Tuesday, January 1, 2013

DnD Encounters - War of Everlasting Darkness - Week 5

Greetings Dungeoneers,

     Continuing our trend to make up for lost time, we did a double session (especially since the second one was rather short). I revealed a little bit more about the time-travel adventure and we'll be hunting down a cleric of a time god that has decided to muck up the timeline. Expect a lot of four-dimensional puzzles.

     We met four new adventurers this week:
  • Sean, a Dwarf Cleric using the Devoted build which finally gave our party a dedicated healer and some much needed radiant damage as we moved closer to ending Lolth's Darkening.
  • Logan (Sean's son), made a Human Fighter on the Great Weapon build and he gave some of the most damaging attacks we saw in these sessions.
  • Unika made a Halfling Monk using the Stone fist build. Her character darted in and out of combat, dazing many foes with her quick hands and feet.
  • SeanPrime made a Shardmind Psion using some custom options from Psionic Powers and showed our party just how damaging a Psion can be by using telepathy and telekinesis to deadly effect.
     And now for a recap of this week's adventure where we run both Descent into the Depths and Spirits of the Fell Pass:

Descent into the Depths
  • Sean and Logan joined our team as they were leaving Mithral Hall. They wanted to do more than guard walls all day and due to King Connerad owing our party, allowed us to take a much needed cleric along on their adventure. Along the way to Citadel Adbar our party then met Unika and SeanPrime  two psionic adventurers from the far east who came to investigate the source of the darkness covering the world.
  • Arriving at Citadel Adbar to discover a cranky dwarf guard that did not want to allow our party entrance, Sean successfully convinced him to let our party in as we had important business with Axelcrantz.
  • Once inside we met up with Axelcrantz and he told us that he had completed some research on the Wand of Tir'Lien. It was last held by a drow name Matharic and he died leading an assault under Citadel Atbar.
  • After a few more questions, our team was lead through many corridors (many unmanned) to a meeting room with King Harbromm. Like many dwarfs, Harbromm was short on statue and patience but our party managed to convince him of their usefulness. In exchange for helping clear out a group of duergars, our party would be lead to where Matharic was vanquished.
  • As the party is about to leave, Axelcrantz tosses them a whetstone blessed by Moradin foretelling that it will be needed in the future.
  • Deep under Citadel Adbar, guards lead our party to meet an outpost overrun with duergar and final resting place of the garrison that defeated Matharic.
  • Approaching the outpost, Justin noticed a pile of bones covered in mucus, evidence enough to convince him that we were in a mimic's territory.
  • Logan and Sean noticed that there were duergar's inside the outpost and called out to them in a plead of diplomacy. However, +Josh W could tell that they were lying and that we could not trust them which lead to a fight.
  • SeanPrime used his psionic powers to toss a duergar into a nearby chasm, while Unika, Logan, and Justin ended the lives of a few. Seeing his advantage dwindle, the duergar leader ran back into the outpost and locked the door. +Josh W cast his eldritch blasts and melted the flesh off one duergar's face and spilled the guts of another. +Jeremy Boggs and Shane beat the remaining duergar to death. As the party approached the door they heard a cry of fear from inside that was cut off short.
  • While deciding whether who was best suited to knock the door down, Justin picked the lock and surveyed the interior of the long abandoned outpost.
  • The first floor consisted of the barracks and after a careful search (due to the presence of a mimic) our party found some interesting things: Justin found a cauldron that magically filled with stew, Sean and Logan found some treasure in a mattress, and Shane found a magical trapdoor. An Arcane check by +Josh W revealed that we would need a parchment with a magic key to open this trapdoor. With the room thoroughly searched, our party travelled upstairs and sent their stealthiest players first.
  • The second floor appears to be the armory and our players found a shocking discovery: a pile of fresh bones covered in mucus. After a very paranoid attempt to discover if the mimic was still on this floor [or ceiling, thanks to Logan], our party only ended in making a lot of noise [thanks to Justin for dragging things around] and covering everything in an icy frost [courtesy of +Jeremy Boggs's ice breath]. A search revealed that an armor stand was enchanted to restore armor and weapons placed on it, so our team restored an old rusty shield and set of plate armor for Sean and Justin.
