4/5/09: Everyone attended tonight. Unfortunately, Chris S. is moving to texas and next week will be his last. He decided to bench his dragonborn and try out a warden from the PH2 this week.
Alain Cuthbert Rocannon – Human Warlord
Cedric – Dwarf Cleric
Devilock – Tiefling Bard
Dikari – Eladrin Warlock
Ilikan – Goliath Warden
Lia – Elf Ranger
Mino – Minotaur Fighter
The heroes had killed the Queen of the Drylands. They filled their canteens with elemental chaos ore and made the long journey back through the desert to the village of Dunesend. There, they told the villagers that the mines were haunted and warned them to stay away. along the way, Devilock wrote an epic balladwhich chronicled and embellished upon their adventures so far.
The adventurers continued on through the Thornwaste and back to their home city of Overlook. They met with Bram Ironfell, the dwarf who had hired them. He was dismayed to hear that the mines were tainted by the elemental rift, but still planned to send some dwarves there to see if anything could be done.
Kesjhan decided that he needed to find and rescue his brother, Bhardran. Bhardran had fought with the shadar kai villain called Sarshan while the other heroes made their escape from the Shadowfell. Bhardran had been magically transformed into slime. Kesjhan hoped he could find his brother’s remains and use a ritual to return him to life.
Alain, Cedric and Mino decided to visit with the necromancer Rufus Crumley. Rufus had previously given Alain and Cedric their undead grafts. Rufus was happy to see them, and told them that he had been visited by the leader of Overlook’s Thief Guild (“The Lost Ones”). It turns out that the heroes had killed the Underboss’ brother, as he was one of the mercenaries hired by Modra to take the brass key from the adventurers (This happened in Adventure 3). The late wizard Celodorn had sold the Underboss’ brother’s corpse to Rufus, who raised him as a zombie minion.
The Underboss was set to kill Rufus for this, but Rufus made him a deal. He gave the Underboss a spectral hand graft. He warned the adventurers that The Lost Ones were looking to kill them. He also req1uested more corpses, and offered to buy any mummy’s eyes, lich brains and vampire fangs should the heroes find any.
On the following day, the heroes headed to a party at Ironfell manor in the upscale Elftown district. The heroes arrived in full armor and with weapons, to the dismay of the dwarf doorman. Devilock had shown up in fine clothes and was let right in. The others were told not to make a scene (and due to poor etiquette received a -5 to any social skill checks at the party).
The heroes were swarmed by the party-goers. The adventurers hadbecome pretty famous after saving the city on two seperate occasions. Devilock told stories of their adventures so far, including a made-up story about Mino pummeling enemies through the portcullis in the Lost Mines.
Mino went off to drink, and found the Freerider Ragnum Dourstone to be already wasted on half a glass. There was a big dinner, during which Bram Ironfell explained that the city was run by a publically-elected council of five dwarven elders. The Great Elder, Morgan Stonefirst, was old and would be stepping down soon. Bram declared his intentions to run for that position and asked the heroes for their support.
The adventurers realized that due to their popularity, their endorsement might guarantee that Bram was elected. Bram explained that he wanted to rid the city of the rage drakes that wandered the streets, and to do away with the Shantytown at the city’s edge entirely. He said that he’d employ those able to work and shoo away the rest. Devilock carefully gave a non-commital response where he stated that he’d love to support someone who would make a great ruler.
After dinner came dancing. The heroes noticed Megan Swiftblade (leader of the Freeriders) at the end of the table, alone and glaring. Alain headed over to chat with her. A portly wizard named Falrinth, a friend of Megan’s, danced with Lia. He bragged about how he had a servant and was well known to be the ruler of a building called The Mottled Tower.
A cleric of Pathsearcher named Lavinya helped Lia get away. Lavinya asked Lia to stop going to the shrine of PathSearcher and instead help her rebuild the actual temple to PathSearcher located in the run-down Nine Bells district.Lavinya thought that if Lia started going to the church, others might do so as well. Lia later checked it out, and offered 50 gold and a sapling to the church.
As the party wound down, the heroes met and befriended a goliath warden called Ilikan. Ilikan had done quite a bit of dangerous work for Bram Ironfell, and he was asked to join the heroes to replace Kesjhan. He agreed.
A few more days passed following the party. During that time, Devilock had decided to check out Shantytown to see if Bram had been exaggerating. Devilock saw a filthy child screaming in the middle of a street, a flock of chickens fleeing from a hungry cat, a shrine dedicated to a sinister god, and a bloated corpse ripening in the sun. and heard the short shriek of butchered animal. And the stench was staggering.
He saw a band of grubby children wielding broken bottles in an alley, ready to waylay the first victim who looked to have anything of value. He toyed with the idea of giving them a few pointers on how to properly cut with the bottles.
A brown-clad cultist with a rat skull on a thong around his neck was heading down the street toward him. Devilock pulled the cultist aside and offered him a job. Devilock decided that he was going to turn one of the run-down temples in Nine Bells and turn it into a night club. The cultist asked if he could invite his friends and use the building on off-hours, and Devilock agreed. Devilock also learned that there was someone else more worthy to replace the Great Elder. He was a dwarven priest called Durkik Forgeheart.
