer fighting Ark, and the sank into the heart of the githyanki who had just fallen down the stairs (yes, she killed three non-minion enemies with a single chaos bolt!).

Pennel emerged from the pocket dimension, andran over to help Telicanthus. He dragged Anjou away from the githyanki. Anjou turned and plunged her spear into Pennel, who coughed up blood, gasping for air. Telicanthus shouted “Don’t you die, Pennel! I command it! You’re my best friend!”. Pennel did as he was told (Telicnathus has an aura that allows allies to be reduced to 0 and stay up until they take more damage). Telicanthus cast a mindhammer on Anjou that blasted her into the near future (a critical, sending her 4 rounds into the future).

A glowing rift opened next to Pennel – it was a creation of Galasis from inside the glass, which would allow him to send spells through. Telicanthus began to tear up and said “Pennel, I promise once this is dealt with, I will treat you better!” But then a spell rocketed from the rift that sent Pennel stumbling back onto Reshkar’s blade. As the blade penetrated through Pennel’s torso, he looked at his githyanki master and said “Telicanthus, I…” Storm suddenly leapt down into the rift, and plunged his blade into Pennel, killing him. (and I had successfully mortified everyone at the table hahaha).

Inside the Bitter Glass, Galasis was continuing to understand how it worked (he rolled another 20, allowing him to only have to suppress it every three rounds).

Telicanthus went into a rage, firing off mindhammer blasts to anyone he saw. He struck Storm with one, dropping the avenger. Galasis sent a magic missile through the rift, pummelling Telicanthus. He shook it off, and mindhammered Reshkar, dropping the warrior to the cavern floor.

Ark jumped down into the pit and faced off against Telicanthus, but he too fell to a mindhammer. Half the party was down and dying in the pit. Anjou re-appered, bbut quickly was dropped by a mindhammer. Mari and Galsis were the only heroes conscious!

Galsis sent an ice storm into the pit, covering the githyanki in frost. Telicanthus took to the air (he had fly (clumsy) 6!). Ark and Anjou suddenly awoke with a start (they both rolled 20’s on their death saves!). Galasis called him out, shouting “You’ve only dealt with my minions, now take me on!”. Telicanthus flew over and mindhammered Mari, dropping her. He advanced on Galsis as Ark and Anjou quietly climbed up the pit wall.

Galasis stared down at Telicanthus from his perch 20 feet up. Anjou teleported from the pit wall next to Telicanthus and shouted “Surprise, cock fag!” and hacked into the noble. Telicnathus stumbled forward, desperately casting mindhammers at Anju and Galasis. Anjou was struck in the chest and hurtled to the edge of the pit. Galasis was blasted off the ledge, and fell dead.

Ark turned invisible and pulled himself over the side of the pit. Anjou got up and was in a flanking position. Anjou sent vines forth from her spear, which wrapped around Telicanthus. She tossed him over the side, but the crafty villain grabbed onto the edge to stop from falling. He pulled himself and knocked Anjou unconscious with a mindhammer.

Ark became visibile and faced off against Lord Telicanthus, who mocked the heroes’ attempt to stop him. Ark said “We’re here to stop save the world from evil like you!” Ark swung, but he githyanki ducked and hit Ark with a fatal mindhammer. All of Falling Force 7 were on the ground, dead or dying.

And then, Cajun Meatshield wandered in. He was baffled, but knew that his friends needed help. He whipped a shuriken into Telicanthus and began trying to revive the heroes with potions. He revived Anjou, who valiantly fought Telicanthus as Cajun ran around the bitter glass and revived Galasis.

Telicanthus dropped Anjou and headed up to the 20 foot-high ledge that provided access to the Bitter Glass. Ark suddenly came to (yes he rolled three 20’s on death saves in this fight!). Ark charged up the steps and tore into the villain, who was covered in bloody wounds. Galasis blasted Telicanthus with a thunderwave spell, which knocked him teetering on the edge. Cajun took aim and flung a final shuriken into Telicanthus’ neck, at last dropping the githyanki.

Telicanthus laid gasping on the ledge. His final words: “Pennel, I’m coming…” and then he was no more.

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52. The Bitter Glass

_10/12/09: This is exactly one year after I first started running Scales of War at the Den! I’d say we have over another year to go. _

RPGA Sanctioning #: 09-10-2079671

Ark – Eladrin Swordmage Anjou Beurre – Half-Elf Warden Corth, Friend of Falrinth, Betrayer of Troglodytes, Whisperer of Lingering Spirits, Slayer of Sarshan, Harbinger of Critical Strikes, Puller of Chains, Master of Spicy Hobos, Impressor of Scalehammers *- Dragonborn Paladin *Galasis – Eladrin Wizard Mari – Human Sorcerer Reshkar – Dragonborn Fighter *Storm *- Razorclaw Avenger

The heroes were in a cave complex beneath Lord Telicanthus’ mansion, searching for evidence that Telicanthus was an ally of the invading githyanki army. They had found a band of githyanki resting below, and attacked. One githyanki ran into a large chamber beyond, and the heroes pursued.

In the larger chamber was an old tower of the ancient city of Auger. More githyanki lurked, ready to fight the heroes. Mari ran into the chamber and blasted the githyanki with a tempest surge. The githyanki charged her, knocking her to the ground. Warriors quickly blocked the tunnel, cutting off the heroes from the sorcerer. A githyanki brought a silver sword down on her, but Mari teleported deeper into the chamber to avoid the strike. A Mindslicer cast n unstable balance spell in the midst of the group, knocking them to the ground.

Storm surged forward, plunging his blade into the githyanki who was blocking the tunnel, causing a gushing wound (a critical). Anjou, prone, used her earthstirde ability to meld into the earth and re-appear by the tower. She then created a storm pillar, and dragged the githyanki into it with a storm strike spell.

Mari cast Dragonfrost to swap Storm and the mindslicers’ positions. storm was now past the hallway, and set his sights on Kl’esh, a githyanki mindslicer who was trying to get into the tower to get reinforcements. Ark teleported into the chamber and tore into the githyanki.

Mari had just gotten to her feet when a githyanki warrior charged her and cut into her with his silver sword. She backed away, doing her best to parry the blows, but the githyanki charged again and cut into the sorcerer.

Storm pursued Kl’esh, and used sequestering strike to teleport the gith into a side cave. Storm proceeded to enter the cave and beat the bejeezus out of Kl’eth. Corth called forth a hallowed circle as Galasis killed a gith with an icy ray. Reshkar tore into the githyanki, bloodying multiple opponents with a single strike. A githyanki tried to break away to aid Kl’esh, but Reshar, Anjou and Ark all cut him down before he took a second step.

Corth made his way toward Mari, and cast radiant delirium, causing the gith to seize in pain. Anjou used her thorn vines to drag the gith away from her. Reshkar cut off the gith’s leg and watched as he bled to death. Storm cut Kl’esh in two, and Ark burned the final githyanki to death.

The heroes rested for a few minutes, studying the tower. Then, they entered. Inside, the floor sloped down to reveal a large chamber containing a huge, hovering glass ball. there was also a pit and a glassblowing furnace. (The players commented that it’s not often that a d adventure revolves around Evil Glassblowers).

The heroes waited on the far side of the pit while Storm crept across to check out the globe. There were stairs on either side that led to a door-like carving in two sides of the globe. Storm headed up the stairs and opened the door. Inside were 4 chanting githyanki on a glass bridge. The interior of the globe was an array of lights and psychic energy.

The githyanki were startled, and stopped chanting disrupting the ritual. They looked panicked, both at the intrusion, and of what the bitter glass was about to do due to the interruption.

Storm shouted that the re was trouble. Reshkar and others ran across the bridge to aid the avenger. Mari crossed and fired off a chaos bolt at the glass. To her dismay, it seemed to absorb her magic entirely.The Bitter Glass then responded, sending out a massive wave of psychic energy. The heroes reeled as thousands of githyanki voices and thoughts chattered away in their minds (they took 2d8+5, ongoing 5, and were dazed. The device did this every round!).

The githyanki poured of both sides of the glass, intent on defending their device. Reshkar began trading blows with the gith on the far side. Storm slipped inside the glass and began pounding away at it,. He found that while the exterior glass walls were magically protected, the interior was vulnerable to attacks.

Mari checked out the glassblowing furnace, and found it to be incredibly hot (those who entered its’ squares took 4d8+5!). She shouted out to her allies the information, and Falling Force began plotting ways to heave their enemies on or into the furnace.

Galasis, on the ledge next to the Bitter Glass blasted a gith with a spectral ram. The githyanki frantically caught himself from going over the ledge, dangling 20 feet above the cavern floor.

A gith rushed into the glass, panicked that Storm was trying to break it. He shoved the avenger off the glass bridge, sending him hurtling to the base of the glass globe. Anjou was nearby, and used her vines to throw the gith off the bridge as well.

Galasis teleported into the glass and on the bridge. As a gith tried to pursue him, he sent a thunderlance into the gith’s chest that sent him hurtling out of the glass, off the ledge and crashing into the cavern wall. Galasis began studying the Bitter Glass, to see if he could find a way to stp the psychic pulses that were severely injuring his allies.

In the base of the glass, Storm and the gith traded blows. The gith telekinetically leapt up to the bridge, but Storm sent a radiant beam of vengeance through his back, killing him. (I then noticed that my specially-prepared, pre-drawn poster map of the chamber looked pathetically small when placed on top of the Den’s huge grid map. It was like thinking you had a sweet package and then going to the zoo and seeing an elephant penis. An elephant pee stream alone is as thick as a two liter bottle. It was pointed out that some elephants even have moss growing on their genitals, which may or may not be pleasurable for the recipient of said penis).

