Monday, July 5, 2010

On the Road to Santa Fe

This session happened Friday, July 2, 2010, and was the only session I ran this past weekend.

Picked up another player this week, but most of the group was not able to attend due to the July 4th holiday and at least one weather related issue (the Houston area had several thunderstorms roll through and all day rain as Hurricane Alex grazed us).

Adventuring Group:
Su Bel (human cleric)
Mog the Doomed (half-orc barbarian)
Sal Ty (elf wizard)
Thorngrim (half-orc sorcerer)

Getting off to a good start, the group of adventurers followed the newly cleared Gravemarker Road to Dropoff Tower, using prestidigitation to perform minor maintenance along the way. Thorngrim was slightly put off by the three cairns that are the major milestones on the Road, but the trail was good. Arriving at the end of a day's travel, they found a large group of giant ants checking out the area. They decided to kill the giant ants as a form of pest control for the Tower. The giant ants had other thoughts.

Sal cast enlarge on Mog, who then rushed the giant ants. The giant ants then swarmed Mog, almost completely surrounding him, with most scoring bites on Mog's tough flesh. Su Bel moved to support Mog while Sal summoned a fiendish wolf and Thorngrim cast magic missile. It was to no avail and Mog fell under the continuous attacks of the giant ant swarm. While the adventurers were able kill most of the giant ants in retribution, two got away with hunks of half-orc flesh to feed the nest.

The adventurers quickly holed up behind the stout and secure doors of Dropoff Tower and took stock of their situation. Pooling their monies (and taking account of Mog's possessions), they determined they had the funds to raise Mog if they sold off Mog's potion horde and used what coins he had on him (Mog had started stashing gold aside for this eventuality).

Sal cast mount four times to speed up their trip and the group returned to Iron Keep by Noon the following day. After selling Mog's potion horde and pooling monies, they were able to have Mog raised at the Temple of Abadar, the God of Merchants. Mog now owes Sal and Su Bel significant coin plus needs to scrape together money to pay for two lesser restorations to remove the two negative levels he now labors under. More adventuring was clearly called for.

On the third day, riding Sal's mounts again, the group rode the length of the Gravemarker Road and then pushed down the length of the Old Road, arriving on the edge of Three Peaks Hills and the plains, the cliff-side ruins now most of a day marching across the sea of grass. They made camp for the night, but had to quickly move camp during the night when a bulette started nosing around.

The next morning they confidently marched out into the sea of grass, expecting to make camp at the cliff-side ruins near sundown. When sundown actually came, they were still in the deep grasses, having got majorly lost during the day. There was nothing to do but camp and make for the ruins in the morning. The night passed uneventfully, and the next day they took their time making for the hills, checking their bearings often. [They took 20 on their navigation checks, burning up lots of time to guarantee their arrival.] They camped at the edge of the "pueblo hills" for the night, glad to be out of the sea of grass. They had to avoid a dire lion on the hunt and some cheetahs that had wandered nearby during the night. The next morning they started traveling slowly through the hills, avoiding getting lost again at the expense of time. At sundown they finally spotted the cliff-side ruins and camped at the foot of the ruins.

The next morning they climbed up to the ruins via Sal's levitation spell. Sal and Thorngrim had never been to the ruins and Su Bel's and Mog's memories were a bit fuzzy after the passage of time. After reorienting themselves, they directed the group into one of the ruined buildings and down a set of stone stairs in the back.

Underground they found a very wide but moderately low cavern with a small village of mud-brick buildings, plus an enormous bat colony living on the roof. Every exposed surface was covered in guano. The group starts exploring a bit and determines that most of these building are residential in nature. While exploring the interior of one of the buildings, the group was attacked by six small humanoids almost completely covered in rags, only their hands and nose exposed. The adventurers killed or drove off their mysterious attackers, but in the process Su Bel set one of the buildings on fire. After quickly checking the bodies for treasure (and finding some) they fought the fire enough to keep it from spreading throughout the cavern. Shortly thereafter the group left, driven away by the smoke and panicking bats, camping in the hills for the night.

The next morning (after avoiding another bulette), the group headed back across the sea of grass and following the Old Road through Three Peaks Hills, arriving at Dropoff Tower at sunset. They had to race a shambling mound to safely make the Tower, but once inside they were safe. The next day they rode back to the Iron Keep and split their loot. It was decided to let Mog keep his share so he could start saving up for the restorations. Having the primary melee combatant combat worthy was judged to be in the group's best interest.

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