Chaos Abounds

Game Night 92
Portals, zombies and a lich, oh my

After another rest, the heroes started exploring the temple of Tiamat again.

But before they got far, Valthrun the Prescient sent a mental message to Nef, asking him to open a portal to Winterhaven.

After a bit of discussion, Nef opened a portal to the temple in Winterhaven, Valthrun performed some kind of odd portal magic to reverse the direction of the portal, yelled something about Harrik Orenna and then a stranger jumped through the portal from Winterhaven.

The stranger gave the heroes a note, and a scroll tube.

The scroll tube was another ‘pre-paid’ Linked Portal spell tied directly to Winterhaven (apparently Valthrun expected the party to use the one he had given them previously).

One note was from Lord Harrik, introducing the new adventurer to them as Elodin, and indicating that he should be very useful in the upcoming task, if Valthrun’s predictions were correct.

Having no other information about this task, the heroes continued exploring. They found a Drow spellcaster, poring over maps. He didn’t seem surprised, and actually seemed more interested in finding a way out of the temple than in any kind of conflict. He also seemed a bit unsure about how he came to be there, or exactly where he was, muttering something about being killed by a demon, and then waking up in this place a few days ago.

Unfortunately, the heroes were a bit too inquisitive: after he warned them not to open the closet door (because of the zombies he had summoned that were hiding in the closet), and then Elodin pointed out that he was an undead, Loodra had heard enough.

Loodra Smash!

The zombies in the closet turned out to be very tough Moilian Zombies, and very adept at locking people down via slowing and immobilizing attacks. The Drow turned out to be a Necromancer, and had some nasty tricks up his sleeves. Fortunately for the Heroes, Elodin seemed to be quite capable of dealing with undead, and snagged him with a garrote that kept him immobile and somewhat disabled for most of the combat (or at least long enough for the rest of the heroes to deal with the zombies).

Once everyone could turn their attention to the Necromancer, he didn’t last long.

After the combat, Elodin blurted out something about an undead army rising from the depths, and remembered the other note that Valthrun had given him. This note explained that a comet had appeared in the sky, which made Valthrun nervous, so he performed a divination ritual, and the results were dire. An army of undead is rising in the Shadowfell, from the Rotting Throne (a place of power for Orcus). The only known crossing point from the Rotting Throne to our world is a planar cyst, guarded by Phaervorul, a drow settlement built solely to keep the portal from ever opening again.

The note concludes with Valthrun urging the heroes to investigate, and stop the undead army from crossing over to our world.

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Game Night 91
Bone dragon likes bones

After an extended rest, the party forged onwards into the dusty temple.

They picked a door and opened it, and found a big pile of bones. Mostly Dragonborn bones from the look of them.

Then the bones started talking to them.

After a bit of odd conversation, a Dracolich revealed itself (it was resting under the pile of bones).

After a bit more conversation, a fight broke out. Soon afterwards, about half the pile of bones formed into another shape: a Bone Golem.

The Dracolich had the annoying power to dominate people, and used this to keep Loodra beating up on her friends for a fair portion of the combat.

The Bone Golem was spiky, and occasionally caused a fair amount of damage (but hit the Dracolich with his “Bone Volley” almost as often as the heroes).

After a very long fight, the Dracolich finally fell.

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Game Night 90
Traps, Dust and Dragonborn

After dealing with the animated statues, the heroes took another extended rest. Nef and Wynne helped each other to recover from the Mummy Rot disease they were suffering from. Nef was completely cured, and Wynne got better (but was still not fully recovered).

Next, they started investigating the odd fountains, and locked double doors they walked past on the way to the statue room. After some investigation, they figured out that there was some kind of gas trap built in to the lock of the door. It was a tricky trap, but Wynne eventually figured it out, and managed to disarm it and unlock the door.

The hall behind the door appeared to be an guard room, long abandoned. Tables, chair, barrels, weapon racks and weapons had all rotted and decayed to the point of becoming dust. Metal bits, and outlines of the rotted wood were still visible, but nothing was really solid anymore.

After walking in to the room, 6 Dragonborn warriors appeared and asked, in Draconic, “What news from the war?”

