3/2/09: George and Melissa couldn’t make it due to the snow, but we still had 5 players for what ended up being a very deadly encounter…
Alain Cuthbert Rocannon – Human Warlord
Kesjhan – Dragonborn Fighter
Devilock – Tiefling Bard
Dikari – Eladrin Warlock
Mino – Minotaur Fighter
The heroes had been hired to find a legendary dwarven mine called Karak. According to their map, they needed to pass through a barren land known as the Thornwaste which would lead to a supply town (Dunesend). Karak was supposedly four days south through the desert from Dunesend.
The protector of the Thornwaste, Mag Backthorn, led the heroes through the Thornwaste. They could see a shabby town up ahead. It was Dunesend. The heroes thanked Mag, and he saluted them and headed back into the Thornwaste. Dikari scouted ahead, with the others following 50 feet behind. As she passed through thick brambles, Dikari spotted a satyr in the brambles watching the town.
The others crept up on Dikari and made noise. The satyr heard and saw the adventurers. It turned and ran toward Dunesend. Mino tackled the Satyr and questioned it.
The Satyr explained that he was a servant of someone called Queen Shepatiah. The Queen demanded a certain amount of money and goods from Dunesend each month, and had her minion known as The Warden to come collect. The satyr was one of The Warden’s henchmen, and was watching the scene from afar so that he could pick off any townspeople who tried to defy The Warden.
The heroes heard cries of pain coming from Dunesend. The Satyr explained that the people of Dunesend didn’t have the amount that the Queen demanded, and were being punished. The heroes decided to let the satyr go, and crept closer to Dunesend and watched what was going on.
In the center of the settlement, sun-darkened human villagers observed in angry silence as a massive gnoll raised a bloodflecked flail over its head. At its feet, a human male lay dead. Behind the gnoll coiled a serpentine creature with glittering blue scales and dozens of legs. It watched the villagers hungrily.
Alain Cuthbert Rocannon had seen enough. He called The Warden out and the heroes attacked. The citizens looked on in shock as the heroes stormed the village. Devilock called out The Warden, which shocked and intimidated the gnoll. The Warden did his best to avoid the bard from that moment on (Devilock made an Intimidate check).
Mino made a goring charge on the massive blue serpent – a behir. His horns pierced its’ hide and it let out a shriek. The behir reared back and breathed a thunderlance that struck Mino in the chest and sent him flying (push 2 squares and prone).The lance rocketed from Mino to Alain, sending him flying as well and bloodying the warlord.
Kesjahn closed in on The Warden and sliced into him with his twin blades. The Warden reeled, bloodied from the dragonborn’s lethal assault. The Warden called for aid from his satyrs. There were two satyrs in huts, firing at the heroes with their bows (The satyrs are the “R”s on the map).. They exited the huts and dashed toward Kesjhan. They flanked him and hit him with a dazzling series of sword slashes.
The Warden stumbled back. The behir advanced so that its’ master could try to heal. The behir roared and clamped its’ jaws down on Mino. It raised its’ head up, the minotaur half in its’ mouth (Mino would take 10 ongoing damage until he could escape. Unfortunately, he did not realize how his temporary hit points worked, and would have taken very little damage from the ongoing bites if he had known).
Dikari took aim at the warden, and cast witchfire. The spell tore The Warden’s chest open, and the gnoll fell to the ground gushing blood. The satyrs began to panic, and looked for an escape route. Dikari happened to be standing right in the way of the path they needed to take.
Mino was stuck in the behir’s mouth. Its’ teeth were deep into his legs, and he could not free himself. To make things worth, the behir reared back and fired a bolt of lightning! Alain and Kesjhan were both engulfed in the lightning blast and fell to the ground, dying.
Heartened by the sudden turn of the tide, the satyrs ran at Dikari and sneered “Maybe we’ll take you with us”. They flanked the eladrin and attacked her. Dikari retaliated with an other wind strike spell. One Satyr fell to the ground, dead. And she disappeared. Dikari teleported 40 feet away, and then ran into a hut. The satyrs made a run for it. One was picked off, but the other got away.
Now all that was left to deal with was the behir. The creature was powerful (It was 10th level – the group is 5th and 6th level!). And Mino was trapped in its’ mouth, valiantly swinging away at the thing with his mordenkrad.
The behir breathed lightning again. Kesjahn was struck and fell to the ground. Alain took the brunt of the blast, and he electricity fried him. Alain Rocannon was dead (it rolled a critical and brought him to -23 hit points, two past his bloodied value). Kesjahn was dying as well.
Mino was in the behir’s maw, Dikari was in a hut, and Devilock was behind a well. The behir began to sense victory. Things were looking grim for the heroes. Devil called out to the gaping villagers to help. A villager responded: “Why would we help you when you’ve doomed us all?”. Devilock groaned… this Queen Shephatiah would demand revenge for the death of The Warden.
Then Mino, dangling, twisted up and took a wild swing – and struck the behir right in the eye (he rolled a critical!). The behir roared in agony, and was blinded. Mino tossed a potion of healing to Devilock, who ran over and poured it into Kesjahn’s mouth. Kesjahn was back in the fight (and it was just in time, as he had failed two death saves).
The behir swung its’ head wildly and breathed lightning once more. It struck a villager, killing him instantly.Kesjahn sprung up to his feet and charged. He hacked into the behir… and killed it. The behir groaned and crashed to the ground. Mino freed himself from it’s maw at last.
The heroes talked to a villager. He explained that the people of Dunesend don’t even know who Queen Shephatiah is. About a year ago, The Warden began demanding tributes from them. He always arrived from the south, and one of his underlings mentioned cming from a place called “Karak”.
Queen Shephatiah was in The Lost Mines of Karak.