The heroes seemed to have things in hand, as Corth plunged his blade into a prone gith, killing it. But then, the tower doors swung open, and 6 gith ran in, followed by Lord Telicanthus himself, and his lackey, Pennel. Lord Telicanthus surveyed the area and said “You rudely deserted my tea party, you’ve found m device, and you dangled my man Pennel over a toilet! You’ll all be killed for this, and no-one will ever find out how”.

Inside the glass, Galasis countered the energy of the glass, and found that he could suppress its’ emanations as long as he focused. Anjou ran toward the new faction and called forth a storm pillar. Telicanthus chuckled and told Pennel to take care of her. Pennel held out his hand, calling forth crystalline vines which wrapped around Anjou and tossed her into the pit! Anjou plummeted 30 feet and was hurt bad. Mari, on the ledge, tried to shatter the glass. She sent a chaos bolt into it, which rocketed into the glass, then skittered out and into a mindslicer, and then settled in the face of a githyanki warrior.

Anjou storm stepped out of the pit and next to Pennel. Lying on her back, she used her vines to drag him closer to her hands. Then, activating her giant gloves, she flung Pennel soaring over the pit and onto the furnace! Pennel screamed in agony as the furnace burned him badly. Telicanthus chuckled and said “I love the way you scream, Pennel, you sound like such a girl!”. Telicanthus then used a power of his called Force Switch, which he used to teleport Anjou onto the furnace and Pennel back to his side. Telicanthus continued to tease Pennel as Anjou shrieked and then fell unconscious from the agonizing pain (she was at -15). Ark used his lightning lure to drag his friend off of the furnace. A mindlicer then used a psychic blast to drop Ark to the ground.

Storm emerged from the bitter glass, having climbed up and out onto the bridge. He ran and jumped over the pit, landing directly in front of Telicanthus. He sliced into Telicanthus, but watched in shock as Pennel reeled from the damage instead. Telicanthus nodded and said “Pennel is so loyal..” he admired Storm the shifter for a moment, and said “You have such a shiny coat. You might be fun to take to parties. You could be the new Pennel!” Pennel glared angrily as Telicanthus psychically dominated Storm and forced him to jump back over the pit and charge his friends.

Reshkar was a literal rain of steel, cutting into a swarm of githyanki. He cut down a warrior and moved out toward the pit. Pennel took notice, and used his crystal vines to drag the dragonborn over the side of the pit. Reshkar landed with a thud.

Ark suddenly awoke (he rolled a 20 on his death save!). Storm took a swing at him, which Ark ducked. Storm was so shocked at what he had done, that he was able to shake off the influence of Telicanthus. They looked around the field and saw many of their friends lying on the ground, bleeding and dying.

Reshkar was in the pit, trying to figure out how best to climb up. He became concerned that he’d be an easy target. as he climbed up and out. Then he realized – he didn’t have to get out. He could bring them in. He pulled out the gem of Chillreaver, and activated it. He could feel it dragging his enemies to the edge of the pit.As his blood ran cold with the magic of the two-headed dragon, he wondered if even the dragon’s power would be enough to save his friends…

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51. The Shield Against the Silver Thread

10/5/09: The group is getting a little too big, so we’ve started planning on splitting into two groups. John Lent would run the other group, and hopefully I can post summaries of those games as well. I believe in a previous summary I mentioned a certain comic book we’ve been staring at as we play. Take a look to the right and tell me what it says on the cover..

RPGA Sanctioning #: 09-10-2068869

Ark – Eladrin Swordmage Anjou Beurre – Half-Elf Warden Corth, Friend of Falrinth, Betrayer of Troglodytes, Whisperer of Lingering Spirits, Slayer of Sarshan, Harbinger of Critical Strikes, Puller of Chains, Master of Spicy Hobos, Impressor of Scalehammers *- Dragonborn Paladin *Devilock – Tiefling Bard Galasis – Eladrin Wizard Mari – Human Sorcerer Reshkar – Dragonborn Fighter Storm – Razorclaw Avenger

The heroes were meeting with leaders of the major settlements of the region around Sayre. The githyanki was waging a full-scale invasion of the entire continent, maybe the world. The heroes and their friend Amyria was trying to convince the leaders to form a Coalition.

They had taken a lunch break in the Sayre University lecture hall. Mari had just beaten Fariex Scalehammer in a game of Three Dragon Ante.

Devilock had been outside, riling up the University student body. It wasn’t long before he had created two groups of protestors with opposing viewpoints. Satisfied, he entered the lecture hall and joined his allies.

Cedric greeted Devilock and talked about some of their old adventures. Cedric told the heroes about the time when he and Devilock were in the Lost Mines of Karak. Devilock had fallen into a crevasse layered with elemental energy, and Cedric had lowered a rope for him to escape. Devilock climbed out and faced off against Lady Shephatiah the naga, who was perched on her mound of dwarf skulls. Devilock used a blunder song to send the naga hurtling face-fist into a pillar, causing it to collapse.

Once the heroes had killed her, Cedric found a primordial ring amongst the skulls. Cedric showed the heroes the ring and told them that he was all for The Coalition.

Anjou pulled Corth aside,and told him that Ark was not going to make a good leader. Anjou wanted Corth to use his skills of oration to help her. Corth chewed on his sandwich and thought for a moment. Then he said, “As much as I love you, man-lady, Ark bought me this sandwich.”

Devilock headed over to Odos. He and Anjou had the idea that it would be important to have a second-i-command to Ark. dos was immediately suspicious, wondering aloud if Devilock had plans to kill Ark and take his position. But Devilock offered that Odos should be second-in-command.

The githzerai pondered this and pulled a flask out, and took a drink. It was fekk, a bizarre-tasting and very potent githzerai wine. The heroes all wanted a taste, and ended up gagging and almost retching – Devilock, Reshkar and Mari. Anjou sidled up and took a swig.. and smiled. Odos was impressed with the half-elf. She used the opening to try to convince him that he was crucial in the fight against the githyanki. Odos finally agreed.

The adventurers proceeded to approach the other members of the coalition to seek their approval of Odos as second-in-command. Mari talked it over with Fariex, and he agreed to it. Storm approached Inogo, who was drinking quietly, alone. Storm figured that the best way to reel him in was to engage the priest in talk of religion. Inogo, a priest of Valinor the goddess of healing was delighted and warmed up to Storm considerably. Inogo agreed to support Odos.

The meeting was re-convened, and Odos was appointed second-in-command of The Coalition. The next order of business was to decide whether Amyria’s strange dream was worth investigating. She recounted her dream, which involved a huge spider with a web that connected to githzerai and githyanki alike.

Mari reminded the Coalition of the two glass orbs the heroes had found on the githyanki, and that they might be linked. The others piped up as well, and the coalition agreed to look into the dream.

Amyria brought the meeting to the next order of business – a name for the coalition. She suggested either The Order of Heaven’s Fang or The Platinum Shield Coalition. Odos suggested “The Blind who can see”. Lord Divian Torrance, governor of Sayre, suggested “The Sayre Coalition”. Others offered similar self-serving suggestions. The heroes had a few ideas: “Coalition of the Manifold Shield”, “Coalition of the Many-Pointed Star”, “The Shears of Fate”, or “Josh and his Amazing Friend” (suggested by Mari’s familiar, Josh the Snake).

But two names were chosen as favorite: The Shield against the Silver Thread and… Gay for Justice. The heroes began to bicker among themselves over which name to pick. They were split right down the middle. A debate raged.

Team Shield Against the Silver Thread: Anjou, Devilock, Storm and Corth.

Team Gay For Justice: Mari, Reshkar, Ark and Galasis

(Each team took turns in a mini-skill challenge. Whoever won more checks would get their way. In the very likely event of both teams succeeding, I would keep track of how much each team won each check by and add them together. Whoever beat their three checks by more total points would be the winner.)

Mari pointed out “Who doesn’t like chicks making out?”. Anjou responded by claiming that the “Gay For Justice Coalition” would be treated a a joke. Galsis called back to a legendary tale of when Ken Shaneris defended a pass with 100 Black Samurai against a massive army for days (Ken was a hero in the Crystal Bitter campaign). Galasis pointed out that Ken, protector of Marra, universal Goddess of good, died for their freedom to choose whatever name they desired.

Corth countered with a flowery speech, and Devilock supported him with Words of Friendship (a bard power). They made the case that Gay for Justice was simply not a good name for The Coalition – that it was, in fact, laughable.

It was time for closing arguments. Mari walked over to the table and approached Quellenna Estromiel, ruler of Dornaithos and shrewd merchant. Mari began making out with her. he room got sweaty. Men shifted uncomfortably in their seats. All were too stunned to react.

Mari had made a stunningly convincing final argument. (Mari’s team had beaten their combined checks by 36 points after that. Team Silver Thread was at 24 points. they’d need to beat their final check by 12 points to win!)

Corth approached the Coalition and began yelling at them to snap out of it. This was serious business – people were dying! He pounded the table for emphasis. (Corth made an intimidate check… his roll, a natural 20! With that, his team’s total climbed to 43, and they had won!)

The final issue for the Shield Against the Silver Thread to discuss was the githyanki citizen of Sayre, ord Telecanthus, and whether or not to investigate him. Devilock talked to his allies privately, and told them he wasn’t even convinced that the githyanki should be investigated.