Loodra hesitated for about 2 seconds, then walked up to the closest warrior and attacked him. A battle ensued, but the outcome was never really in question. As each of the warriors fell, it vanished in a puff of smoke (similar to the way they appeared). Someone trained in Arcana could probably explain that (but the Wizard and Swordmage were still hanging out in the statue room, doing something… arcana-y …).

The heroes retreated to the previous wide hallway, and rested again (giving Nef a chance to completely heal Wynne of her Mummy Rot).

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Game Night 89
Grabby statue is grabby

Another night sleeping in a crypt…this seems to be a recurring theme…

Unfortunately for the heroes, some of them were unable to shake off the effects of the Mummy Rot they caught in their last battle (and even getting a bit worse). Hopefully their next extended rest will work out better.

After a bit of monkeying with the black sphere, Loodra managed to find Alissa and let her in (I’m sure she meant to do that). Then she eventually got another path to open.

The new hallway had a locked door on the left side, some odd fountains on the right, and a pretty statue at the end of the hallway. After a bit of investigation, the heroes ignored the door and fountains, and continued down the hall to the statue.

It turned out the statue wasn’t quite as friendly as it looked from a distant. When Loodra came closer, it animated, then reached out and grabbed her. Then more statues started waking up and moving into range to attack.

It was a very tight battle, with almost all the fighting taking place in a 10×30 foot area (with Wynne, Alissa, and Nef staying back a ways, as usual). Loodra called down a napalm strike on herself (courtesy of Hogar), and, as usual, several people were bloody by the end of the fight, but everything turned out ok in the end.

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Game Night 88
Obvious trap is obvious

The first thing of interest in the Temple of Tiamat was a large sphere made of some kind of smooth black rock (obsidian?).

It was halfway embedded into the floor, with odd runes inscribed around it on the floor.

Since there was no exit from the room other than the way they came in, the heroes started investigating the sphere.

Loodra managed to get it spinning, and after a lot of grinding and clanking from below, the left wall dropped, and a wall sprung up behind them, blocking the path to the entrance.

The heroes started exploring up the hallway, climbing stairs periodically, and noting the odd floor in the side passages (metal floors with divots). Eventually, they came to a large door. They were a bit suspicious, but after a bit of fruitless investigation, they opened the door anyways (outward, as they discovered the hard way by trying to kick it in).

Behind the door was a giant black sphere, very similar to the one in the floor back in the first room. After a fraction of a second, it started rolling down the hall. A few people attempted to stop it from rolling (squish), others just dived into the side halls. As the ball started rolling for real, it caught fire, and as it rolled by the side halls, the floors dropped out from under the heroes.

After the 20 foot drop, the reason for the odd divots was revealed: That’s where the spikes poked through when the floor hit the bottom. Then the spikes withdrew to let the acid flow in (obviously to clean up the mess left by the spikes).

With a bit of team work, everyone got out of the acid filled pits fairly quickly. And the large black flaming sphere rolled down to the entry room and appeared to disappear into the spot where the other black sphere was located.

Back into the sphere room, some more spinning, and the door directly across from the trap room opened.

Down the dark hall the heroes find sarcophagi. And what do you find in sarcophagi? Mummies, of course. Scary Tomb Guardian mummies. And a Mummy Lord. Yay. But everyone knows that mummies don’t like fire. Flame on!

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Game Night 87
Icky goblins and a stubborn door

Another rest with the Kobolds, then across the Black Lake of Death.

Fortunately, there were 2 new(ish) boats on the shore. They probably belonged to the human minions of the Grells. They seem sound enough for our heroes, so away they rowed.

Some time later they reached the other side of the lake.

The colossal door was still there, and still closed.

Alissa performed a Knock ritual, and it seemed to work. Something on the other side of the door made a sound (like a heavy metal bar dropping onto a stone floor).

But, the door still didn’t budge.

Alissa attempted another Knock, but this one didn’t seem to have any affect.

And then the corrupted goblins showed up and attacked the party, mostly by surprise (goblins are small and sneaky).

Most of the goblins didn’t provide much of a challenge, but Glork (as he called himself) was a bit tougher, and the Goblin Mass was disturbing, and tough.

