Artimus (Rick): Revenant Hexblade
Calla Noble (Matt): Human Knight
Ember (Leigha): Tiefling Wizard
Joanna Winters (Jesse): Human Archer Ranger
Jerry (Nick): Human Cleric
Kossack (Cliff): Minotaur Fighter
|1 square = 10 feet (click to see larger)|
When we left off, we had just found a major haul of treasure while digging through the Earth Temple pyramid. Among other fine items, we found the Invulnerable Coat of Arnd, which we gave to Kossack. This is a very nice piece of armor with a lot of great abilities. However, the armor has a will of its own, and it wants to belong to a hero. In order to keep the armor happy, Kossack must be a valiant warrior. So now we're seeing him take a lot of risks in order to be a hero.
Our party (mostly Jesse) was determined to finish this floor of the Temple tonight. We started by checking out a room to the North (A), where Joanna triggered a tilting floor trap. It flung her into a pit full of rats swarms. Artimus and Kossack pulled her back out with a rope, and Ember stepped up to the front. Swarms are her specialty. She killed the entire room on her turn, with a Burning Hands, Action Point, and Fire Sphere.
We then explored another NW hallway (B), which ended in a spiral staircase going down. We now know of three sets of stairs leading down to level 2, so we'll have a tough decision to make in the future.
Next we explored an East hallway (C). We found some pretty messy rooms at point D (one of which had a rather ominous eye on the ceiling), then went on to E, where we found a magically sealed door. Artimus and Ember both rolled poorly on their Arcana rolls, so we couldn't undo the magical trap. We knew it was risky, but Kossack volunteered to take the damage and bash the door down. The door let out an arcane blast that hit most of us, critting on two of its rolls. Artimus and Ember were both paralyzed. Ember made a saving throw, but Artie ended up turning into a statue made of ice.
Next we went down a diagonal and found a round starlit room (G), like a planetarium. In the next room (H), had an evil altar. Jerry sensed some sort of power, so he started asking the room questions. "Who is M?" Answer: "Shun secret artifacts." We wondered what artifacts it might be referring to, and all eyes turned to Kossack and his new armor. (Though in retrospect, it also might have been referring to a cursed stone we found later.) Jerry asked again, "Who is M?" and got the answer, "Oppose the Mystic Being." Finally Jerry asked, "Are you evil?" and heard, "Possibly."
Through a secret door to the South, we found an Octagonal room full of stirges (I). There were 2 large stirges, and about 14 small ones. We debated for a while about whether to fight them or just go around. But Jerry, or wonderful cleric, wanted the XP. Joanna started off by using one of her powers that hits multiple targets. One of her rolls fumbled. Her fumble card had her hitting Kossack instead, and critting. Matt: "Did you add your extra die for magic weapon?" Cliff: "Shut up!" The attack did a ton of damage, probably the highest single-hit damage Joanna's done in her career so far, and it dropped Kossack. Which is not good for keeping his armor happy. (It's even funnier because we use those crit cards, so we don't max our damage when we crit. But Jesse still rolled the max damage on all his weapon dice.)
After a few turns four ghouls came running up the opposite hallway to join the battle. Ember took out several stirges with her burning hands, but caught Joanna in the blast, dropping her (karma, thou art a harsh mistress). There were a lot of crits and fumbles in this battle.
After the battle, we connected a few points on the map, found an empty library (J), and went back to the Earth Temple to check out the doors we hadn't opened. The big door was sealed by a powerful magic, and gave us a sense of foreboding. We decided to come back to that sometime in the future. We opened one of the small doors (K) and found a small room full of stones. Artimus picked up a magic rock, and suddenly decided he had to keep it. We asked to see it, and he said "No! Mine!" and stuck it in his pocket. Joanna picked his pocket, and now she won't surrender the stone either. This cursed lodestone gives Joanna a penalty to her movement speed.
On the back of the door to that room, there was a note written to "Romag", reminding him to pay fealty to the Water Temple. Or maybe just reminding him to pay his water bill, I don't remember. We then tried the other small door (L), and found some cloaks.
We walked around a bit more to fill out the map, and finally went to point M to try the one door we hadn't yet tried. We opened the door, and saw four guards. We made short work of them, but the rooms behind it had sixteen more bandits, some hiding behind a shield barrier (N). As the battle wore on, more doors opened, and more enemies joined: a Lieutenant (berserker), a female Commander, Romag, and Hartch.
Joanna managed to shoot some of the enemies through the arrow slots on the shield, Ember did a lot of damage with her blasts, and Kossack fought as bravely as he could to impress his clothing. When there were just a few left, Hartch, Romag, and two bandits started to flee towards a curtain at the back of the room (O).
Meanwhile, Artimus was down to 1 hit point, flanking the Commander with Calla. He sustained a Daily power he'd used earlier, damaging the Commander. Artimus knew this was a risk, because this Commander had a tendency to attack whoever was making her the most angry despite Calla's defender aura. On the Commander's turn, she critted Artie, which would have killed him due to massive damage. But not so fast! Calla's OA is an interrupt, and luckily it was just enough to finish off the Commander before her crit actually connected with Artimus.
We all started to follow the fleeing enemies. Kossack managed to catch up with Hartch and kill him. The bandits made it through the curtain and we haven't seen them since. They probably fled down to level 2, to warn them of our party. This could complicate things. Meanwhile, Romag made for the Earth Temple, where he climbed to the top of the pyramid, weeping. He prepared to kill himself, and we ended the session.
Level one is officially mapped out. Now we have to decide which of the three sets of stairs to take down to level 2. We also might consider heading back to Hommlet to do a bit of buying/selling, so we're as fresh as possible for level 2. We plan to work out the rest of the details by e-mail.