Galasis said “He’s a glassblower”. Devilock was not yet convinced. Anjou followed up, laying out the evidence against Telicanthus. He then finished off with a quote from the wall scrawlings in the Vault of knowledge “If we don’t come together, they will surely tear us apart”.

Devilock decided that Telicanthus deserved to be looked into, and even helped convince the Coalition. He made up a bit of a song: “There once was a glassblower from Sayre, who had tunnels under his lair.

The Coalition was quickly convinced, and voted to have the heroes investigate. The heroes realized that the timing was great, as they were scheduled to visit Lord Telicanthus’ mansion in a couple hours for tea. The Coalition called it a day, and the heroes headed into Sayre to prepare for the tea party. Corth picked up a top hat and monocle. Anjou and Mari and bought dresses previously. Galasis used prestidigitation to blast the dirt and scum off of him.

As they shopped, Anjou pondered the dream and the writings on the walls of the vault of knowledge. She was trying to piece together what it all meant. She had asked members of the coalition about the mention of dwarves and a tower. The most prominent tower in Sayre, they explained, was a monument signifying where the home of Auglos the Seer once stood in Auger. the tower had an ever-burning flame on it that homeles people would try to cextinguish for money, and fall off the tower and cripple themselves.

The dwarves, they explained, kept to themselves, living in the Low District.

A carriage was sent for them. The heroes climbed in. They passed the tower, known as the Pillar of Hope Reborn. Devilock tossed out coins to the homeless who congregated there.

The heroes arrived at Telicanthus’ mansion.Telicanthus greeted them at the door. Ark demanded that Pennel, Telicanthus’ assistant, announce his arrival.Pennel did as instructed, calling out “Ladies and gentlemen, Ark Kane of the Sayre University has arrived. Lady Isabella, Archdean of the University, looked on in confusion.

Corth also asked to be introduced.. Pennel did: “Corth, Friend of Falrinth, Betrayer of Troglodytes, Whisperer of Lingering Spirits, Slayer of Sarshan, Harbinger of Critical Strikes, Puller of Chains, Master of Spicy Hobos, Impressor of Scalehammers has arrived!”

the heroes were walked around and introduced to the party-goers, all high-ranking citizens of Sayre.

Galasis walked over the the Archdean, a beautiful, middle-aged magical scholar.. She asked him if he was a war hero, and he began to tell her of his adventures defending Overlook. He could almost see her swooning. They then talked monster dissection and alchemical theories. It wasn’t long before Galasis was setting up a clandestine meeting with he, set for midnight.

Devilock spoke with the tiefling head of the guards, who revealed that Telicanthus had asked his patrols to steer clear of the mansion “as not to disturb his work”.

Storm slipped into a dark hallway, and began to creep around the mansion to learn more about Telicanthus. He crept through a few different rooms, and stumbled into the kitchen. Storm quickly told them he was a new employee. They put him to work. He learned that the cooks routinely made lots of extra food every day – for who, noone was certain.

Ark chatted with Baranor the Black, Telicanthus’ neighbor. Baranor was an old man who used an ear horn to help his hearing. He said that his knee was aching badly. Ark helped him with his knee. Baranor thanked him, and explained that he was an adventurer in his youth. He told a story about how he was riding a griffon, and helped another griffon give birth in midair. A dragon flew up and interrupted them, and Baranor kicked it in the face. It plummeted to the earth below. Baranor swooped down and found the dragon’s horde, which he’s been living off ever since.

Ark had heard of Baranor, but wondered if this particular story was true.Anjou and Devilock spotted Pennel pocketing a key. Lord Divian Torrance chatted with Mari, and subtly indicated that Pennel was one to be watched, and that the key was important.

Devilock and Anjou tricked Pennel, telling him that the lavatory was a disaster and needed attention. When Pennel came out into the vestibule to investigate, Anjou used her sash to grab him and drag him in. She and Devilock beat him and tied him up. They took his key. They watched the normally reserved and pale fellow gain a psychotic glam in his eyes. He swore to bite out their throats.

Storm had returned to the main hall. he heroes handed him the key. Storm crept back out into the mansion and found the door that the key unlocked – it lead to Pennel’s office. In there, he found a key to Telicanthus’ office. He snuck into the office, and found that the room seemed asymmetrical. He suspected that one wall with a mirror on it concealed a secret room.

The other heroes pretended their friend was drunk and stumbled into the hall. They joined Storm. They figured out that glass shards on Telicanthus’ desk could be used on the mirror, which rippled and allowed passage into the secret hallway beyond. The hallway lead down into a secret, excavated tunnel complex.

The heroes explored, and found that it lead to a larger chamber, where a number of githyanki were resting. Storm was up ahead, and tried to sneak in without being noticed. The githyanki jumped up and shouted in alarm. Storm phased through a wall, running past the githyanki and into a side tunnel, where he emerged and attacked a mindslicer.

The heroes rushed down the hall to aid their friend. Mari dropped a tempest spell that pummeled the githyanki. (At this point, some pondered what the symbol of Gay for Justice would have been. It was decided that the symbol would have been a five-headed dragon breathing rainbows~).

Galasis sent a fireball into the room, further devastating the githyanki.the mindslicer tried to back away from Storm, but the avenger cut a huge slice out of its’ side. Blood began spewing everywhere as he slammed into the wall from the force of the blow (a critical for 54 points of damage).

Mari launched a chaos storm in the room, whcih the githyanki were packed into. Over the course of 9 seconds, the githyanki were bathed in pain from spell after spell. Anjou raced in and jumped onto a table. She cast a thundersmash spell that knocked most of the githyanki to the ground. Galasis cast forceful retort, which sent them flying to the corners of the room. He followed it up with a thunderlance that killed one and sent another one rolling down a wide tunnel.

Reshkar rushed in and cleved a pack of guthyanki, cutting one down and wounding others,. MAri cast mindhammer, which killed another. Galsis used his staff to cave in another’s skull.

The githyanki in the wide hall took one look at the slaughter and ran deeper in. Devilock spoke deep speech, and so he understood when the githyanki shouted “intruders! Quickly, we need help!”The bard ran after him through the wide tunnel, which opened up into a chamber conaining an old tower that once stood in the city of Auger….

Everyone should have: 43,828 XP

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50. The Coalition

9/28/09: John Lent couldn’t make it this week, but we had a surprise return. Daryl had gone to the South and as far as I knew might not return.. and yet here he was! He’ll be in town for a few weeks, and will be playing Ark again!The heroes were 40 XP away from 13th level, and they mauled over that barrier tonight….

Sanctioning #: 09-09-2064684

Ark – Eladrin Swordmage Anjou Beurre – Half-Elf Warden Corth, Friend of Falrinth, Betrayer of Troglodytes, Whisperer of Lingering Spirits, Slayer of Sarshan, Harbinger of Critical Strikes, Puller of Chains, Master of Spicy Hobos, Impressor of Scalehammers – Dragonborn Paladin Galasis *- Eladrin Wizard *Mari *- Human Sorcerer *Reshkar – Dragonborn Fighter Storm – Razorclaw Avenger

Falling Force 7 was in the city of Sayre, trying to help some home-less githzerai, as well as help stop a githyanki invasion of the world of Dracos. They were suspicious of a popular githyanki noble in Sayre, and were investigating a Spice House that housed bandits who had attacked them in the city. Deep under the spice house was a church of tiamat, and inside was the bandit leader – the Filth King.

The room was cut in half by a 20 foot deep pit lined with bones of those who had angered the Filth King. On the far side was a filthy statue of Tiamat, and a massive treasure hoard.

A bandit was by the treasure, nervous. The filth King shouted “Do it!”. Galasis wasn’t sure what was going to happen. He cast a stinking cloud on the bandit, who doubled over, wretching. The bandit picked up a coin from the pile, which triggered the magic.

The hoard swirled together, forming a massive five-headed beast made entirely out of coins and treasure! The treasure golem’s roar sounded like a thousand clattering coins. It reared up and devoured the wretching bandit.

Suddenly, Ark kicked in the temple doors. As a treasure hunter, he had been drawn to Sayre and the city buried beneath it – Auger. Ark jumped over three pews and tore into one of the bandits.

Mari cast a chaos storm, summoning it on the golem. The chaos storm dragged the treasure golem to the edge of the pit. The thing fought and was able to keep itself from falling in.

Anjou grabbed the Filth King and hurled him into the pit of bones. He fell with a sickening thud, and groaned. He was near death. (Meanwhile, up top, The Combat Advantage was utilized. We speculated on scenarios where a rowdy night out could lead to a fellow going to a doctor to get tested for The Combat Advantage. How dangerous that would be. Why, anyone could get sneak attack damage on you, even in broad daylight!).

Anjou used her storm step spell to turn into a being of wind and rain. She crossed the pit and hacked into the golem. Storm the Avenger climbed down into the pit, pursuing the Filth King until he was sure he was dead.

The golem snatched Anjou up in its’ mouth and flung the warden into the pit. As she stood up, she aided Storm, flanking the Filth King. Storm;s blade plunged into the king, slaying him.

Storm climbed, pulling himself out of the pit. He hacked into the beast, but it tossed him back, sending him sprawling. A bandit fell into the pit and attacked Anjou. Ark teleported down and sliced the bandit to ribbons. As the bandit was in death throes, the two friends re-united amongst the bones of the enemies of Tiamat (Ark and Anjou were adventuring companions before Falling Force 7 formed).

Anjou then used magic to summon branches which allowed her to run up and out of the pit. Storm and Anjou engaged the creature, but were shocked as the thing turned into a swirling vortex of treasure and crossed the pit. As it came close to a bandit on the other side, he shouted out “I quit!”.

