Chaos Abounds

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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Game Night 82

After some more shopping for potions and magic items. the heroes teleported back to Witchcross.

After a bit of investigation around town, they started following the vampire tracks back to their origin. It was a grueling trek up into the mountains, but they found the entrance to a crypt hidden in a thicket.

They barged right in, not trying to be stealthy, and found a crypt full of blood cultists, and some Cobalt Serpents. The cultists went down fast. The snakes lasted a bit longer, but weren’t much trouble, other than blinding people occasionally.

No sign of any vampires, yet.

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Game Night 81
A new hero joins the group

After a peaceful nights rest (for a change), the heroes were woken by music, and singing, and dancing.

Wynne tried to resist the urge to dance, but was compelled to dance against her will.

Everyone must dance!

After about an hour of dancing around the fire pit, it erupted in an explosion of sparks and smoke, and the Korreds all squealed in excitement, then wandered off from the fire pit. In the center of the fire, a Genasi was standing. He wasn’t sure how he arrived, or where he was, but he seemed happier to be here than where ever it was he came from.

After some introductions, Venifictus joined the Rainbow Scarf Brigade (the alternatives were to stay and live with the Korreds, or wander off through the Witchwood alone).

They struck off through the Witchwood, still heading toward Brindol. Eventually, the forest started resembling a normal forest again, and they finally found a road.

After a bit of map consultation, they figured out where they were, but they were a bit north of where they expected to be. Another half hours walk along the road got them to Witchcross, a fairly sizable town, by local standards (much bigger than Winterhaven, but only a third the population of Brindol.

After a bit of chatter with a gaurd, they set out for an Inn, but before they made it there, they heard screams from the east. Being the heroic bunch they are (or just bloodthirsty, in some cases), they charged toward the sounds of panic…and found: Vampires!!!

Vampires were attacking townspeople. Most of them were fairly easy to dispatch (but still quite deadly to the villagers), but one turned out to be a fair bit tougher: a Vampire Lord. After his minions were all gone, and he was starting to get beat up, he turned into a cloud of vapor and flew off across the rooftops, far faster than anyone in the party could move.

After meeting with some of the village elders, they decided to help out the town.

But first: teleporting and shopping!

poof Winterhaven: Valthrum bought some of their rituals, and paid them for their help. He also helped fill out some of their Linked Portal destinations.

poof Brindol: A good night’s rest, followed by shopping at Thovin’s magic shop. Also, some advice about what to do with Dragon Scales (make DragonScale armor, of course!).

Next, a stop at the potion shop next door, then poof back to Witchcross?

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Game Night 80
Little people and big people

Our heroes continue their trek through the Witchwood, hopefully getting closer to Brindol.

They stumbled across a village of small creatures with goat legs and bushy beards (Korreds).

After a bit of talking, the Korreds confided with them about the ‘green skinned giants’, and how they raided their village and demanded tribute. The heroes offered to help them with their problem, and then a party broke out.

After a bit of food and drink, one of the small people led the heroes to a large dead tree trunk, with smoke coming out of it.

After asking Hogar how to say an insult in giant, Loodra screamed it at the tree and charged. This surprised some of the party, but not all of them. It certainly surprised the 2 bugbears that were standing guard in the tree.

Loodra charged into the tree and was swarmed by a pack of bugbears, followed by 2 green skinned giants (Verbeeg). After destroying all the bugbears in one massive cleave, one of the giants blinded several heroes with some kind of brilliant flash, then generated a cloud of obscuring mist. He was then hacked and pummeled and shot to a point very close to death, prompting the other giant to drop back down into the hole, and Alissa finished off the wounded giant with a magic missile.

Loodra jumped in the hole after the giant, and was met by 4 more giants, who proceeded to stab, trip, and slide Loodra around the room for a bit, before the rest of the party slid down the ladder to her aid.

The giants seemed outclassed from that point on, although they did manage to knock a few more people to the ground. But down they went, and other than Loodra (briefly), no one was really in too much danger.

Then the heroes returned to the Korred village for a fabulous party of dancing, singing and drinking (imagine Ewok party with ale).

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Game Night 79
Spiders suck

The heroes continued their trek across the Witchwood, still heading for Brindol.

It was mostly uneventful until they reached a river (probably the “Witchstream”). Loodra decided to jump right in and swim across, but a Hydra had other ideas (mostly involving eating Loodra). It wasn’t a long fight, but the Hydra did manage to dish out an extraordinary amount of damage during the short fight, and had managed to acquire 7 heads by the end of the fight (it started with 4).

After crossing the river, the rest of the hike for the day was uneventful.

But, during the night, a very annoying pack of spiders (and spider like creatures) attacked the party. They weren’t ever close to killing anyone, but they kept most of the party pinned in a very small area for most of the fight.

Nef used his damage reduction spell to keep the damage under control. Eventually, the weaker creatures started leaving when they were close to death. The party was definitely winning the battle of attrition, but very slowly.

Then Nef debuffed the leader to the point that he couldn’t even do damage, and it decided it would go look for an easier meal.

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