The party are now armed with a new quest from Sir Keegan, stop the rift to the Shadowfell being opened by nefarious death cultists to Orcus!
So, they take an extended rest, safe in the glow of Bahamut’s temple. Trail rations are eaten, daily powers etc are refreshed and off they go.
Some maps are consulted and the party head off into the glyph maze, looking for undead flavoured trouble. Flynn heads the athletic team as one by one the characters leap over the troublesome glyphs. Except Rhogar. A 200lb Dragonborn in full plate was never likely to fly and sure enough he drags his sorry ass right across the magic glyph sparking off a terrible scream that alerts the local corpse population. So much for stealth. At this point the party start acting like the finely honed dungeon delvers they have finally turned into and actions are readied while the shuffling gets closer. Kallista lets rip with the Scorching Bursts and Rhogar attempts to atone for his earlier clumsiness with a dazzling display of Holy Strikes. Star of the show is Clara, who Turns Undead with extreme prejudice, zombies flying backwards as if a Hollywood stunt coordinator had tied a rope around them. Easy peasy, next fight please!
Heading down to the lower levels of the Keep and Flynn’s sharp eyes pick out some guards below. Hobgoblins! The players know next to nothing about these beasts and Nature checks don’t help them much. This is an area of the new game I really like. Using skills to get the skinny on bad guy capability rules. I also like that monsters don’t use the same build rules as pcs and that it’s ok for them to ‘break’ the rules in their own fashion. Kobolds, Goblins and Hobgoblins have all got snacky little abilities that make them more interesting than just a reskinned Fighter with pointy ears and bad breath.
The fight is pretty cool actually. Reinforcements start flooding into the chamber as the party starts getting split up, it look for a while like they might be in real trouble as they let the Hob’ Grunts run to the antechamber to release the Deathjump Spider. This is a seriously quick monster and as soon as it’s free it makes a leap for the Paladin. A carthorse sized, venom dripping, Shelob rip off is not to be sniffed at and Rhogar is on the back foot as he is swiftly surrounded by a world of bad. The Hob’ shift ability means he’s flanked from all sides and the rest of the party have their own issues. Moonchild’s teleport saves his demonic bacon once again and he lines up his daily with a full +8 to the roll from his Curses. Come on Tiefling!
*rolls* A one. Unbelievable!
Kallista gets herself seperated from the pack and a Hob’ soldier chases her up the stairs whirling his flail. She’s looking at her powers desperately trying to find Expeditious Retreat. It’s not there! Turning to her action points and crossing her fingers she goes for the retreat and the opprtunity attack… misses! Phew. Just enough distance for her to get the Acid Arrow off and for once it’s a direct hit. Safe for the moment.
Rhogar hits the deck as the poison does it’s work and the party starts to sweat. Even Flynn is worried. No need though as the party start to chip away at the monsters hits and one by one the bad guys fall. Job done! No pc deaths!
A great encounter that could have gone either way. Full of drama.
The players are much more confident in their abilities now, so much so that they are occasionally questioning my rules calls! What?! I thought rules lawyers died out in the 80s, but this game brings out the munchkin in some. It’s no stress though and everyone is happy with the game. Especially at xp time when Moonchild and Kallista hit the giddy heights of level 3. Even Flynn gets in on the act and steps up to level 2. Whoo hoo!