Thursday, November 14, 2013

Session LV: Beneath The Wizard's Tower

Making their way across the chaotic bloodshed that Caladan had become, our party, carrying their wounded and dead companions, enter the guarded gates of the Temple of Mithra.  Here they are healed by Father Downing, however, he refused to bring back to life Thovin who was a follower of the Black Church.  Sending them on their way to continue the fight against Utasu and Zadir the Stygian usurpers, Downing sent the priest Christopher to aid them in their battle.

Outside the temple, the party came across Gnarly who finally brought along his Mushroom-men to the battle.

Working their way across town again they sought the Black Church.  There, Thovin was brought back from the dead in the secret rituals of the Black Church but at what cost....?

So, fully healed and together again, the party worked their way back to the Merchant Guild and the Wizard's Tower.  There they found Capt. Vanir who informed them that Baron Blackmoor had slain Utasu on the steps of the guild along with his soldiers and monsters.  He then persued the pirates back to the docks and left the Captain with the task of hunting down the wizard Zadir who had retreated into the tower - which he asks for the party's assistance.

Rumor had it that the tower was raised up in a single night by the powers of Zadir.  There was no way into the polished stone tower itself but there were four domed structures each with an entrance to the underworld.

Choosing one of the domes, the large party (now consisting of our party, Capt. Vanir and his soldiers, Gnarly's mushroom men, a priest of Mithra and a couple from the Dark Church) descended down...

There they first ran into a wizard apprentice and his bodyguard.  After making quick work of the wizard and freeing the bodyguard of the wizard's enchantment (and being chastised for the mistreatment of Capt. Vanir's red shirts... er soldiers), they moved on and ran into a Manticore.  Killing the beast they found some treasure in his lair and a strange piece of metal.
 Continuing onward, they soon opened a door and were chased by a giant bolder rolling down the hall smashing to death half the party!  It took quite a while for the survivors to figure out that it was just an illusion set by the wizard and that their companions were quite alive (the silence at the table as the players found half their PCs dead was a priceless DM moment, really you should have been there)!

Moving forward they came to a dead end with a polished black wall similar to the walls of the great tower.  In the center of the wall they discovered an indentation, a portion of which matched the piece of metal they found earlier.  Figuring that it was probably one portion of a key and that the other pieces would be hidden in the other domes, they backtracked and entered the second dome.

A No-Prize for any reader that can guess what adventure
I've dropped my players into!
Following the passage they came upon a room with a large crystal ball with shadowy shapes swiming around inside.  The crystal rested upon a pedestal with four words on it. As each word was spoken, one of the shapes would fly out, take shape and attack the party member who said the word.  The first person to speak the word was Maximus the Chaste who was them mauled by a Carnivorous Ape.  Saved by the Half-orc Arg, they called out the other the monsters and killed them gaining the crystal ball as their prize!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Session LIV: Blood on the Battlefield

The true assault on Caladan begins!

Without the means of a full siege, Baron Blackmoore discussed a plan of sneaking into the city and opening the gates to allow his troops entrance.  The party was, of course, 'volunteered' for this task.

When marching down to Caladan earlier, the party had run into Jack the stable boy from the Cloven Hoof and Onyx, the blind seer.  They had smuggled themselves out of the city by paying the Brotherhood of the Black Hand.  The party felt that this would be a way back into Caladan.

At evening, the party worked themselves around the outskirts of the walled city along the farmlands looking for the shack of Barthau.

After paying the 'toll' Barthau guided them to a tunnel beneath his shack and gave them the clues to make their way into the sewers beneath Caladan along with the password to exit.

Following the proper symbols through the tunnels and only running into an Owlbear roaming the sewers, the party eventually ended up in the basement of the Dragon and Dagger tavern.  Biding their time they purchased some food and drink but it was the Halfling that was accosted by pirates and he blurted out their plan of opening the gates.  The pirates tried to capture the halfling but the rest of the party jumped in and made quick work of the pirates.  Before more pirates arrived they left the tavern and made their way to the main gate through the darkened alleyways of the port city.

Coming upon the gate, they found it was well guarded by troops, archers and guard dogs so a plan was developed.  Skwanky, the halfling, would cause a diversion to draw some of the troops after him to be ambushed by the Arg and Wolf the Viking.  Meanwhile, Maximus the Chaste would put the remaining guards to sleep. Once that was accomplished, Thovin of the Black Church would light an arrow and shoot it over the wall as a signal for Blackmoor's troops to storm the gate.

Perfect plan!

So Skwanky ran out into the street shouting " I'm a vampire, I'm a vampire!"  The guards sent their dogs after the tiny halfling warrior who lead them into an alley.  There he killed the dogs while a couple of the guards were sent to investigate. Once in the alley, Arg and Wolf slaughtered them.  It was then that Maximus enchanted the other guards to sleep and Thovin sent the signal over the wall.

Wolf tossed one of the heads out into the street to frighten the guards and charged out there in a rage hacking the helpless guards down while Arg opened the gate the let the troops in just in time as more guards arrived.  The battle at the gate was quick and Wolf, Arg and the Halfling hacked through the lightly armed pirates and guards. 

Along with the troops they battled their way through the streets of Caladan to the heavily guarded gates of the former Merchant Guild.  There before the steps of the Guild, the real battle took place as our party hacked and slashed their way through the heavily armed Stygian soldiers.  It was here that Skwanky fell, mortally wounded and Thovin fell dead before Wolf and Arg had cleared a circle. 

The battle on the streets of Caladan!
Covered in cuts, blood and gore, Maximus, Wolf and Arg picked up their two wounded comrades and leaving the battle in front of the gate to the Merchant Guild headed deeper into the city of Caladan.

Looking back they saw that the battle continued on in front of the gate with Baron Blackmoor, standing atop a heap of bloodied bodies, swinging his cosmic sword almost relishing the carnage.  The Stygians and the pirates had fallen back from Blackmoor's forces but were caught in the vengeful rage of the townsfolk of Caladan who had taken up whatever arms they were able to  find and began hacking their months of oppressed frustration onto the pirates and their dusky skinned allies.

Before turning the corner down the main thoroughfare the party saw the gates of the Merchant Guild burst open and the usurper Utasu with a small handful of his heavily armored guards along with three ogres charged Blackmoor and Capt. Vanir.  The last site they saw was a robed figure wreathed in lighting hovering above the fray....