The mass appeared to be just that: a huge mass of goblin bodies, with arms, legs, and heads sticking out in all directions. It (they?) kept grabbing people, and it even managed to pull Loodra inside of it for a bit (yuck!).

Glork seemed to be able to command the mass sometimes. He also had a psychic scream that caused a lot of pain and discomfort, and vicious long sword for stabbing people when he got up close.

After a short battle (and a disgusting explosion of goblin parts when the mass finally died), the party spent some time cleaning up, and searching the goblin caves. They turned out to be mostly empty, other than some beds and refuse.

Then they turned their attention back to the impervious stone doors. What was it that Valthrum had translated the inscription to say?

“I bring treasure for the hoard of Tiamat”

After a bit of trial and error, the party finally tried saying the phrase in Draconic, and the magic seal on the door dissipated.

After a bit of pushing (and then pulling), the door was open!

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Game Night 86
Smells like home

Ahh, nothing like a good night’s sleep in a bed inside a nice safe inn.

After a well deserved rest, the heroes decided it was time to head back to investigate that large mysterious in the Underdark below the kobold den.

But first, they stopped by Valthrum’s tower to see what information he had (and to pick up some more rewards for past deeds).

Valthrum informed them of the translation of the inscription on the door (written in Infernal):
“I bring treasure for the hoard of Tiamat”

Onward!

Through the kobold den (everyone seems to be doing fine), down the long spiral staircase into…garbage? It appears that the kobolds are still tossing their trash down the staircase, but without the gelatinous cubes to eat it all, it’s just been piling up for the last few months. Yuck.

But a little garbage won’t slow our heroes down…they climbed through much worse in the Pyramid of Shadows.

Secret door opened: check. Black lake of death still there: check. Campfire with deformed humans huddled around it: che…wait, what? That’s new.

After a brief attempt at parley, a fight broke out. The usual suspects were involved in getting the fight started, but this time it turned out that the Grells floating above weren’t about to let the Bahamut worshippers live once they showed themselves. Or at least that was their plan.

The Grell philosopher gave them some trouble, floating high above the combat, till it was slammed into the ground by Venn (by teleporting above it and falling on top of it). He took a bit of damage in return when they hit the ground, but it brought the Grell down into range of everyone’s melee attacks, and the battle didn’t last much longer after that.

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Game Night 85
Necromancers are really tough

[Alissa finally managed to catch up to the heroes, but Venn appears to have wandered off somewhere]

Camping in the crypt turned out to be impossible.

Vampire hunter spawn kept coming out of the far hallway, 5 at a time, every few minutes.

They couldn’t really hurt the heroes (between Alissa’s Magic Missiles and Wynnes crossbow bolts, they rarely even got to attack), but they kept interrupting their extended rest.

Eventually, the heroes decided that a nice camp in the woods would be more restful, so they went outside and jammed the door from the outside, then piled a bunch of rocks and logs on it to be safe. It wasn’t air tight, so something in mist form might have been able to escape, but it would keep the corporeal undead inside.

And, lo and behold, they got a good night’s rest. A badly needed one at that.

After the sun had risen, they went back into the crypt to see where Nexul (the vampire lord) had flown off to.

Instead, when they opened the door, they found a not quite living body dressed like Nexul (or was that all that was left of the vampire lord?). And 3 Drow Battle Wights.

The corpse ran into the middle of the group, and exploded, doing a fair amount of damage to everyone, but the Wights didn’t last long after everyone focused their attacks on them (remembering the pain they had caused Hogar in a prior battle).

And then the Necromancer Borrit emerged from the very large sarcophogi in the back of the room. He had some nasty powers, and was amazingly tough. He took more damage than the entire party combined (and then some) to bring down.

But, as all evil things must, he died at the hands of our heroes.

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Game Night 84
Vampire Lords are tough

After being awoken by a screaming vampire (shortly before it turned to dust from Wynne’s arrow), Loodra led the way into the next room. They still hadn’t had an extended rest, but they had parceled out some of Loodra’s healing surges (which turned out to be a life saver for Hogar).

