Superball's Age of Mortals Campaign - Spectre of Sorrows
Hey everybody! Superball here! I've got a brand new thread for the second arc of the campaign! I'm playing catch up. The first post for Spectre of Sorrows proper is actually last Wednesday's session. Hopefully it gets a little easier for me to get the updates out with the same sort of regularity that I used to, but with the holiday season approaching, who can say? The Heroes did something remarkable in this session, busting into the Dark Knight Citadel perched on the edge of the Desolation: Darkhaven. Here's the cast of characters!
Caran Hith LN Male Qualinesti Paladin 7.
Accepted into the arms of Chislev, the grieving slayer has a new path. What mysterious spirit inhabits Redeemer? Played by Mark.
Jhandra Magfen NG Female Qualinesti Cleric of Chislev 7.
A servant of the Wild Mother. Can this daughter of Chislev, and the offspring of two Elven Nations, save her people? Played by Michelle.
Almarden Soth NG Male Ergothian Wizard 5/White Robe 2.
A member of the White Robed Order of High Sorcery, and wielder of the Shard of Light. Whispered about in the Tower of Wayreth, what part will he play in the troubles fast approaching Krynn? Played by Ernest.
Krusk LN Male Kazelati Minotaur Fighter 6/Rogue 1.
A mighty minotaur mercenary, Krusk has recently begun courting the assassins of Khur. Will their skills make him deadly enough to protect his friends? Played by Rob.
Kara NG Female Irda Oracle 7.
Blessed and cursed by something close to Mishakel (?), Kara wanders the world looking for the courage and confidence she needs to return home. Played by Becca.
Pidjit LG Male Tinker Gnome Bard 7.
The chosen protector and student of the mysterious music box, the little Gnome may learn more than the meaning of music. Played by Sam.
The party enters the ominous cavern of bones cautiously, with Almarden casting disrupt undead on random piles to make sure nothing will leap up and surprise them (That's a bold move, Cotton. Let's see how that works out for them! -SB). The divine casters distribute protective spells (bear’s endurance on Caran, sacred bond on Krusk). Suddenly up pop six wights that had been hiding among the bones, all dressed in Dark Knight regalia (Who saw that coming? Be honest! -SB). The first chops at Jhandra with his longsword and drains her life force [imposes a negative level]. The second strikes Pidjit [Critical “Stand Aside” double damage and push target 5 feet but Pidjit saves against negative level]. The third slashes Almarden [Critical “Papercut” take -4 attacks/Skills/Ability for 3 rds, but he saves vs negative level] (This was a great fight for me. They made their saves, but my dice were hot, man. -SB). Almarden employs the staff of bones to cast halt undead and freezes two enemies in place (Good move. They kept that staff. I have a bad feeling about it coming into play in a big way at some point in the future. -SB). Kara channels life energy, weakening the undead. Krusk wrecks a wight with his halberd, dropping it. Jhandra channels to harm the wights, uttering “World Mother, destroy them.” Caran slays a wight with his holy blade Redeemer. Pidjit plays an inspiring tune and snaps the flaming whip twice (with its speed ability) and drops a wight. Another wight hits the gnome again [and imposes a negative level.] Almarden “Gandalfs” (That was one of those moments to remember. -SB) the nearest wight into oblivion with a chop from the brightly blazing Shard of Light. Kara channels Mishakal’s energy and excludes those held fast, killing off another wight. Krusk charges and strikes and slays one of immobile wights. Jhandra channels Chislev’s destructive energy. Caran charges and slashes, killing one wight and cleaving toward a second wight but missing. Both remaining wights attack Caran but he avoids their draining effect. Pidjit cracks his whip twice in vain. Almarden flanks with Caran and his artifact’s strike obliterates the second to last wight [Critical “Flat Blade thwack” triple damage.] Kara channels energy to heal her friends. Krusk charges and gives the final wight the full brunt of his enchanted horns, busting him into pieces.
Superball, here. This fight. /\ This one right here. Super-fun! For those Pathfinder GameMasters out there: The OGC website is your friend. A ton of the legwork is already done for you, as far as dragons pre-built at different age categories, and variants statted out that are only talked about in the entries of the Bestiaries. The Cairn Wight is the Wight with an Advanced Simple Template tacked on. It deals weapon damage, and delivers its touch attack through the weapon. This Wight is super effective. I thought it would just be a trash mob to spend resources on, but as tradition dictates with my group, its the trash mobs that turnabout and surprise. These nasty boys in a group are RIDICULOUSLY effective, provided you are rolling the dice well enough. I would have felt absolutely terrible for them, except Pathfinder changed the way negative levels worked. Back to the good stuff! -SB.
