Artimus a.k.a. "Artie" (Nick): Revenant Hexblade
Calla Noble (Matt): Human Knight
Ember (Leigha): Tiefling Wizard
Eve (Jesse): Eladrin "Lazy" Warlord
With a small party and no healer at the table today, Jesse decided to try a Warlord build. He used what is known as the "lazy" style Warlord, where all of the powers involve making other characters hit things. Eve doesn't even wield a weapon she can actually use. During the session, she performed rather well, getting the most out of the party's strongest attacks. We kind of hand-waved how she entered the party, and we've made no mention so far of where Joanna, Jerry, and Kossack were this week. My theory is that after the abrupt ending of the 6/11 session, we got split up, and we'll rejoin them later.
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Last session ended after we fought a bunch of bandits (A). One got away, fleeing into another room (C), but we didn't want to chase him without resting first. We rested in the room with the Minotaur statue (B). After the short rest, we followed the bandit, but he the room he had fled into was empty (C). We explored a bit further, finding a very large hallway (D), where we were attacked by a bunch of goblins, bugbears, and bandits (one of which was the bandit that escaped earlier). This battle started out pretty badly, and things were beginning to look bleak until Ember pulled off one of her brilliant nova rounds. After she was done throwing lots of fire around, there were only a couple of enemies left to finish off.
After the battle, we found a kitchen (E), then continued South, then West, until we found another room full of enemies (F). Here we fought several bugbears, and things didn't look so bad until a nearby room (G) opened up and the battle was joined by more bugbears, gnolls, and their Eladrin leader. We fought valiantly, but there were just too many of them. With his hit points nearly gone, and all his companions on the ground making death saves, Artimus decided to surrender.
We were all captured, tied up, and allowed to take an extended rest under guard. The Eladrin leader, who identified himself as Kelno of the Air Temple, questioned us. We admitted that we were the ones who destroyed the Earth Temple, but this didn't seem to bother him. When we revealed that we had no love for the Fire Temple either, he was quite pleased. He asked us to join his cause, to help him eliminate Alrrem, one of the Fire Temple bigwigs. The alternative being death, of course we agreed.
Kelno gave us some Air Temple robes to wear. We asked if we could have some extra for our missing party members, but he said that's up to them, if they decide to join the Air Temple later. Kelno seemed to be attracted to Eve, so hopefully we can use that to our advantage at some point. Kelno then led us down the hall, along with a pair of Gnoll archers. As he led us through the great hall, he pointed out some locations, and we were able to fill out some more of our map. He led us down another large hallway (H), down a side corridor, until we reached a curtained-off room belonging to the Fire Temple (I).
They didn't know what hit them. Eve pulled aside the curtain, and used one of her abilities to make Calla charge the room's leader. Calla rolled a crit, and the resulting damage killed the leader instantly. This left three Bugbears, one of which fled to the next room (J). With the help of Kelno and his archers, we quickly killed off the other two Bugbears and continued to the next room. We soon faced a Half-Orc, a flaming Half-Elf, more Bugbears, and a Dragonborn Fire Champion (Alrrem).
We managed to create a bottleneck between the two rooms (I & J), with our most durable combatants blocking the breezeway while our ranged characters fired over our shoulders. I can't say whether we actually needed it, but Kelno's aid made the battle a lot shorter than it could have been. NPCs or not, it was nice to have a full party again. Once the battle was over, Alrrem was dead, and our mission was accomplished, we ended the session. We're still in that room (J), and we haven't explored the three doors to the North yet.
Whether Jesse decides to stick with Eve or change back to Joanna remains to be seen. I think it would be neat if he brought both character sheets to the table, and let the plot decide... Maybe Eve could stay with Kelno, and be our own double agent for the Air Temple while Joanna explores with the rest of us to clear out everything else. If Joanna dies, we go pick up Eve. Or once we clear out everything Fire and Water related, Eve helps us make the first major blow against Air by assassinating Kelno in his sleep. Just food for thought.