The next room was a little less crypt-y, and a little more temple-y, complete with a sacrificial altar.

The Zombie Hulks waiting in the room didn’t seem terribly concerned about the heroes, and Loodra charged one, which attempted to smack her as she got closer (but they both missed).

The fight got under way, and the zombie hulks turned out to be fairly tough, and they could hit very hard (and knocked people to the ground some times).

But then, Nexull, the Vampire Lord, appeared, and tried to dominate Loodra with his imposing glare. It worked, but she countered it with a protective item that left her merely dazed.

Hogar attempted to engage Nexull, and discovered there were also some vampire spawn hiding in the room. They weren’t much of a threat, other than providing some flanking, but the vampire lord turned out to be a lot tougher than their first encounter seemed to indicate.

Loodra and Hogar both went down for a bit (and Nexull grew stronger by feeding on Hogar). But Nef managed to keep them both alive. [I think that’s right, or maybe Hogar was down and Loodra nearly down? or vice versa]

Then Loodra was dominated a second time. If she’d been able to hit Hogar easily, it probably would have been very bad. Fortunately, Hogar is pretty hard to hit, and Loodra was unlucky (lucky?), and kept missing. She did get a critical hit at one point, but that backfired on Nexull, since she likes to keep hitting things when she does that, and she smacked the Vampire Lord fairly hard (not as hard as Hogar, but considering she shouldn’t have been able to attack Nexull at all, it was quite a surprise).

Eventually, the Hulks went down. But they got right back up. Then they went down again and stayed down.

At that point Wynne moved into the room, and took cover in some spider webs, which gave Nexull fits. She kept moving in and out of the webs and hitting him with some fairly powerful shots.

Eventually, Nexull was bloody, and the fight was not going his way, so he poofed into mist and flew through the doors on the far side of the room from where the Heroes entered.

The Heroes found some dirt, and a magic fleece, but decided that they really, really, needed to rest before continuing on. So, once again, they decided to camp in the crypt (although a little closer to the exit this time). Maybe it will be more restful this time…

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Game Night 83
Soul sucking Wights really suck

After defeating the blood cultists and rock serpent guardians, the heroes decided to take a nap. In the crypt. Because it’s always gone so well in the past when they do that.

Alissa is still in town, researching something, and Ven decided to stand watch outside.

After an hour or so, just after sunset, a group of Drow Battle Wights led by a Skull Lord snuck in from the outside (apparently Ven wasn’t doing a great job of guarding…I wonder what happened to him).

The undead were fairly sneaky, and got just inside the bright light from the magic lantern before Wynne (who was trancing) noticed them and Loodra’s pet “dog” started barking.

The wights were quite fierce, and managed to do a significant amount of damage to Hogar, stealing all of his remaining healing surges in the first few seconds of combat, and healing themselves as they did. He was down not too long after that.

The Skull Lord also managed to make Loodra run in fear, into the large brazier, multiple times. He also kept bringing dead cultists back to life as Vampire minions. Usually right next to Wynne.

After an extended time lying on the floor, Nef finally was able to stand up, and used a priestly power he had rarely used before (if ever): TURN UNDEAD!

And it worked spectacularly, pushing the remaining wights and skull lord back down the hall, allowing the heroes to use it as a bottleneck.

At about the same time, the Skull Lord’s skull that was raising the dead cultists (and healing the battle wights) was destroyed, and the tide of the battle turned.

Hogar was a bloody mess at the end of battle, but was at least conscious thanks to Nef.

After a ritual to spread some of the remaining healing surges around, the heroes tried to rest again. Still in the crypt.

More trouble began within the hour. But Wynne was more perceptive this time. The large door at the other end of the crypt opened, and a vampire crept out, surveying the carnage. He didn’t notice Wynne, until the arrow staked him through the heart.

Wynne continued watching, letting the rest of the group sleep, and another vampire crept out. Twang! Poof!

And a third: Twang! Poof!

And then, a really sneaky one got right up next to Wynne before they noticed each other. Wynne killed it, but not before it screamed, waking up the other heroes. After a short recap from Wynne, Loodra does what she does best: Charge!

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