The bandit jumped the pit and ran toward the statue of Tiamat. He began reaching to the wall behind the statue. As Arc climbed out of the pit, Anjou ran over to the bandit and was as friendly as possible. She asked him not to run, and asked him for help. “Is there any way we can pacify the golem?”

(In the adventure, it mentions a power called pacify by tribute). the bandit nodded, and shouted that in order to placate the golem, you’d have to offer it a fairly valuable stack of treasure. The heroes tossed 100 gold at the golem, which placated it. The thing revert3ed intothe form of a pile of treasure.

The heroes then went through a magical process where they disenchanted the treasure. Once successful, they divvied up the loot, which included about 10,000 gold, four potions of vitality, and a painting of Auglos, founder of Auger.

Reshkar, meanwhile, had been in a savage fight with a pair of female bandits. He sensed a connection between the Tiamat statue and the gem he had gotten from the would-be assassins from earlier. He tossed the icy gem to Storm, who placed it at the altar of the statue. A cold voice emanated in Storm and Reshkar’s minds: “Cast off your God, Glydon of War, and follow me – Chillreaver!”

Storm said “Screw you” and backed away. Reshkar, however, agreed. The voice said “Come forward, then.” Rehskar could sense the power of Chillreaver as he came near. He touched the gem, and he felt his body surge with strength. His breath weapon was now ice, and his red scales had whitened considerably. The gem, too, had been recharged. He could use it to draw enemies to it. He understood that it could be recharged if he brought it back to the statue. He also understood that he now served Chillreaver, the two-headed white dragon.

Three bandits surrendered. Galasis proceeded to beat them to death with his staff. he church had originally been dedicated to his diet, Radu the god of magic. Galasis took great offense to what they had done to it.

The heroes rested for a few minutes, then checked out the secret door behind the statue. In it was a hallway that sloped downward and ended at a door partially blocked by rubble. Josh the snake was sent, and he slithered through the rubble and under the door crack. Josh reported that the room tasted of death and that he sensed the vibrations of many.

The heroes cleared out the rubble and forced the door open. Inside was an old library, with 8 undead scribes lurking within. Text had been scribed all over the walls, using their own bony fingers to copy the books contents that had long since decayed.

Storm charged in, crossing the room and devastating a Bone Archivist with a massive attack. It touched the avenger, reading his memories. Storm’s memory of rejecting Chillreaver’s offer was inscribed on the strange creature’s skin.

Anjou used a thunderstrike to drop an archivist as the undead closed in, intent on reading and copying the heroes’ memories, killing them in the process. (It was also pointed out that there’s a comic on the rack that seems to claim that the Justice Society of America is “Gay for Justice!”).

Anjou teleported further into the room, usign thunder ram assault to send them flying. Falling Force easily took down the undead, and then studied the walls. There were a number of passages about the development of a glass communication device, and how it sent feedback into the astral sea… Ark noted that Auger had been destroyed by the githyanki hundreds of years ago….

But there was one long passage that seemed to address the heroes directly:

“You’re watching me. I can see you, but you don’t know that. You’re listening to my words even though I’m long dead. No, not you! Idiot. You’re just writing down my words because you were told to by the old man with a beard and a magic glass. I’m talking to the other people, the ones reading this on the wall. They know I’m dead.

Oh yes, dead, mud in my mouth, river arisen! I sing of a ship that sails the air, that brings swords and fire. You’ve fought it, too, but it’s worse for you. We’re just going to die. They’ll kill us all because of what the bearded man does, talking through the mirror. They’ll just flood the room, and that will solve their problem until he finds it again. He’s been looking for it a long time. You think he likes you but it’s a lie. There was digging, you see, and cleaning, and many false leads. He’ll use it to conquer you all, but no one will believe you. You’ll have to prove him a liar. They can talk through it, you see. They’ve managed to do it, and the armies whisper through the blue darkness in a way that no one else can hear. You’re dead if you don’t stop it.

Even now they are discussing you. “Distract them,” he is told, “this is too important to ruin.” But you can. Boy! Boy, I demand a goose! Pluck it and ruin it and save yourself if you find the right spot. Look for the old tower when no one expects you. It isn’t where they think it is. Ask the dwarves if you like, the brothers who dream of maps. Because in the days to come SHE will spread herself, and none will be safe from HER reach, so you may wish to trust the speech of the Bladed Girl. Trust, trust her if no one else. If her people do not come together, they will certainly be ripped apart. Like my goose? I am so very hungry. I could use some tea. Boy!”

—verbatim account from the recorded visions of Graiden Brackenhaus, oracular guest of Seer Auglos of Auger, as scribed by Brother Pinnot from the Church of Radu.

Falling Force headed back up into Sayre, and decided to stay at Ark’s inn. they checked in on the River Jewel. Anjou had offered her room to 2 bandits. Apparently they had raised quite a ruckus. Anjou found them both passed out in her room with two floozies. Empty bottles covered the floor.

The heroes let them be and headed to Ark’s place for a well-deserved rest.

The following morning, they headed to the University of Sayre with Amyria. It was time for the meeting of the prospective Coalition. Amyria hoped to convince influential leaders of the region to band together to fight against the githyanki, who were attacking settlements all over the continent.

Sitting at the table were the prospective members of The Coalition:

Cedric of Overlook – The former Badass was now representing Overlook’s interests Fariex the Scalehammer – a well-connected merchant of the region Caliandra of the Stagrunners – and elderly ruler of 25 elf tribes Lord Divian Torrance – governor of Sayre Quelenna Entromiel – ruler of a settlement called Dornaithos, also a wealthy merchant Inogo Dravitch – Priest ruler of distant Sherrbyr, a city of churches Odos – the blind githzerai who wanted to kill Telicanthus and take his people off of the world entirely

Amyria thanked them all for coming. She began to speak of the threat of the githyanki. Corth stepped forward to help. Fariex the Scalehammer questioned the logistics of a Coalition. Corth proceeded to give an incredibly eloquent speech, noting not only the good that could be one, but also the potential profits to be had in a wartime scenario.

Fariex sat back and rubbed his chin. Fariex proclaimed that he wanted to be involved in whatever Corth had in mind. He was thoroughly impressed.

The first order of business was to discuss the transfer of the military to the Coalition. There was a lot of resistance to the idea, but the heroes stepped in and helped Amyria. the heroes convinced the Coalition that a unified army was essential infighting the Githyanki.

Amyria was pleased, and declared that apparently there would be a Coalition. The next order of business, then, was to vote on a leader. It came down to three choices: Lord Divian Torrance, who insisted that if this was all to be based in his city,t hen it only made sense for him to have control of The Coalition. Anjou and Storm nominated Odos the githzerai, who was shocked. And Ark threw his hat into the mix, with the backing of Galasis, Coth and Reshkar (Mari remained neutral).

A debate raged (opposed skill checks!) to decide leadership. The talks bounced back and forth. Ark’s argument for himself was more or less “why not?”. But he was backed by Corth, an incredibly skilled Orator. Corth eloquently laid out the idea that Ark was a fresh face with new ideas.

Anjou knew Ark, though, and was repulsed by the idea that her eladrin friend would be in charge of such a massive effort. She explained that Odos was the perfect choice because he didn’t want any part of it. Odos had no vested interests – his only concern was that he didn’t want anyone else to die.

It was a great point. But Anjou was not the great speechmaker that Corth was (Anjou failed her check by one point! Since Ark’s team had won all three of their checks, and Odos’ team only won two, Ark was the victor). Anjou cringed as The Coalition agreed to make Ark the leader ofthe Coalition effort!

After an hour of logistics, someone called for a lunch break. The heroes and the leaders mingled as they ate. Fariex the Scalehammer pulled out a deck of cards and asked if anyone wanted to play a game of Three Dragon Ante. Mari looked him over, and watched the merchant’s elaborate shuffling techniques. She couldn’t spot any tricks. She decided to play him.

She sat down at the table knowing nothing about the game. She then proceeded to destroy Fariex with an incredible hand. She walked away 50 gold richer. Fariex was bemused and impressed with Mari. He couldn’t help but respect her skill (she would get a +5 on her next check involving Fariex).

There were still major decisions to be made. As they sat and reflected, the heroes wondered what would be in store for Ark’s Coalition…

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49. Covet House

9/21/09: We were maxed out at seven players tonight. Next week is Session #50, marking one year of Scales of War at the den. Maybe I’ll bring some kind of delicious treat! We also discussed getting Falling ForceTour shirts made, which would include on the back locations such as: Overlook, Akma’ad and Sayre. I suppose you could add Talar and The Elemental Chaos to the list as well, and Falling Force’s Flying Fortress.

RPGA Sanctioning #: 09-09-2056890

Anjou Beurre – Half-Elf Warden Corth, Friend of Falrinth, Betrayer of Troglodytes, Whisperer of Lingering Spirits, Slayer of Sarshan, Harbinger of Critical Strikes, Puller of Chains, Master of Spicy Hobos – Dragonborn Paladin Devilock – Tiefling Bard Galasis – Eladrin Wizard Mari – Human Sorcerer Reshkar – Dragonborn Fighter Storm – Razorclaw Avenger

Falling Force Seven was in the city of Sayre trying to aid the githzerai there. They had also been invited to tea at the mansion of a popular githyanki noble, and were scheduled to attend a meeting of city leaders to help Amyria try to convince them to form a Coalition to fight the githyanki, who had been attacking conclaves and cities throughout the continent of Gulvania.