Caran finds a key on one of the wights and opens the far door (The solid steel door, that Theo Drawde probably made the Legion of Steel pay for. It's so impregnable. It's the best. -SB). The party heads down a natural passage which ends in a new door (So many portals. -SB). There’s a crack under the door and faint light and voices spill through. Caran reaches out with his new divine senses and registers an evil presence beyond the door. Jhandra and Kara bolster Krusk with transmutations (bear’s endurance and bull’s strength). Krusk checks the door and disarms its trap before pushing it open as far as the obstacles on the other side will allow. Krusk forces his way inside, knocking aside two beer kegs propped in front of the entrance (A deadly, nightmarish Kool-Aid man...that impales you. -SB). Two Dark Knights stand guard and are caught flatfooted. Krusk sneak attacks and kills one guard with a single halberd thrust (So far, so good! -SB). Kara’s magical quarterstaff spell thwacks the second guard and Pidjit follows up with a whipping. Caran ends the guard with a blow from Redeemer [Critical “Severed Tendon” normal damage and d6 Dexterity damage]. With both guards dead before they could sound an alarm (They didn't stand a chance. It's like they were wearing red. -SB), the party plans to use the element of surprise to their advantage (And how! It works. Trust me. Keep reading. -SB). Krusk dumps the two corpses in the chamber strewn with bones and leaves the entrance partially open, so the party can bolt back the way they came if need be. The guard room has a table and chairs, 2 casks, 40 silver on the table, and gambling dice. [See Becca for Loot/gear]. There’s a door to the west (which turns out to be a privy) and one to the north, which leads to a hall lined with empty prisoners cells. The party trails Krusk. Almarden scans their surroundings with a divination (detect magic) to assuage Jhandra’s concerns over magical traps or magically concealed doors or foes (Turns out I really had them wound up. I should do impossibly large, foreboding fortresses fill with evil more often. -SB). Krusk finds a torture chamber with an iron maiden, confirming the area functions as a dungeon and interrogation facility. Krusk comes to another closed door and listens carefully but hears nothing. Using a key from the wight, the minotaur enters to find a briefing room full of tapestries and paraphernalia. It also holds one set of stairs leading up and another door. Almarden casts a shrinking spell on a Dark Knight tapestry and pockets it (I have no idea. They ad lib, and I say yes. -SB). Behind a tapestry Krusk discovers a secret door with a passage leading back to the privy (When you gotta go, in an evil stronghold. -SB). Beside the briefing room is a second torture chamber which holds nothing of interest. The next room is a storage chamber with a staircase going up and lots of food, and the party stocks up on rations (In the middle of the enemy fortress. "Ooh, look! That's a lovely cheese. I'll have some of that. -SB).
Superball, here. I've got to interrupt here to pick on myself. I've been crunched for time, and pretty much unable to prep for sessions in any conceivably useful way. So, I broke my own rules, and allowed empty, purposeless rooms to happen. I had dungeons with no prisoners, and torture...ahem, I mean, interrogation chambers with not "Interogatees" (Is that a word?). Big mistake. Either put some miserable people in, or just strike a line through them so that you can get more done. Ack. -SB.
Krusk puts his ear to the next door (Except his ear horn kills people. -SB) on the right in the hallway outside of the larder and hears voices. Almarden listens in and recognizes the language of spell recitals and deduces there are four men inside who are Thorn Knights practicing spells (So far their stealth is killing me literally. I'm expecting another massacre. -SB). The long hallway where the party stands has four more doors that would open into different rooms, plus two staircases going up (Wait a minute...all these rooms are loaded with dudes! -SB). Krusk listens outside each of the other doors and hears four voices behind two of them. Krusk holds up fingers to show which rooms are occupied. The crafty mercenary places caltrops on two out of three sets of stairs, the staircase at the far end of the corridor and the one behind the party’s current position outside the Thorn Knights’ chamber. After agreeing the Thorn Knights should be their first target, Krusk also stealthily rigs a tanglefoot bag trap on the door outside each of the other two rooms that contain Dark Knights (Yeah, nevermind... -SB). Almarden readies a dragon’s breath spell and Pidjit readies deep slumber. Krusk bursts open the spellcasters’ door and pushes inside, thrusting his halberd into the gut of the nearest mage and killing him instantly [Critical “Knockback” double damage and push back 1d6 squares = 4 squares.] Kara casts doom on the mage in the back corner and seconds later Almarden’s fire breath kills him. The two remaining Thorn Knights fail to harm Krusk with their touch spells (Cow tipping isn't supposed to be this hard. -SB). A Knight of the Lily bursts through the trapped door and Pidjit tries but fails to put him and his allies into a deep slumber (Yes! The bard troubles me. -SB). Jhandra casts holy smites and weakens all four of them with a pulse of purely good energy. Caran charges the foremost Lily Knight and decapitates him, then cleaves into the man beside him and slays him too (I'm not feeling good about my chances at this point. -SB). Kara summons a quarterstaff of shimmering force to hover beside her. Almarden impales a Lily Knight with the Shard of Light. Pidjit moves up and casts hideous laughter on the knight still in the doorway, putting him on the ground in hysterics with the line “One slip makes you the fall guy now!” (See what I mean? This bard...argh! -SB). Another Dark Knight in the lily insignia slashes Caran. Just then the door beside Jhandra gets busted open by the combined efforts of more Dark Knights with the skull insignia on their uniforms who wield battleaxes. The first guy sidesteps and his neighbor swings for Jhandra but misses. Krusk attacks around the corner with his halberd and scores a deep jab. Jhandra backs up and sears a foe with a lightning bolt. Caran slays the Lily Knight who struck him and cleaves into the prone Lily Knight with another killing stab (Signature move. Swift downward thrusts. -SB). Kara smacks a Skull acolyte with her spiritual weapon. Almarden finishes the battle with a dramatic, booming detonate spell that combusts the final three Skull acolytes (Yeah...I'm ruling that the upstairs knows something is up. -SB). The party must quickly decide what to do---loot the bodies, or press upstairs immediately. They decide that last thundering evocation will almost certainly have alerted more Knights to an intrusion (I'm the GameMaster, and I approve this message. -SB). In the end they agree to a quick healing and an aggressive dash up the only staircase that does not have caltrops (near the larder) to confront the next contingent of knights. The gods only know what retaliation awaits them upstairs, and whether they will be able to rescue Mishakal’s Tear and escape Darkhaven with their lives…
That's where we left off last week. I've just played through the Basement Level of Darkhaven tonight, and the fight lasted over four hours. It was a doozy. Keep it here for the next bit!
Same Lance-time, same Lance-channel!
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