Game Date: 4/2/2011
The Party (Level 1):
Jerry (Rick, subbing for Nick): Human Cleric
Kossack (Rick, subbing for Cliff): Minotaur Fighter
Kryla Bloodfang (Matt): Dragonborn Cosmic Sorcerer
Nyx (Bryan): Halfling Thief
Pixie (Leigha): Gnome Wizard
Razz of the Three Moons (Jesse): Githzerai Swordmage
This was the first session Rick could attend, and he didn't have a character of his own yet, so he ran both of the companion characters for the two players who weren't here. Meanwhile, Bryan is playing a character that he will be sharing with Tamara.
When we left off, we had cleared out the ground floor of the moathouse, and had just started checking out the basement. As today's session began, there were still a couple of small green slimes on the stairs behind us (point A on the map below). It was Kryla's misfortune to be in the back of the party, and was hit by both of their opening attacks. She nearly died in the opening round, but Jerry healed her.
At this point, about ten zombies started shuffling around the corner towards the party. What we didn't know (at least, in character) was that a Halfling named Nyx was hiding in a nearby cell. Nyx managed to tiptoe to a column (B), where he avoided detection from most of the undead. Unfortunately, he couldn't outwit all of them, and he quickly found himself on the ground rolling death saves.
These zombies were Zombie Shamblers, from the Monster Vault. They're minions, but they have the ability to get back up after they are killed, if they roll high enough. I won't be drawn into the debate over whether this is a good idea, but it certainly was an interesting encounter.
Once all the enemies were dead (well, the zombies were already merely dead, but now they were really most sincerely dead), we explored a bit. It would have been metagaming to head straight around the corner to help Nyx, since we didn't even know he existed yet. So we checked out our immediate area first, and found a locked door. Rather than bash it open, we searched the rest of the room, "discovering" the halfling. Jerry got him back on his feet, and Nyx joined the party.
Nyx helped us get into a couple of secret storage rooms, where we found some stolen goods and some robes (C). The robes were especially interesting, because they had the symbol of the Temple of Elemental Evil on them. This was significant because the Temple had (supposedly) shut down a long time ago... and yet these robes appeared to be brand new. Dun-dun-DUNH!
A couple of rooms later, Razz opened a door and saw an ogre (D). Razz quickly shut the door, but the ogre slammed it back open. However, the ogre spent most of the battle stuck trying to squeeze through the doorway, making him an easy target. We finished him off in just a couple of rounds. The ogre's chamber had a side room (E) which held a few prisoners (aka "ogre chow").
We took a peek another room, which turned out to be empty, except for a secret passage inside a column (F). We decided to help the ogre's captives get back to town before exploring any further. We loaded up as much loot as we could carry, and headed back to Hommlet. Back in town, we received various rewards, including an extended stay at the local inn. We bought a couple of magic items and some healing potions. We talked to a few people, and the church asked us to look for a missing cleric.
We went back to moathouse, and headed straight for the secret passage. It was a vertical shaft that we each had to climb down one at a time. Razz descended first, and found himself in a room full of sarcophagi (G). He was soon attacked by four ghouls. Kossack was the second one down the ladder, and for a while they were the only ones fighting, as the rest of the party scrambled to climb down the tunnel.
Once the ghouls were dead, we found two more exits from the room. One looked like it might lead into some clawed-out cave tunnels (H), but we passed that one up. The other led into a winding hallway which eventually took us to an open room (I). It was in this room that we were ambushed by a large number of gnolls.
This was a very difficult battle. We used every action point, every daily power, and every trick we knew to stay in the game, but the gnolls were too much for us. Razz went down hard, finally giving up the ghost when he hit his negative bloodied value. The rest of us went down one by one, until it was all over.
But the gnolls didn't care about killing us, they just wanted our loot. Everyone but Razz woke up a bit later, in bad shape but still breathing. All of our gold was gone, as well as our healing potions. On the plus side, the gnolls rolled low on their Arcana checks, and didn't notice some of us had magic items. So at least we still have that.
With our tails between our legs, we dragged Razz's body back to town and gave it a proper burial. And that's where we ended the session.