The heroes had left the Githzerai’s shabby home in a run-down section of Sayre and were immediately attacked by well-armed beggars. The heroes killed them and looked them over. They reeked of spice. Devilock suspected that the would-be assassins were apparently from a Spice House of some sort.

Reshkar picked up the magical gem that one of the beggars had used. He had sensed a sinister draconic presence coming from the gem, but wanted to try to harness its’ power (it dragged the heroes one square closer at the start of their turns). Galasis looked it over with Devilock, and they determined that its’ power had been drained, but could be re-fueled by evil draconic energy. They also felt that it was either created or powered by Chillreaver, a legendary two-headed white dragon.

ChillReaver was one of the rulers of Wyrmsmere, the other continent on the world of Dracos. Wyrmsmere was a realm ruled by evil dragons. Overlook and Sayre are located on the continent of Gulvania, whose ruler had made some kind of deal with the evil dragons to keep them from invading. The heroes began to wonder if ChillReaver had come to Gulvania…. Reshkar put the gem in his pack.

Mari wanted to do some shopping following the attack. She wanted to purchase a dress and glasses for the upcoming tea party.

The heroes then stopped by the River Jewel and checked out their rooms that Lord Telicanthus had reserved for them. They had a whole floor to themselves, and the amenities were impressive. Devilock asked a matron about local spice houses. The matron recalled a place and gave directions. The heroes rested until 10 PM, and then headed out to the spice house.

Upon arriving, they found it to be a run-down, boarded up building. A beggar girl sat on the steps. She looked up at Devilock and put out her hand, sadly. He gave her a high five. She frowned and groaned about how hungry she was. Devilock noticed that she was well-fed and had a crumb on her lip. The bard refused to give her anything. She called him an “idiot” and ran around the building.

Storm looked over the boarded-up entrance door. He saw that there were nails and knotholes near where a handle or lock would be, and that they formed a kind of intricate lock. He attempted to pick it, but set off a magical spark – the heroes surmised that an alarm had been set off inside.

Anjou kicked the door in, and the heroes found the inside of the place to be full of rubble and broken spice jars. Anjou searched through the rubble and found a trap door in the floor. Storm knelt down by it, and saw that it was trapped. He carefully dismantled it, and opened the lid. Down below was an alcove that led to a small tunnel heading east.

Mari summoned Josh, her snake familiar. Josh bravely slithered down the tunneland informedMari that the tunnel ended in another trap door. It had writing on it and a little slot.

The heroes squeezed into the tiny carved-out tunnel single-file, and crawled up to the trapdoor. On the trap door was scrawled: “Give, and you will be given to”. Storm was leading. He placed a gold coin into the slot and heard a click. He was able to pull open the trap door. Beyond it, a rope ladder extended down into a room with a partially-collapsed wooden floor. Sections of the floor remained attached to the walls ten feet above the rough stone bottom of the room.

Devilock sensed danger, and cast mantle of unity, surrounding all of his allies in a protective glow.

Storm scanned the room, and saw piles of filthy rags and a door by one of the intact floor sections. He climbed down.Storm’s Shifter senses had failed him. There was a massive gelatinous cube lurking, perfectly still, in the pit next to his landing! As soon as he dropped down, tendrils lashed out at Storm. They struck the mantle of unity aura and was repelled. The other heroes began dropping down and joining Storm, hacking into the ooze. The ooze lashed out again and again, but could not break their protective aura (aka I couldn’t roll above an 8!).

Galasis stayed up in the crawlspace, wracking his brain, trying to figure out any weaknesses. He realized it was not a gelatinous cube, but a variant breed, and that it was slow and that acid would not affect it. The cube wrapped a tendril around Corth and dragged him inside of it.

Anjou dropped down and stood on a floor section covered in rags – only to find that someone was under them! A beggar/rogue sprung up and tossed Anjou into the pit with the cube!The rogue then turned and cut into Reshkar. Devilock used a blunder song to send the rogue stumbling off the side and into the cube! As she plunged in, Storm plunged his blade deep into her abdomen, delivering a mortal wound (a critical on an opportunity attack – critical hit deck gave her ongoing 19 damage!).As the battle continued, the heroes watched as the rogue’s red blood slowly filled the cube and her body was quickly reduced to a bare skeleton.

Suddenly, other rag piles were thrown aside on other floor sections. Beggar rogues buried beneath sprang to action, tossing shurikens at the heroes who were engaging the cube. Storm rolled and flipped down into the pit, and maneuvered to the opposite side of the ooze for a flank. He let out a shout, bathing the rogues in psychic energy and killing three.

Galasis teleported down into the room, and used a thunderwave to send a rogue hurtling off the ledge and into the pit. Devilock used a song of spiral paths to teleport Corth out of the cube and to safety in the pit.

The rogues dropped into the pit, engaging Storm, Corth and Anjou. As a rogue dropped down, Corth spun and hit him in the face with a massive strike from his hammer. The rogue’s head crashed into the wall so hard, the rogue had lost a portion of his memory (a critical hit deck effect!). The rogue looked in shock at the cube and lowered his weapon, mumbling “where am I?”.

Corth quickly explained that they were friends and they were in trouble. The rogue nodded and stumbled back, clutching is badly-concussed skull. (Connor, Corth’s player, immediately wanted to keep the guy as a sidekick. Seeing as the fellow reeked of spice, Corth gained a new title: “Ally of Spicy Hobos”. Corth has told the man his name is “Cajun Meatshield”).

The last two beggars hacked at Anjou as one shouted to the other “The Filth King has locked the door! We’re trapped in here!”. The ooze was quivering and not long for this world. Anjou told the two remaining beggars to give up – their ‘Filth King’ had left them to die. She even offered them her room at The River Jewel.This offer gave them pause.

Falling Force destroyed the cube. The rogues decided to accept the offer. They explained that they were members of an organization called the Laughing Shadows, which was run by a man called the Filth King, who ran a temple of Tiamat. The Filth King had been hired to send agents to kill the heroes. They described the layout of what was beyond the room – Sayre was a city built on top of an older city that had been buried due to floods. Beyond this room was an ancient city street and a partially-excavated temple.

Devilock informed the Laughing Shadow rogues that he was a “Filth Prince” and that he would be taking over the Laughing Shadow. At first they were skeptical, until Devilock explained that as worshipers of Tiamat, a Goddess of Greed and Envy, that they should want to overthrow their leader, out of greed and envy. He made a good point, they thought. The heroes let the two beggars go, while Corth began arming his new friend, Cajun.

The heroes picked the lock and ventured into the underground city section. They came upon an ancient street littered with sleeping bags. Clearly, the Laughing Shadow members slept here. Beyond, Galasis was horrified to see that the temple was one devoted to his god, Radu the God of Magic. He told the heroes to kill all inside for desecrating his deity’s work.

The heroes crept into the vestibule that lead to the temple’s main doors. Mari again summoned Josh, and had him slither through a crack at the base of the door. Josh informed Mari that a filthy man was preaching to his beggars of Tiamat’s ways. Inside were pews, a long pit, and a huge treasure hoard “over a hundred snakes long”. He also described a statue of a “winged snake with five heads”.

Anjou kicked int he door and the heroes rushed the temple of Tiamat. Mari fired off a spell that triggered a wild surge that bathed the Filth King in poison. He was radiating poison, sickening allhis allies around him.

The Filth King, a dirt-encrusted priest, responded by holding up his symbol of Tiamat and firing a beam at Storm, that sent the avenger o the edge of the pit. He shoutd at his Chief Groveller to do his job.

The Groveller immediately began barking orders (enacting a very confusing marking power). The Groveller dirctedthe Laughing Shadow members in a coordinated counter-attack.Falling Force focused on getting past them and to the Filth King.

Storm was at the edge of the pit. Two members of the Laughing shadow sung at him and repeatedly tried to send him hurtling into the pit, but he fended them off.

The battle tide was quickly turning sour for the Filth King. He shouted at one Laughing Shadow to “do what must be done”. the rogue gulped and jumped over the pit into the treasure pile. He ran off of it and pulled out a shuriken, facing the heroes.

Anjou used her spear to trip up the Filth King, and sent vines foth from it to pin him to the ground. the filth king looked at his minion expectantly. Anjou knew something was about to happen, but she was not sure what…

Everyone should have: 38,960 XP

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48. Lord Telicanthus

9/19/09: This was a special Game Day Session on a Saturday at the den. We first played through the moderately awful Game Day scenario called “A Passage into Mystery”. The heroes had heard rumors of a great treasure in some caves… but it turned out that the treasure was actually the lessons they learned along the way. Also, Connor, who plays Corth, is a treasure. We had a cool mix of players. Emily and George, who played Cedric and Mika Lime (former Badasses of Overlook) returned to the table and it was a lot of fun.

RPGA Sanctioning #: 09-09-2055995

Cedric – Dwarf Cleric Corth, Friend of Falrinth, Betrayer of Troglodytes, Whisperer of Lingering Spirits, Slayer of Sarshan, Harbinger of Critical Strikes, Puller of Chains – Dragonborn Paladin Devilock *- Tiefling Bard *Galasis *- Eladrin Wizard *Mari – Human Sorcerer Reshkar – Dragonborn Fighter Storm – Razorclaw Avenger Mika – Human Wizard

Falling Force had agreed to help the surviving githzerai make their way to the city of Sayre two days away from the githzerai fortress of Akma’ad. Despite the adventurers’ heroism, Odos and the githzerai were not especially friendly. Tokkit and Gallia were shunned as well.