A week after they had returned from the Lost Mines, the heroes were walking through the streets and were approached by Ragnum Dourstone. He let the heroes know that Jalissa, the cleric of Valinor (who they had rescued in Adventure 1 and had come to live in Overlook) was wandering town searching for them. The heroes headed to the temple, and learned that Jalissa had gone looking for the heroes and now was nowhere to be found.
The adventurers hit the streets to look for her (a skill challenge where they needed 12 successes before 3 failures.. they didn’t fail once). They learned that Jalissa had been kidnapped by The Lost Ones, and began to try to track them down.
Along the way, they encountered an elf with an eyepatch sitting on an overhang. He said his name was Gilgathorn, and that he was a mercenary. He’d heard that the adventurers had a bounty on their heads for 1,000 gold.
The heroes were utterly outraged at the low price. Alain swore to make sure it would be raised at the soonest opportunity. Gilgathron was taken aback as the heroes turned to each other in disbelief at the low bounty. He slowly realized that the heroes had forgotten he was there, so he just kind of walked away.
The adventurers tracked the kidnappers down to a ruined temple of Valinor in Nine Bells. They sent Lia to the doors (which were warped and difficult to open). She listened and thought she heard a dog bark.
The others came up to the door and bashed the doors open. Inside the ruined temple was Jalissa, tied to a chair in a big puddle. The roof had a big hole in it and rain was pouring through.
The heroes were wary of the puddle and scanned the room. Behind some frescoes, Ilikan spotted movement. Human thieves, members of The Lost Ones, were there with ravenous dogs, hoping to waylay the heroes! Alain Cuthbert shouted out for them to ”...leave, or I’ll sell your corpses to Rufus like I did your leader’s brother!”
This provoked a shriek of anguish from behind a fresco. From the Underboss himself.
Lia pulled out her grappling hook and threw it at Jalissa’s chair. She hooked it, and began pulling on the rope, dragging Jalissa to safety. Alain grabbed the rope and pulled some more, bringing Jalissa out of the temple and to relative safety, though she was still tied to the chair.
Devilock was impressed with the temple. As chaos unfurled around him, he decided that this place would be the site of his new establishment.
Dikari began cutting the ropes that bound Jalissa. The Lost Ones and their dogs charged from behind the frescoes.A dog jumped onto Alain and tore into him (with a critical. I should note that I asked the players if they wanted the level 9 version of this encounter, or the level 11 encounter that players who failed the skill challenge would get. The players decided to go with the level 1 even though they had plowed through the skill challenge with no problem).
Ilikan created a zone of ice centered on the puddle that The Lost Ones were standing in. Instantly the puddle became ice, and the rain that fell through the zone became chunks of ice.
The Underboss had stayed back. He pulled off his glove and revealed his spectral hand graft. He used it to create a necrotic explosion which struck the heroes in the doorway. Mino lowered his horns and charged the Underboss, goring him.
Outside, Lia used her grappling hook and rope to scale the side of the temple (even using an action point to get up there faster). Perched up on the roof, she was able to fire through the hole. Down below, Dikari freed Jalissa, who was traumatized. She ran off, out of harm’s way.
Mino continued his attack on the Underboss, tearing into him with his greataxe, blood spewing everywhere. The heroes decided they wanted the Underboss alive. Lia, perched up on the roof, took aim through the hole and fired two arrows at the same time. One went through each of the Underboss’ legs. He let out a shriek and fell unconscious.
Dikari teleported to the roof alongside Lia, and both used the vantage point to fire range attacks without fear of reprisal.
Suddenly, from the interior doors of the temple came three more enemies… assassins! While they did not seem to be affiliated with The Lost Ones, they did work with the thieves to try to bring down the adventurers.
The Death Squad Assassins waded in and immediately used their expertise to bloody the heroes (the first one got a critical on Alain for around 36 points, I believe). A longsword pierced Alain’s back, and he fell to the ground, dying.
Ilikan was surrounded in the icy puddle by Lost Ones. Other Lost Ones and assassins worked together to isolate the others, and began to cut into them.
Devilock was the only one outside the temple, and faced off against a sole assassin. The assassin gave a feint, then stabbed the bard in the gut, dropping him. Inside, Cedric was surrounded. He bravely bashed in the skull of one of the dogs (with a critical). Another dog dragged him to the ground, and the villains began stomping and stabbing him.The cleric let out a healing word, which brought Devilock back up and conscious.
Ilikan changed into a lion and killed an assassin. He watched as the assassin changed forms, from a dwarf into a tall, grey-skinned humanoid. A shapeshifter of some kind… Mino killed another. Devilock used his magic to bring Alain back to consciousness. just as Cedric went down. Alain used an inspiring word, so that the dwarf could rally against the four enemies attacking him.
An assassin, however, came up behind the dwarf and cut him down. Devilock used a bardic song to bring Cedric back up. He then dominated the assassin, and had it attack one of the dogs. The attack missed, but the dog was enraged at the betrayal (Devilock urged it on. He mad a bluff, and the dog made an insight check. The dog had a -1. It rolled a 1. It got a ZERO on the check). The dog turned and tore into the dominated assassin, tearing at his flesh.
From there, the heroes were able to finish offf the would-be bounty hunters.
There were a lot of questions to be answered:
» What did Jalissa want int he first place? » Who had placed a bounty on their heads? » Who were these death squad assassins? » Could the heroes re-train the ravenous dogs? » What information could they get from The Underboss? » Would I remember to email them their treasure?