Saturday, March 22, 2014

Dragon's Demand: Halfbeard's Hellish Hickies

Game Date: 3/22/2014
Location: The Game Keep
Campaign: Dragon's Demand, Session 9
System: Pathfinder
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Halfbeard (Cliff) - Dwarf Ranger
Lilith (James) - Tiefling Paladin
Raz Furian (Matt) - Human Sorcerer
Vires (Daniel) - Human Alchemist

The Session:
Last session we attended the auction of Hunclay's estate.  This ended in bloodshed (like pretty much everything else we do), as four batlike grioths and a red drake attacked the auction house.  No sooner had we saved the day, then the true villain made his appearance.  Aeteperax - a centuries-dead dragon of great renown - swooped down from the sky and threatened the town.  Perching on a roof where he could be seen by all, the dracolich ordered Belhaim's citizens to fulfill a deal he had made with the late Hunclay.  We are to locate and deliver some books of great power, along with nearly 800 thousand gold.  We have two weeks to fulfill his request or he will destroy the town.

So to recap, the dragon has made his demand, and now the campaign can now truly begin.  Today's session began with an emergency meeting of the town council.  They realized that there isn't nearly enough gold in the entire town to complete the dragon's request.  We suspect that Aeteperax knows this, and is looking for an excuse to destroy the town.  Predictably, the council asked us for our help to defeat the dragon.  To help us, the sheriff reluctantly gave us his +2 Ring of Protection, which Lilith now wears.  A retired adventurer also donated a Flametongue weapon, which we are giving to Tanith.

On day 1 of our two week time limit, we set out for Tula's Tomb to see if Aeteperax's bones were still there.  We used the tunnels under our keep to avoid the spying eyes of dragons.  On the way, we tried to check on our kobold friends to see if they could provide any aid.  However, we discovered the entrance to the kobold tunnels had been destroyed, and we found no signs of life.  We continued to the tomb.

Arriving at the tomb, right off we saw the dragon bones were still there.  A fifty-foot long dragon skeleton covered the graveyard.  So if these are, indeed, the bones of Aeteperax, how could he also be out and about to terrorize the town?  There was a mound of dirt beneath the bones, with a locked door.  We already possessed the key, but before we could enter we heard a noise coming from the dragon's skull.  It was some sort of mindless chattering, full of meaningless words and psychopathic babblings. 

As we approached the skull, an amorphous mass of mouths and eyes slithered out and attacked.  In the opening round, the gibbering mouther used its babbling power, and we all failed our saving throws.  We all started the fight in a confused state.  Then the mouther grappled Halfbeard, covering him with damaging hickies.  On their turns, Raz and Lilith attacked themselves instead of the enemy.  Next round the mouther engulfed Halfbeard.

Most of our attacks were absorbed by the mouther's damage reduction, but fortunately magic was still effective.  One of Raz's missiles finally finished it off.  We healed Halfbeard as well as we could, and debated whether or not to continue on.  Well, we'd come this far, and really wanted to see what was inside the tomb.  We used the key and opened the door.  Inside there was a five foot alcove leading to a long shaft.

We used a rope to lower Lilith down into the shaft, intending to pull her up if she faced something too heinous.  Nothing immediately ate her, so we followed down the shaft.  We were in an ovoid room (which reminded me a little of the Slave 1) with two small side rooms containing sarcophagi.  Lilith detected an evil presence from one of the caskets, so we opened that one first.  We saw a child-sized body with the head of a deer skull.  The room then filled with whispering sounds, like soft whimpers or sighs.  As Lilith leaned over the body, it bit the paladin's arm, causing fatigue.

It's wasn't a long battle.  Vires critted with an attack, causing the additional effect of fire vulnerability, but that never mattered because Halfbeard finished the creature off a few seconds later.  We then thoroughly explored the tomb, finally finding a secret door at one end.  The passage led to a spiral staircase, which led us further downwards.

The next level was shaped a bit like a cow's udder.  On the floor there was a large mosaic of a red dragon, which detected as magical.  An inscription on the on the mosaic instructed us to "give the dragon her due".  We tried applying fire and gold pieces, but neither caused any reaction.  There were a few more sarcophagi in the room, one of which had a magic aura. Inside was a soldier's body, wearing a magic ring and shield.  The latter is a +1 shield with 10 acid resistance.  We haven't identified the ring yet, but we know its enchantment is related to necromancy.

Three of the side rooms contained black marble pillars, which had niches holding urns.  We felt magic coming from the pillars, but not from the urns themselves.  There was another spiral staircase on this level, leading even further down, but Halfbeard was still hurting and we didn't want to push it.  We decided to head back to town for now.

On the road back to Belhaim, we encountered an angry flame drake.  He wouldn't listen to our attempts at diplomacy, and shot toward us, blasting us with fire.  Most of us took 20 damage before we even got a turn, and it was enough to knock Raz out.  Lilith, who still hoped to get past the drake without a fight, picked up Raz and started to run.  The next round took out Vires, at which point there was no getting out of a battle.  It was a scary fight.  Maffei finally killed the drake, taking great advantage of the creature's vulnerability to cold.

We limped back to town, badly damaged but alive.  We healed up and sought out Bassy, the town historian.  She was quite impressed by everything we told her about the tomb.  We asked her how those could really be Aeteperax's bones if the dracolich was out and about.  Bassy didn't know, but she was a bit suspicious as to whether that had really been Aeteperax the previous night.  She wasn't sure, but there were subtle clues that pointed to the dragon being an illusion.  Interesting.

We took care of more business in town, buying more healing potions and such.  Lilith and Halfbeard gained a level, the ranger acquiring a dog companion. The next morning we prepared to head back to the tomb.  We ended the session there.

It is now day 2 of 14.  Since Tanith wasn't with us this week, we decided he spent the day studying an indecipherable book of power.  It takes 48 hours to get any useful information from this book, so he's now halfway done.  Next session it will be up to him whether he wants to join us at the tomb or keep studying the book.

I will be out next week, and James and Thomas are iffy.  There probably won't be a game, but if there is, someone please give me a recap to post here.  It doesn't need to be as detailed as my blogs. A short paragraph is fine.  I'm also iffy on 4/5, but I'll let you know as soon as I can. 

By the way, this is what goes through my head whenever I see the name Aeteperax:

1 comment:

  1. Thomas confirmed he will be out with his parents in town, so next week is no game. Meetup at Jumbos for Munchkin and jumbos?