Cedric and Mika had been training in nearby lands, and had caught word of the siege and had come to help. They teamed up with Falling Force and agreed to help the githzerai get to Sayre.

After a long day of walking, the heroes made camp a fair distance from the githzerai. Devilock was taking a watch in the middle of the night… when suddenly, a half-tangible githyanki gish sprung up from the earth and attacked! He had more warriors lurking in the woods, who quickly stormed the camp. The assassins hoped to kill the heroes, and then cut down the remaining githzerai.

Devilock gave a shout, and the heroes awoke and engaged the githyanki. Mika emerged from her tent launching off spells, creating a pillar of light on a tree, adn then following it up with a thunderwave that utterly devastated the two githyanki warriors near the tree.

The githyanki assassin made it a point to avoid Mika, teleporting away (which refreshed his insubstantial ability). Cedric fired off a lance of faith that pierced the heart of a githyanki warrior while Devilock and Reshkar engaged the gish.

The warriors screamed for help as Mike blasted them again into the pillar. Tokkit and Gallia ran to the githzerai camp for hep. The heroes could hear them mobilizing. The heroes knew that help would not be necessary. Mari plunged the two remaining warriors into a maze of mirrors, while the others surrounded and murdered the gish.

The adventurers went back to sleep, hoping that they’d make it to Sayre the next day. They did. Here’s the Sayre flavor:

“You hear the distant sound of church bells long before you actually see Sayre. It lies in the valley below you, nestled between three rivers. Sunlight reflects from the city’s canals. Although it has roughly the same number of inhabitants as Overlook, Sayre is a very different city. It is said to be a city of artists, artisans, and scholars, and you can see why. The sunlight filtering through the hills gives a golden glow to the entire valley. From where you stand, you can see mansions and palaces rising up from islands between the rivers, university halls jutting upward, numerous monuments and large statues, and the smoke from smithies rising into the air. Mist from a huge waterfall swirls along the southern edge of the city. A guardhouse stands in front of the great bridge that leads over the river into the city. A throng of people bustle about—buskers, salesfolk, travelers, beggars, and guards. Even a few rich nobles can be seen, riding in open-top carriages in their finery.

A servant comes up, haltingly. “Excuse me,” he says, “but by any chance are you the Heroes of Elsir Vale?”

Corth told the servant that they were the heroes. The servant brought the heroes to a carriage, and told them a very influential noble wished to meet them. His name was Lord Telicanthus. He was a githyanki. Telicanthus tried his best to hide his distate for the githzerai, but the heroes picked up on it.

Telicanthus sent a servant to set up rooms for the adventurers at the finest inn in Sayre – The River Jewel. He was honored to be in the presence of true heroes, and asked them to come to his mansion for tea the following day. The heroes agreed to do so, but were skeptical of a githyanki living amongst the people of Sayre. Telixanthus said:

“I’m not associated at all with those murderous fellows in the Astral Sea, though. No, I left that life years ago and I’ve never regretted it once. I’m a glassmaker now, and a loyal citizen of this fine city. We can’t help how we’re born, but we can choose how we live our lives. Something that everyone really ought to learn.”

With that, Telicanthus entered his carriage and rode off. Odos, leader of the githzerai, immediately took a dislike to Telicanthus. He told the heroes that he had heard that a band of githzerai lived in a red building in Sayre. they began to cross the bridge leading into Sayre’s noble district, but guards on a battlement shouted for them to stop. The guards claimed that githzerai were nothing but trouble, and that those of their ilk could not enter the noble district. the heroes took offense and intimidated the guards into backing down. Some of the adventures spotted Telicanthus peering out of his carriage, smirking at the githzerai’s plight.

The heroes made their way through Sayre to the riverdown district – the slums of Sayre. There they made their way to the Plaza of Vision, where the githzerai lived in a red abandoned warehouse. A githzerai guard saw Odos and immediately bowed before him. The heroes went inside with Odos, and saw the githzerai in a heated debate.

The githzerai of Sayre had a problem – the citizens had turned on them, and claimed they were thieves. Four githzerai had even been mysteriously killed. To the heroes shock, they saw someone they knew amongst the githzerai. Amyria, the mysterious deva who had been imprisoned in the platinum sword was there, trying to make peace.

Odos listened to both sides of the argument. An angry githzerai called Gall’ott wanted to form a gang and kill Lord Telicanthus. He was certain that the githyanki was the cause of the sudden tide of hatred of githzerai. A female named Azitt claimed that killing Telicanthus would make things worse. She thought the best course of action was to try and prove that Telicanthus was a fraud.

Amyria agreed with Azitt, and was dismayed when Odos suggested that they just kill Telicanthus and leave the mortal realm entirely. She asked the heroes to help persuade Odos to stay and discredit Telicanthus.

Amyria explained that leaders of many nearby cities had come to Sayre to discuss what to do about the githyanki invasions. She believed that Odos would be an invaluable ally in what she hoped would become a coalition to fight the githyanki.

The heores gave it a shot, trying todraw parallels to the githzerai’s history and religion. The problem was that the heroes knew nothing about wither (this was a skill challenge that had NO successful rolls! John Lent pointed out that this was evidence that rolling initiative for skill challenges doesn’t work).

Odos declared that the githzerai would kill Telicanthus and then leave the world of Dracos for good. Dismayed, Amyria thanked the heroes for trying and she asked them to meet wth her Coalition on the following day. the heroes agreed.

Amyria explained that she was especially troubled due to a prophetic dream she had:

“In my dream I was standing in the midst of raw elements. Waves crashed around me and fires flared, and I was looking down through clouds onto a dark blue night’s sky. Stretching across the sky was a giant spider’s web that was woven between planes. It was silver and sparkled with stars, and at the end of each web line was a githyanki. As each githyanki spoke, the web sparkled, and a fat spider in the middle listened to everything that anyone said. The spider was beautiful, but you could tell it was evil, just like the people talking through it. It scuttled around, fixing frayed lines and tossing out new lines to new people. Most were githyanki, but some were not. One of the lines went to a githzerai.” She looks troubled.

“I looked harder at the spider, and I knew it was here in Sayre. I could see the city around it. So I came here. I think someone in Sayre is helping the githyanki, but we don’t know for sure who it is, although we have our suspicions. And we don’t have an easy answer about what to do about it.”

The adventurers then decided to head into Sayre to do some investigating. Devilock ha it in his mind that he needed to warn Telicanthus, who had been nothing but kind to them. But as they made their way into the plaze, flavor text happened:

“As you leave the building and move into the plaza, you notice that there’s movement at the mouths of the alleys around you. Ragged beggars emerge from the shadows brandishing bright, new weapons—and wearing chainmail! The attackers appear well fed, despite the rags and dirt that cover them, and more than proficient with the weapons they’re wielding.”

The beggars closed in from all over. Corth let out a blast of lightning that killed a few. Cedric called forth a consecrated ground spell that murdered four beggars with devastating radiance.

One beggar was holding a gem that had incredible power – it dragged the heroes closer to it with strange draconic energy. Reshkar was immediately drawn to the gem, sensing a strange and powerful presence connected to it.

Storm raced across the plaze and tore into the beggar woman and her aide. The fight sprawled into an alley, with Storm’s blade drawing blood over and over again. Mari called forth a spectral claw, which snatched up a beggar streetfighter and sent her cashing into a wall.

The heroes killed off the beggars. Reshkar held up the gem, sensing a powerful intelligence inside. He placed it in his pack for further study.

The heroes had fought an incredible battle to protect the githzerai, but now found their allies threatened by an unseen and perhaps undefeatable foe. Their choices on the next day could determine the fate of the githzerai as well as the entire world of Dracos…

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47. The Githzerai Traitor

9/14/09: Last week the store was closed for Labor Day, marking the second time Scales of War had to miss a week.We ended up starting the most recent fight over…

RPGA Sanctioning #: 09-09-2050308

Anjou Beurre – Half-Elf Warden Corth, Friend of Falrinth, Betrayer of Troglodytes, Whisperer of Lingering Spirits, Slayer of Sarshan, Harbinger of Critical Strikes, Puller of Chains *- Dragonborn Paladin Galasis – Eladrin Wizard *Mari – Human Sorcerer Reshkar – Dragonborn Fighter Storm – Razorclaw Avenger

Falling Force 7 had just collapsed a hill of boulders onto a githyanki army. Now they were at the base of the githzerai fortress of Akma’ad, killing off those githyanki that still stood.

The heroes saw a group of githzerai around a mindslicer who was performing a passwall ritual on a fortress wall. Nearby was a crashed airship. The heroes charged, and the githyanki rushed to clog the alleyway so that the mindslicer could complete the ritual. The githzerai warriors telekinetically leaped over and behind the heroes, and tore into them with their silver swords.

Anjou let loose a thunder arm assault, blasting back the githyanki in a massive burst (a critical, which allowed Anjou to use the power again as if it wasn’t expended).Anjou then called fortha swirling pillar of light which swirled between the githyanki, causing them pain.

Mari cast a bedeviling burst, sending the githyanki hurling through the pillar, killing one. Galasis teleported onto the tilted, crashed ship. From the deck, he called forth a massive icy hand that wrapped around the mindslicer, interrupting her ritual.

Storm tore through the githyanki and made his way to the mindslicer, and plunged his blade into her. She let out a shriek and wiggled free of the icy hand. She flew up onto the deck where Galasis was.

The eladrin brought the hand up, and it grabbed her again. Storm climbed on board and tore into the mindslicer, killing her. Back on the ground, Mari fired off a chaos bolt that rocketed one githyanki onto Reshkar’s blade, and sent another githyanki toward Corth, who beheaded him.

