Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Pre War Session - 16/11/2009

What's got four eyes, a bad attitude and likes to throw Vyrleen about? Read on to find out!

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16/1/50 – Raging blizzards during the day, giving way to a clear, viciously cold night...

04:00 – The group enter the cellars beneath the cells of the Thruk'Dun, and an ancient Dundorin stairwell that drops away into still darkness...

04:05 – The group encounter a wall of decaying red brick – clearly the efforts of someone to block the stairs at some point in the past. Eager to test his new arm out, Ormid strides forwards, and with a mighty blow, smashes the wall to pieces, sending rubble loudly smashing down the stairs beyond.

As the red brick wall collapses, so a wave of dank, cold, wet air, filled with the smells of rotting stone and rust waft towards the party. The move on.

04:06 – 04:16 – The group climb deeper and deeper down the ancient Dundorin stairs, and although nearer the surface the construction holds up well, the deeper they get, the more the effects of moisture, pressure and time are seen, a thick forest of increasingly thick stalactites and stalagmites cloaking the stonework.

The stairs are blocked by another wall; this one crudely constructed from great chunks of local rock, roughly held together with a coarse mortar of gritty grime, slime and mould.

Still loving his new limb, Ormid strides forth and once again strikes the wall. The wall is sturdier than the one before, but collapses with only one blow, the stones slamming into a vast darkness beyond, their collapse displacing the foul air within, sending a plume of grey-green vapours out towards the group.

04:17 – Beyond the crude wall is a large, collapsed chamber, thickly wreathed with a dense grey-green fog that smells of mould. Piles of debris can be seen within, and a great space can be seen in the darkness in the middle of the chambers ceiling, leading to a shaft of some sort.

04:18 – Llewellyn cautiously scouts along the edge of the fog, moving as stealthily as he can. From within the vast space in the roof, he hears, over the constant dripping of water from the festoons of thin stalactites that hang from above, subtle movement...

The rest of the group edge forwards, muttering about the fog, and wondering how they can get across this chamber to the dimly illuminated exit some 40' away, through the fog.

The Warforged wafts his axe amongst the tendrils of damp fog, and all observe how it burns like iron filings; spitting and flickering as the flames devour its substance, only to return a few moments later.

Bored with all the talking, the Vyrleen decides to move forwards into the gloom...and is instantly assaulted by the fog!

No sooner does he enter the fog (holding his breath) than a horrible chill overwhelms him, sapping his strength and resolve. Worse, the spores begin to rot his flesh where they touch him, and he suffers horrible, decaying wounds.

But there are even more troubles in store for him, for suddenly beams of magical energy stab at him from above (within the shaft in the chambers' roof); a beam of flame that burns a hole in the Vyrleen's shoulder, and an invisible ray of mental energy, which washes over him without apparent effect.

Looking upwards through the rotting spores, Llewellyn feels his blood run cold as he spots a spherical monstrosity, bearing four crackling eyeballs on armoured stalks, floating 25' above, thick ropes of saliva hanging from its huge, fanged mouth – a Xareth'Chelde of some kind!!!!

A painful battle ensues. The group face twin disadvantages; the spores / collapsed masonry forming a deadly morass within which the party wither and flounder, and the simple difficulty faced by battling a monster that floats high above, shooting them repeatedly with a number of magical attacks.

Although the group realise that they face a lesser form of Eye Tyrant (a Gauth), they suffer horribly. Llewellyn uses his enchanted boots to teleport on top of the monster, eventually having to hide in several low tunnels scoured into the side of the shaft near its top (where he finds some gems and pockets one), and manages to hit it several times, and Smite uses her incredible mobility to scale the walls, and to veritably fly up the walls of the shaft...before being plucked from the wall by the monsters telekinesis eye, and being dropped a dangerous distance into he waiting clutch of the deathly spores below!

This actually sets a president, with poor Llewellyn making repeated involuntary trips into the air, and then down into the deadly spores. A localised gravity field seems to effect the shaft too, making the falls all the harder.

04:19 – The group are becoming desperate, for although they have been battling the monster for some time, and have used the best attacks they can at range (they suddenly realise that they lack any potent ranged ability), it is not yet bloodied. The veteran uses Dracusvir to fire mordant arrows at the horror, and Sadran blasts it with magic, but the spores and the monsters powerful attacks begin to outstrip the group's ability to heal itself.

Just as the group are considering running, the Vyrleen hatches a plan. With his allies, he bluffs the monster into thinking that the gem he stole is some item of power, hoping to lure it down to recover it, and bring it into range of the group's attacks.

However, ultimately, it is the artificer that ends the battle. He addresses the monster and demands it give up, pointing out that they are not yet dead, and that the monster ultimately cannot win – especially now they have the “magic gem”.

The Gauth grudgingly agrees to let the group pass peacefully, and uses its fire ray to burn away the spores in a path, allowing the group to stumble out of the chamber (gratefully)...

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A good game, but I had slightly miscalculated. I thought that Ormid still had a couple of powers that would allow the group to get above the spores, and into range of the Gauth. He doesn't, and the party were at a deep disadvantage at range.

For the spores I used the Apathy Mist hazard from the Manual of the Planes, and the Gauth was re-tooled to be a level 10 solo version (I added an aura identical to the Beholder's one that gave it an eye attack at the start of any creatures turn within 4 squares).

Anyway, it was a great fight, and it certainly brought the players creativity out as they tried, desperately, to beat it!

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