Chaos Abounds

Game Night 112
Everyone got what they wanted

The heroes went back through the strange door to Deadhome. It didn’t hurt this time. The Keeper offered to take them to whatever exit they desired in his realm, but they still needed to collect a reward from Gyldra, so they came back out to the courtyard.

When they got to the courtyard, Ven got an odd look on his face, then smiled, then held up his new sword Nightbringer, and a bolt of lightning came down from the sky and struck him. When the blinding flash was over, Ven was gone, but the sword was still there, sticking out of the sand. I’m sure he’s fine, in whatever plane of existence he hopped to, that’s just how those elemental types roll.

Loodra picked up the sword, and was trying to figure out what they should do with it when it started talking to her. Then it changed form, into a Great Axe, and Loodra seemed happy.

Gyldra seemed a bit surprised that they returned, but was more than happy to give them the treasure she had offered.

They mentioned the Keeper, and he formed out of the sand in front of them. They said they were ready to go home, so he told them to go back through the portal. Starval the Fire Magus, wanted to stay here, in his home, so Loodra grudgingly gave him back is clothes (but asked him to not put them on till she was gone, so she could remember him naked…he agreed).

The Keeper delivered them to the odd energy orb, in the void between worlds where the spider web bridges were. They made their way back to the Drow city. They encountered a few Drow on the way to the Temple, but Maarth made hand signals to them, and they all backed off.

In the Temple, Maarth continued waving off everyone they met, and eventually they were back at Matron Urlvrain’s thrown room. After a bit of hand signals from Maarth, the matron seemed almost pleasant, and Maarth went to join her. The heroes managed to talk her into a nice reward, and then she allowed them to leave.

Squib wanted to stay with Loodra, and keep playing Adventurer (“Master gave me a magic crossbow!”).

They almost forgot about Orontor, but went and got him before they teleported back to Thunderspire. Loodra managed to extort some more money out of him, and then sold some zombie parts and other oddities to Gendar.

Then they teleported back to Winterhaven, and got some more rewards from Valthrun the Prescient.

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Game Night 111
Zirithrian, at last

Into the black ziggurat!

The doorway was weird: just a flat black void. Loodra went to push it open and ended up going on through. Eventually, everyone followed her.

They moved through odd spaces, not real, more like a dream. First there was pain. Loodra agreed to give up some of her life in order to help the others survive.

Then they met two beings.
First, an odd robed figure sitting on a pile of skulls, holding a skull wand. It said only the dead could pass. Some heroes convinced it they were dead, and vanished. Some failed, and had their names written into a book.
Second, a vision of Orcus himself. He demanded things of the players. Some were defiant, some begged for mercy, and some agreed to help Orcus and slay Zirithrian, which seemed odd, since Zirithrian seemed to be serving Orcus.

Finally, they arrived in the throneroom of the Midnight Ziggurat, and fighting broke out at once.

As usual, Loodra charged into the thick of it, and promptly got smacked down, unconscious. And to add insult to injury, the dragon statue in the middle of the room had some kind of evil enchantment on it that caused her make a death saving through immediately upon falling unconscious. She failed. But, fortunately(?) for her, Danna commanded her to get up and fight. This happened 3 times in 3 rounds, and by the 3rd time, Danna sounded a bit angry.

There were plenty of nasties in this room: Boneclaw Impalers, Abyssal Ghouls, an Immolith, Lord Dust the Lich, and Zirithrian himself, wielding a large sword. There were also a bunch of Vampire spawn, which kept getting in the way, and distracting the defender from doing his job (although, he did manage to tie up 2 of the ghouls as well).

It was a brutal fight, but eventually the heroes got the upper hand, killing everything but Lord Dust, who turned out to be a very mean person. Among his many powers, the Choking Shadow (which prevented characters from being healed) was one of the nastier. He also managed to blind Loodra, help Zirithrian knock out Wynne, and release an Orb of Wraiths which bloodied Alissa, and knocked Maarth and Squib to the ground, dying (but Nef managed to bleed on both of them and get them back up).

But, finally, it was over. All that was left to do was stick the talking sword into Orcus’s eye, and figure out what to do next.

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Game Night 110
Those guys hit hard

The courtyard of the ziggurat was guarded by two giant mummies, and big statue of Orcus.

Loodra charged one of them to get things started. Because that’s what she does, and the mummies were asking for it.

A Death Knight showed up shortly after the fight started. He could dish out a lot of damage. Actually, the giant mummies also did a massive amount of damage as well. Loodra managed to soak up several hundred points of damage during the fight, and was unconscious on more than one occasion.