The heroes heard the sound of fighting on Akma’ad’s eastern side. Without a moment to catch their breath, they ran over and found the remaining githyanki soldiers trying to force their way inse. A band of githzerai stood in the entrance, trying to fight them off.

Mari tried to fire off a spell, but there was a wild surge and she hurtled back 15 and fell to the ground (on a to-hit roll of one, weird things happen to her character). A githyanki soldier broke and charged her. As he brought his sword down, the sorcerer teleported away to avoid some of the blow.

The githzerai surged forward once the heroes arrived, and together they brought down the last of the githyanki raiders.

(I cut this one short because I didn’t like the fight set-up and enough already with the siege! I also came up with horrible joke names for the PCS: Mari = Katamari, Anjou = Banjo, Reshkar = Race car, and my favorite: Corth = Crotch… When Crotch had to heal Race Car, I described as an oil change… oh but I kid the Scales of War mainstays!).

With the githyanki slain, the githzerai emerged from their besieged fortress (in the adventure, they suggest using a victory point system to see how well the PCs did. The heroes got every possible victory point!). Their leader, a blind githzerai called Odos, addressed the situation. Here’s the flavor:

The surviving githzerai, many of them wounded, gatheraround an old blind githzerai who seems as aware of his surroundings as if he could still see. The monk speaks in a rough tone. “We’re alive. I don’t know how they knew we were here, but the cost was high. Too high. Both Kath’ik and Wellik are dead, along with dozens of our brothers and sisters. We lost the abbot and most of the monastery. Our conference is finished. Now I must decide our path.”

With an almost undetectable grimace, the stoic githzerai turns his empty eye sockets toward the lines of dead and wounded. “Gather your belongings. In the morning we travel to Sayre. There is a conference there I am obligated to attend before we depart for home.” He pauses and turns his sightless gaze in your direction. “You aren’t githzerai, but you fought for us. Who are you?”

The heroes, with Tokkit, introduced themselves. The heroes began to talk with Odos. They learned that there had been a meeting of many githzerai leaders from all over, and that githyanki assassins had arrived and killed all of them save Odos. Odos believed there was a traitor that had helped the githyanki. Odos mentioned that one of the assassins had a small glass orb, just like the one the heroes had found on the captain of The Sacrifice.

As the heroes talked, Storm watched Tokkit. Tokkit walked over to a female – Gallia, the githzerai he was in love with. He began speaking to her, but Gallia showed no interest at all. Storm also felt that Gallia seemed entirely unphased by the siege, while the rest of the githzerai struggled to retain their composure.

The heroes headed over to Gallia to speak with her. Corth got in her face, trying to intimidate her, but the heroes pulled him back. They did notice that when Corth mentioned the glass object, her eyes went wide and she motioned for her belt pouch for a moment.

The heroes came up with a plan. Mari and Anjou helped Tokkit brag about fighting the red dragon, while Storm crept up a tried to snatch the pouch from her belt. (His roll on the thievery check… a 20!) Storm snatched it, and inside was another glass orb.

Odos calmly declared that Gallia was the traitor and that she needed to be killed. The heroes protested, and asked to question her. Odos allowed it. Gallia seemed smug and utterly uncaring as to whether they lived or died, despite the “good cop” (Corh) “bad cop” (Reshkar” routine by the heroes.

Galasis immediately realized what was going on. During the Siege fo Overlook, many people had been possessed by githyanki spirits. He walked up to Gallia and began to cut her fingernails off. The githyanki spirit left her body, and Gallia’s shrieks became more real.

Galasis stopped and apologized to her, but said it was necessary to rid her body of the spirit.

Odos was very impressed with the heroes’ work and borught them to a Vault inside Akma’ad. Inside were many githzerai treasures. He gave the heroes magic items as rewards.

The githzerai were told to pack their things, and to ready for a long journey by foot to the town of Sayre, where Odos had some business to attend to.

During the clean-up, Storm trained some of the githzerai in swordlay, and gave one of them his lightning sword.

The heroes and the githzerai then headed into the woods, to make the long, arduous walk to Sayre in search of refuge and aid in the battle against the githyanki.

Everyone should have: 37,163 XP

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46. Falling Rock

9/1/09: More of the Siege of Akma’ad this week. We are closing in on one real-life year of Scales of War… I’ll try and do something special for it. Maybe a delicious cake! Also I would like to say that my grey die was a bit cold tonight.

RPGA Sanctioning #: 09-08-2030191

Anjou Beurre *- Half-Elf Warden *Corth, Friend of Falrinth, Betrayer of Troglodytes, Whisperer of Lingering Spirits, Slayer of Sarshan, Harbinger of Critical Strikes, Puller of Chains *- Dragonborn Paladin *Galasis – Eladrin Wizard Mari – Human Sorcerer Reshkar *- Dragonborn Fighter *Storm – Razorclaw Avenger

The heroes were on an airship that had been rammed and boarded by the crew of another airship. Far below, the githzerai fortress of Akma’ad was being invaded by a githzerai army. Githyanki soldiers began to pour onto the heroes’ ship, led by Captain Iquel, a fierce warrior.

Mari fired off a chaos bolt, killing one of the githyanki myrmidons. Storm had made his way onto the githyanki’s ship, and found himself surrounded by enemies. He let out a thunderous shout that blasted them back, and killed one myrmidon with its’ electricity. He then cut into Captain Iquel, and teleported her and himself onto the heroes’ ship – Falling Force’s Flying Fortress. She nearly fell over the side, but grabbed onto a hanging rope, swinging herself back on the deck.

Anjou’s lightning pillar was still blazing. He sent forth thorn vines that wrapped around the prone captain, and dragged her through the lightning, devastating the githyanki. The captain broke free of the vines and sprang to her feet. She let out a psychic blast that immobilized Storm. Then, she ordered her men on her ship to fire the ballistas. Massive bolts soared through the air, both plunging into Galasis. The captain then teleported herself next to the injured wizard.

Galasis ducked a swing and began chanting. The githzerai at the ballistas were suddenly engulfed in a stinking cloud. One fell dead, and the other three dropped seconds later. Anjou took to the air, flying and landing next to Captain Iquel. A mindslicer telekinetically leaped next to Galasis, while Captain Iquel teleported away from him, and near Reshkar. Galasis turned to the slicer and cast a spectral ram, sending the githyanki over the side. The mindslicer snatched a hanging rope, and swung itself back to the deck.

Mari hit Iquel with a spell, knocking her prone. Storm ran over and hacked into the prone Captain. Corth did battle with the second mindslicer, cutting it down with an enfeebling strike. Galasis hit the Captain with a thunderwave which sent her right to the edge. Storm ran over to her and plunged his blade into the captain, leaving an “S” mark on her in a humiliating strike (he rolled a critical and did 65 damage, killing her).

Galasis took aim, and thunder rammed the last mindslicer off the side of the ship.

The entangled ships were slowly spinning and sinking. Tok’kit was having trouble keeping the ship aloft. The heroes quickly plotted their next move. They had hoped to send an airship crashing into the githyanki army, but the ship’s speed was too slow to be effective. The ship was powered by a psychic helm, which still kept the ship aloft for 5 hours after it was destroyed.

Tok’kit pointed to the towers on the overhang above Akma’ad. Between the towers was a massive rubble pile, held back from falling over the side with a huge chain. The set-up was meant to be a defense for Akma’ad… but the githyanki occupied the towers.

The heroes were able to separate the ships, with Anjou getting a crash course in flying an airship. They sent The Sacrifice slowly crashing to the earth below, landing behind the githyanki and keeping them in the range of the soon-to-be-falling rubble pile.

Tok’kit brought the Flying Fortress over to the overhang. The heroes disembarked by the western tower. The githyanki guards took action in response. A githyanki mindslicer let out a devastating psychic barrage, wracking three of the heroes (and preventing them from using daily or encounter powers, save ends).

Mari fired off a chaos bolt which rocketed into a warrior, and then crashed into a myrmidon, killing him. Storm made a mad dash across the field, ducking githyanki attacks, trying to make it to the far tower. The heroes hoped that they could pull the levers inside of the towers quickly, catching the githyanki defenders in the collapse.

However, a warrior caught Storm in his telekinetic grasp, immobilizing the razorclaw. Anjou created a storm pillar, and then used a storm strike spell to drag a mindslicer through the pillar. Reshkar charged forward, breathing lightning and tearing into his enemies.

Corth fought a myrmidon, guarding the entrance to the western tower. Corth cut down the githyanki, and made his way inside. A mindslicer was all that was between the paladin and the lever.

Reshkar found himself near the edge. Two githyanki tried to work together, to knock the fighter to the edge and then over the side. The first one shoved, but couldn’t budge the dragonborn. the second one backed up to try, but as he ran forward, Reshkar cut him down.

Corth closed in on the mindslicer, plunging his blade into the githyanki’s chest. Blood spewed forth from the devastating strike (43 points of damage on a critical). Outside, Galasis thunderwaved a githyanki warrior over the side of the overhand.

Storm broke free of his psychic immobilization and ran into the tower. A warrior tried to stop him, but the avenger cut him in half with a devastating blow.

The heroes captured one mindslicer, and tied him up. They placed him right in the path of the rubble. Corth and Storm then pulled the levers (causing Conner aka Corth to make the comment “stop yanking my chain” which tickled my fancy).