  • Entering the final floor, our party was cautious but not enough. Unika searched a desk and found a diary of the commanding officer (Kotark) detailing the fight against Matharic and a locked drawer. SeanPrime got too close to the mimic pretending to be a bed and was greatly damaged by it's Ravening Maw attack. Our party succeeded in hurting the mimic enough to reveal it's true form, but it wasn't enough and it was defeated. +Jeremy Boggs ripped the drawer open to reveal a parchment with a key drawn on it, but after placing it in his pocket Justin tried to steal it and Unika used that distraction to take it and rush to the trapdoor.
  • Sean and Logan ventured outside to collect some loot from the fallen duegar as Jason and Unika had to leave the party early.
  • Venturing through the trapdoor lead our remaining party to a shallow river where a great battle once took place. In the center they could see their goal: the Wand of Tir'Lien, a floating unicorn's horn that cast back the darkness. As they reached for the wand, the darkness of the cavern took the form a drow that attacked.
  • With Matharic's wraith revealed, our party began a difficult fight. In addition to Matharic's insubstantial form allowing it to avoid most of the damage our party dished out, it also had an aura of madness that kept our melee members from sticking close to it. However Sean's divine powers proved to be too much for Matharic and after a couple rounds he threw down his weapons and called upon his god Moradin to grant him the strength to defeat Matharic, and with that the fight was over.
  • With the wand in hand, our party returned to Citadel Adbar to find Axelcrantz.
Spirits of the Fell Pass:
  • Axelcrantz revealed a vision from Moradin that gave our heroes two paths to take, a short path involving skill and survival, a long involving fights. Tired of the recent fighting, our party took the short path. With Sean, Logan, and +Josh W sticking around to help King Harbromm prepare Citadel Adbar for an an upcoming attack.
  • Ultimately, our team must reach the Fell Fortress and drive back the dark forces working to conquer the surface for Lolth. With plans made, Axelcrantz joined the party to complete the ritual Moradin foretold would be needed.
  • Surviving the harsh winter in the mountains was difficult, but Shane turned into a polar bear and Justin used a ritual to protect his compatriots from the elements.
  • A rock slide occurred later into the quest and +Jeremy Boggs and Justin barely made it through. Luckily their hardiness as dragonborn and dwarf allowed them to shrug off most of the damage.
  • To survive in the wilds, Shane hunted food while Justin used his magic cauldron to feed the team when food was scarce.
  • Nearing the lands this adventure started back by Quaervarr and worried about stumbling upon an orc tribe, our heroes planned to rest near a large headless statue. Upon reaching it, they find a group of orcs from the Broken Arrow tribe already using it for shelter. +Jeremy Boggs recounts the Broken Arrow oath ("Even a broken arrow is deadly in the right hands") and the party is welcomed to their campfire. And as chance would have it, this patrol is lead by their old friend Rhupp. Safe for the first time in many days, our party rests for the trials that are about to unfold.
  • Finally reaching the Fell Fortress, our party arrives as two drow (Alak and Alystin Xorlarrin) are casting a ritual to unleash the forces of the Shadowfell upon the surface world. With magic items (Tears of Helm, Garl's Poppet, Wand of Tir'Lien) in hand and understanding of nature, our heroes are able to resist the maddening effects being this close to the Shadowfell would normally exert.
  • The fight begins with a couple Wraith Figments rushing the party and going down fast after dealing some necrotic damage. With the wraiths down, our party focuses on the drow. Alak tries to use his magic but is knocked prone by Justin's attack, while Jeremy dazes Alystin.
  • A few more wraiths break free through the gate of the Fell Fortress, convincing our party to end this fight as soon as possible before they can be overtaken.
  • Attempting to start the ritual with the drow alive proves too difficult so our team renews their efforts to bring the drow down. Alak attempts to levitate, but is knocked to the ground and finished by Shane, only to burst into a pile of spiders. With Alak's death, several of the accumulated wraith fade away.
  • Axelcrantz shouts out that the wraith will be stopped only if the drow are destroyed. Justin succeeds in getting Alystin into a hold with his garrot and is covered in spiders as she is killed.
  • While Justin shook the the spiders off of his armor, Axelcrantz performs the ritual to close the gate. A beam of light as bright as the sun shines out of the Wand of Tir'Lien and for the first time in months, light shines through the sky over the this area. While darkness still covers most of the land, a decisive victory has been had by the surface.
  • Searching the gear dropped by the drow as shattered into spiders. Amongst the remains, our party finds an enchanted shield with the markings of the sun god Amaunator. This shield also is enchated to fight back the Darkening. The party also find plans for an attack on Silverymoon once Nesmé falls. With this knowledge, our party heads to Nesmé to stop the forces of Lolth from gaining another foothold on the surface.

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