Oh, and there was also someone hiding behind an arrow slit, sending phantoms to attack people (mostly Loodra). The someone turned out to be Wynne. No, wait, that’s not right. It was Squib, pretending to be Wynne. No, that’s still not right. Loodra pretending to be Squib, pretending to be Wynne? Or, maybe it was a Rakshasha using illusions to keep people very confused. Poor little Squib just curled up in a ball for a while.

Alissa and Starval kept the mummies on fire for most of the combat. Mummies hate that.

And Maarth helped out, again, even if the heroes couldn’t see him backstabbing the Death Knight inside the cloud of darkness. He also managed to blind the Death Knight for the second half of the fight.

At the end of the fight, it turned out that the mummies had infected Hogar and Loodra with Mummy Rot, which sounds pretty bad (it is). Nef tried to cure them during an extended rest, but was unable to make them better (but at least they didn’t get worse).

Fortunately, Gyldra the Hag had an awesome healing ritual to cure disease. It only required consuming some zombie organs and breathing in a lot of zombie smoke (oh, and a small fee to cover the residuum). Loodra came through the ritual in pretty good shape, but Hogar keeled over unconscious (the raw Zombie liver and kidneys was just too nasty for him).

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Game Night 109
Why are there so many skulls?

Onward through Hordethrone!

Exploring the area to the east (?) of the caged undead area, the heroes came across a plaza filled with skulls, a dais with Orcus statues, and an unpleasant fellow named Arath Nightcaller:

Plaza_of_Howling_Skulls.PNG

He demanded to know what offerings they had brought for Orcus, and actually seemed like he was waiting for an answer.

Loodra’s answer, as usual, was “CHARGE!”

Arath didn’t last long, and honestly didn’t put up much of a fight. The howling skulls, Nightwalker, and Demonic Flameskull were more of a problem.

Eventually they were all killed (or fled, in the case of the Flameskull).

Loodra started messing with one of the Orcus statues, but thought better of it when it’s eyes started glowing red.

They continued south and ran across a very odd sight, what appeared to be a stockyard for zombies. It was run by an old hag named Gyldra, and her muscle “Gorehorn” (or just “Gory” for short), a Huge Goristro demon. She had a butcher shop where she dissected zombies and sold their parts. Gorehorn had a huge claw device on what can only be described as a zombie fishing pole, hanging out over the river of zombies.

They were about to attack like they normally do, but Gyldra motioned them over in a friendly manner, and Starvall said she could be trusted…so they walked over and did a little business. Loodra bought some zombie parts, and Gyldra offered to perform healing rituals (or a divination). They weren’t interested, but they learned that Gyldra has no love for Zirithrian, and they made a deal with Gyldra: if they defeated Zirithrian she’d give them something magical she kept hidden nearby.

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Game Night 108
Poison and zombies and wights, oh my

After an undisturbed nap, the heroes decided on a frontal assault of the big demon beyond the big wall.

He was just minding his own business when Loodra charged him, climbed the platform he was on and smacked him upside the head.

He responded by breathing a huge cloud of poison which stuck around for the rest of the combat. Opaque, green, nasty poison.

Half the party followed Loodra in, while the other half hung back. Slaughter Wights popped out of some of the cages, and exploding zombies climbed out of others.

One wight managed to bottle up most of the non-melee combatants for the first half of the combat, forcing Maarth to end up tanking (badly) for a while, to keep it off the squishies.

The poison cloud was very annoying, and the long whip was very effective, as it kept yanking people into the poison cloud (and sometimes off the ground as well).

There were a few close calls, but nothing Nef couldn’t heal up, and once all the supporting zombies and wights were gone, the demon couldn’t stand up to the onslaught of the entire party for long.

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Game Night 107
Bodaks are mean and Wraiths are jerks.

Everyone was tired, and running very low on daily powers and healing surges, but they couldn’t find a good place to sleep.

So they went back outside the Ghoul Gate and tried to sleep in a slightly out of the way corner.

Unfortunately, a patrol found them, and attacked them while they were still sleeping (except for Wynne).

Hogar went down pretty early in the fight, from the death gaze of a Bodak. And then a Wraith started beating on him while he was down.

Things were looking bad enough at one point that Loodra let the Devil Magus have his staff back (and he actually managed to kill a ghoul, and help a bit with the other things…and didn’t betray them!).

Soon after that, Nef managed to get Hogar back on his feet while Ven absorbed a lot of damage, and Wynne, Loodra and Alissa dished a lot of damage out.

After the battle was over, they decided they needed a better place to sleep. They decided to try to take over the guard tower they found earlier (figuring they might as well take the battle to them, instead of getting attacked out in the open while they slept).

But when they investigated it, they discovered it was empty. Apparently, the patrol that attacked them were the guards that were in the tower the last time the scouted it. They barred the doors, and tried to get a nap.

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Game Night 106
Who makes a door out of mummified arms?