Here’s the flavor text for what happened next: “With a tremendous, deafening roar, a cascade of rock—from pebbles the size of a pea to boulders the size of a mule— tumbles down onto the githyanki army massed outside the walls of Akma’ad. At first, all you see is a blinding cloud of dust, but as the wind clears it from the field, you see that hundreds of githyanki troops have been pulverized by the rock, and the rest are scattered or fleeing outright.”

The heroes cheered and rested for a moment. Then they saw a few bands of githyanki still trying to force their way into Akma’ad. Tok’kit lowered the Flying Fortress to the ground. The heroes saw another crashed airship by the western side of Akma’ad. A band of githzerai were gathered around a mindslicer, who appeared to be using a ritual to create a magical entrance int the fortress through a wall.

Reshkar ran forward and breathed lightning, killing three of the githyanki. A githyanki on the crashed ship aimed a ballista at the heroes, but Galasis put a magic missile through its’ head. Storm charged in through the narrow alley, and was surrounded by githzerai. They swung at him again and again, but the avenger ducked and parried all of their blows (the grey die failed me this day~).

Mari cast a Tempest surge, which rolled over the githyanki, brutalizing them. The mindslicer was wracked with agony, and his ritual was interrupted. Corth killed a myrmidon, opening up the alleyway.

The githyanki were reeling. Falling Force 7 had dealt with wave after wave of enemy forces, and still stood strong. Did the githyanki army have any more tricks up their sleeve?

Everyone Should Have: 35,580 XP

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45. The Siege of Akma'ad

_8/24/09: Connor rolled SEVEN CRITICALS tonight. My giant grey die responded in kind, and things got scary! Sam joined us for the first time and fit right in with the rest of Falling Force 7. Matt, who plays Anjou, made a logo for the team. It is pictured below and to the left. The translation: “In Damage From Falling We Trust”. _

RPGA Sanctioning #: 09-08-2023131

Anjou Beurre *- Half-Elf Warden *Aramil *- Eladrin Wizard *Corth, Friend of Falrinth, Betrayer of Troglodytes, Whisperer of Lingering Spirits, Slayer of Sarshan, Harbinger of Critical Strikes – Dragonborn Paladin Galasis – Eladrin Wizard Mari – Human Sorcerer Reshkar – Dragonborn Fighter Storm – Razorclaw Avenger

Falling Force 7 was on an airship speeding to a githzerai monastery that was under attack by the githyanki. On their way there, two githyanki lancers riding red dragons had swooped out from the clouds and attacked the heroes!

Anjou was riding a red dragon, its’ lancer plunging to his death. The other lancer was magically in love with Galasis, but getting pummeled by the wizard and Storm.

Anjou forced her dragon to fly over to the lancer. The warden then magically wrapped thorns around her and yanked. The poor lancer tumbled off of her mount and hurtled to certain death far below.

Reshkar and Arimel, on deck, loaded and took aim with a ballista. Storm forced his dragon to land on the deck (with a 30 Nature check roll!). He dismounted and prepared to attack it. Mari called forth a spectral claw, which began crushing the dragon, and immobilizing it. Galasis remained on the control deck with (“Hot”) Tokk’it, who was steering the ship. The githzerai continued explaining how to fly the ship.

Arimel fired the ballista, piercing the dragon’s hide with a massive bolt. Galasis opened the door to the deck, and found the dragon right outside. The heroes began to swarm it. The dragon slipped into the astral plane and back, teleporting above the heroes and unleashing a massive blast of fire down on them. The other dragon closed in on Anjou, and bit into her, causing a bloody wound (a crit, the first of many from my grey die).

Storm headed over to the one menacing Anjou and tore into it with radiant vengeance (a critical). Mary covered the hovering dragon in dragonfrost, dropping it dead.

Corth headed into the control area, and grabbed the wheel. He told Tokk’it to head up top and man a ballista. Anjou tied a rope to the bolt. Tokk’it fired, plunging the ballista into the heart of the lone remaining dragon. The heroes reeled it in and mutilated it.

The adventurers had defeated the dragon-riders. They basked in victory as the airship sped towards the githzerai fortress of Ak’Maad. Anjou hung off the side and finished painting the new name of the ship. It was no longer “The Conquerer”. It was now “Falling Force’s Flying Fortress”.

After a half hour of travel, the heroes saw Akma’ad up ahead. It was built inside a valley wall, and had a cave overhand with towers on top. A githyanki airship hovered over the smoking fortress, while a horde of githyanki soldiers surged at the entranceway, trying to get inside. As the heroes took in the scene, another githyanki defender emerged. A lone githyanki dragonknight riding a red dragon!

The dragon knight relished the opportunity for battle, and swooped down onto the deck. Mari surrounded the dragon in a chaos storm, sending the lancer hurtling off the dragon’s back. A wispy, translucent silver tendril appeared, connecting the githyanki to his pact dragon. He suddenly flew back onto the saddle of his mount.

Relishing the challenge, he fired beams from his lance, striking each hero in turn. As he swooped past Reshkar, the dragonborn pierced the dragon’s hide with his voidcrystal blade, sending the dragon to a demiplane for a moment. The dragon knight fell to the deck, and found himself surrounded!

Anjou used a thunder ram assault that punctured a lung and sent the dragon knight teetering on the edge of the ship, nearly plummeting to the ground far below. Storm sent off a radiant blast of energy that wracked the villain with pain (another critical from the avenger). Storm tried to teleport the dragon knight over the side, but he grabbed onto one of the Flying Fortress’ many ropes, and held on for dear life.

Galasis stuck his head out of the control deck window and teleported up onto the main deck. Reshkar plunged his blade into the prone knight, immobilizing him. The dragon emerged from its’ voidcrystal banishment, and reared up on the heroes. It heaved forth a devastating blast of fire (a critical on Galasis – 48 points of damage and ongoing 5!).

Corth was tearing into the prone dragon knight. His heart sank as he looked off in the distance and saw the githyanki enemy ship heading their way. The ship was full of githyanki, in full armor. He brought his mace down on the knight, crushing his leg (with a critical).

Reshkar tore into the knight as well, as the dragon hovered and breathed again (I rolled a recharge a few times in a row, unfortunately for the players. The dragon got another critical on Galasis!) The raging blast of fire dropped Galasis and Anjou. Arimel stood for a moment, then succumbed to the burning as well.

Storm knew that the dragon needed to be dealt with. He glanced at the githyanki ship, and saw it turn so that the ramming spike was facing the Fying Fortress’ side. The enemy ship was called “The Sacrifice”. The Avenger sped over to the dragon and began to cut into it. The dragon responded by slipping into the astral sea for a moment, and appearing 20 feet away. It then snarled and charged the avenger, devastating him with a series of strikes (it got to make 3 attacks with an extra 2d6 damage each on a charge, and all three hit).

Corth laid hands on Galasis, bringing the eladrin to his feet. Galasis stood and fired icy rays at the dragon, who shrieked in pain. Corth then activated his alliance band ring, and healed his other two fallen comrades. .

Storm couldn’t reach the dragon, so he focused his enmity on the dragon knight. He plunged his blade into the githyanki (a critical on his bond of pursuit!). Corth fired off radiant delirium, surrounding the hovering dragon in a cage of radiant energy (a critical). The dragon retaliated by shattering the radiant cage with a massive fire blast that scorched the heroes. Mari teleported to the relative safety of the middle deck. Reshkar succumbed to the flames and fell to the deck, dying.

Corth brought up his mace above the prone dragon knight.. and crushed the githyanki’s skull with an earth-shattering blow (another critical). As the dragon continued to menace them, the heroes saw The Sacrifice bearing down on their ship. A female githyanki was giving the crew a rousing speech, and her men were chanting in response – ready for war.

Galasis was hurt from the flames, and stumbled into the control area. He asked Tokk’it if he could fight, and the githzerai nodded (he was a cenobite with a power that allowed him to stun people with a punch!). Galasis angrily pointed out The Sacrifice, which was bearing down on the Flying Fortress. Tokk’it apologized, admitting that he was daydreaming about Gallia, the painter.

Tokk’it headed out on deck and too a shot at the dragon, but the beast dodged his stunning strike. Corth, the blood of the dragon knight’s skull dripping from his mace, closed in on the dragon. He called forth a radiant crown of glory which wracked the dragon with pain (another critical!). He bashed it in the face a final time, dropping the beast.

Galsis steered the ship as best he could as The Sacrifice began firing ballista bolt at The Flying Fortress. He pulled out evasive maneuvers, and handed the wheel back over to Tokkit. Falling Force 7 hid below decks for a few minutes, healing each other and strategizing for the fight to come.

They assembled above deck as Tokk’it shouted a warning. The Sacrifice’s ram pierced the side of the Flying Fortress! The two ships were entwined, with the Fortress half-split in two! The githzerai captain shrieked at her men to open fire.

As they aimed their ballistas, Mari cast a tempest surge that killed a soldier manning the closest ballista. Anjou called forth a lightning pillar, placing it on the narrow wood section that connected the two ships.

Storm crossed onto The Sacrifice and began to duel the Captain. Her men swarmed him, and the avenger was quickly bloodied.

The githyani fired. A bolt struck Arimel squarely in the chest (a critical!). He stumbled back and then responded by casting a wall of fire, which blocked the ballistas’ line of sight! Galasis followed up with a devastating fireball that killed both soldiers manning the rear ballista.

In an expert display of tactics, the heroes had taken out the threat of the ballistas. But the dragon had left its’ mark, and the captain’s men were not the last wave of githzerai that the heroes would face in The Siege of Akma’ad….

Everyone should have: 33,939 XP
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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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