Our heroes pushed on, and pushed open the door of mummified arms.

Which turned out to be a bad thing.

A Bone Naga greeted them with a mesmerizing dance. The arms in the door began wailing on everyone. And then the Death Hags showed up (they’re pretty ugly when their skin melts off).

Between the Bone Naga and the “Ghoul Gate”, the players had trouble moving or acting. Most of them were immobilized, dazed or both for most of the fight.

The hags weren’t much of a problem, more of a distraction really.

And once the heroes finally took down the door, things went smoother.

But, seriously, who makes a door out of rotting, mummified arms?

Oh, and then Wynne scouted around a bit. She heard some clanking inside of a tower, and saw a demon and a bunch of corpses in cages. The heroes decided a good rest was in order before tackling any of that.

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Game Night 105
A desert, a bridge, and a river of zombies.

After a disturbing nap in the void, the heroes pushed their way into the scary looking orb. They encountered an odd vaguely human looking person there who called himself “The Keeper”, in the middle of a vast desert.

After a short talk with him (shortest skill challenge ever?) he gave them some copper coins that they could use to dispel the “curses of Deadhome”.

All that he asked in return was that they stab Orcus in the eye with the sword named “Nightbringer”. In theory, Zirithian has it right now. He said the timing for this would be obvious.

Then, they set out across the desert. Starval (the devil magus) helped out a little at first, but after that the Sword Mage and the Wizard took over (they were better at reading the magical energy fields…or something). The journey was long and hot, and there were some difficulties along the way (black flies like blood). Also, some disturbing things were found, including the players tombstones (and they apparently were tricked into digging their own graves).

After 12 hours, they made it to Thronehorde, a walled city on an island in the middle of a river of zombies. To cross the bridge they had to fight their way through some ghouls, a bodak skulker, and some nasty Boneclaw Impalers.

Hogar got tossed off the bridge into the zombie river, twice. Once by an Abyssal Ghoul, and once by the bridge itself. He was pummeled repeatedly by the never ending crush of zombies, but eventually managed to fly back up on the bridge and stay there.

Nef was knocked out by the Bodak and was dying briefly (Gaze of Death is not nice), but a healing potion got him back up.

Maarth was actually fairly effective in this fight, using his darkness power and daggers to do cause a lot of damage to the Bodak Skulk, and actually pinned him to the bridge (and killed him) when the skulk tried to phase out and run.

Meanwhile, Loodra was taken down by the Impalers, but some healing from Nef got her back up.

Eventually the heroes prevailed, but it was a rough fight.

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Game Night 104
Into the void

Our heroes pushed on to the Temple of Lolth, and managed to get all the way through to the main throne room of Matron Urlvrain without a fight or setting off any traps.

The gore soaked torture chamber between the entry hallway and the throne room seemed a bit inappropriate, but maybe that’s normal for Drow?

After a bit of talking, Urlvrain agreed that the Heroes should take out Zirithian, and offered to send along one of her assassins, Maarth, to help.

Back into the priestess’s quarters, and past the pool of blood. Then straight into the red portal.

And into the void!

Fortunately, there were some platforms hanging in the void, somehow, and some spider web bridges between them. There were also two Bodak Reavers, two Abyssal Ghouls, and a Fire mage (later self identified as Starval, Cambion Hellfire Magus).

The fight was brutal, with Loodra absorbing brunt of the punishment from the reavers and ghouls.

The mage wasn’t very effective (maybe he wasn’t really trying?), and once the rest of the opponents had been felled, Loodra rushed him and made him surrender after 2 mighty hits.

Loodra had him strip down to his underwear (and man, he looked good). He helped them identify a magic shield they found in the webs (Squib pointed it out).

Next up: Sleeping in the void! Yay!

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Game Night 103
The return of Ven!

After a nice rest in a creepy pleasure den, the heroes set out for the Temple of Lolth.

As they moved through the town-like area in front of the temple, they were attacked by lots of undead and demons: a pack of Drow Ghoul minions, a Ghoul Eyebiter, 2 Vrocks (bird demons), and a Nightwalker.

Oh, and an Abyssal Breach, which grabbed bloody things and sucked them into the abyss for a bit.

The Vrocks weren’t very tough, for big scary looking demons (other than occasionally being resistant to some damage).

The ghoul eyebiter caused a bit of trouble with his Eye of Doresain attack, but was mostly an annoyance rather than a threat.

The Nightwalker was tough, but a well timed debuff from Nef combined with a lot action points knocked it down pretty quickly (over 300 points of damage in 1 round!!! a party of mostly strikers can dish out a lot of damage quickly).

Oh, and then Ven decided to poke the abyssal breach. Just because he could? Other than being cold and blind for a bit, he wasn’t really impacted by it much. Probably not a good place to visit for very long though.

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