Monday, August 2, 2010

Building the Terrace Road

This session happened Friday, July 30, 2010, and was the only session I ran this past weekend.

Adventuring Group:
Mog the Doomed (half-orc barbarian)
Sal Ty (elf wizard)
Tycho von Helmont (elf alchemist)
Agnes Sunbeard (dwarf rogue)
Thorngrim (half-orc sorceror)
Rhapsody (half-elf rogue)
Charity Sunbeard (dwarf cleric hireling and Agnes's naïve cousin)

Note: the list of player characters is in player sitting order, from my left and then clockwise around the table.

Agnes's cousin was interested in seeing what Agnes does when "adventuring" and asked to follow along. As the available group of adventurers had decided (after much debate) to go back to the Terrace of Fallen Horses and Su Bel was not available, the group agreed the young(-ish) cleric would be a welcome addition to the group.

Rather than just march overland to the Ruined Hills where the Terrace resided, the group decided to blaze another road across the Sea of Grass. Starting from the Woodcutter's Camp, the group cut and burned a trail due west through the deep grasses. After a solid day of road building, the group camped for the evening. Late that night, a dire lion stalked the camp while Agnes and Rhapsody were on watch. Rhapsody noticed it and quietly warned Agnes (who might or might not have been inventorying Thorngrim's belongings). Agnes quietly waked the others and after a short discussion, they decided to fight the dire lion rather than avoid it like normal. They quickly remembered why they normally avoid dire lions.

The lion charged the group, shredding apart Thorngrim's guard dog, Lucky. The adventurers attacked with moderate success, but the dire lion continued the attack. It bit Agnes and raked her with all four of its claws, nearly disemboweling her in the process. The other adventurers renewed there attack (with Mog finally getting into the fight to devastating success) and the dire lion decided to flee with its dinner, Agnes. As it turned to withdraw, Rhapsody got in a final attack with her spiked chain and dropped the beast. Charity immediately moved to heal her cousin, bringing Agnes back from the cusp of death.

The next day, the adventurers extended their road into the deeper parts of the Sea of Grass, getting slightly disoriented near the end of the day. Realizing they were slightly lost, they took the time to re-orient themselves before making camp for the night. During third watch, Mog spotted a giant scorpion making its way towards the camp. He immediately charged it and then called out a warning. This led to some confusion as the awakened members of the group did not know where the threat was. Thorngrim (who had been on watch with Mog) provided direction through the expediency of firing his unerring magic missiles into the scorpion, pointing the way with glowing bolts of light. The scorpion did its best to rend Mog into a meal, but was brought down just short of achieving its goal by the other adventurers. With only his rage keeping him conscious, Mog "asked" Charity for healing (demanded, really). Charity and Tycho expended all of their available spells healing Mog's wounds.

Later in the morning, as the sun climbed into the sky, the adventurer's road building was interrupted by the attack of two cheetahs. The cheetahs were quickly defeated and the group returned to road building. When another dire lion started stalking the group that night, the group quickly decided to move camp and avoid the dire lion.

Possibly as a result of their interrupted sleep, the group got lost while building the road the next day. Thinking they were further along than they were, they turned southwest too soon. It was not until the middle of the next day that they realized their error and corrected for it. That night they avoided a flight of cockatrices, but got enough rest otherwise.

At the end of the sixth day of their expedition, they finally achieved the Ruin Hills. Camping just outside of the Hills proper, they are awakened by a trio of burning skeletons wandering the area. With most of their strong magic being fire-based, the group was not confident that they could take on the burning skeletons and avoided them instead. The next morning they extended the road into the Ruined Hills and promptly got lost, spending most of the rest of the day correcting for this. Just as they got back on track, a storm rolled in from the north and the rest of the day was lost attempting to stay dry. The next day they finally achieved the Terrace of Fallen Horses.

The adventurers that had been here before checked the area to see if anything significant had changed, giving Thorngrim, Rhapsody, and Charity a tour at the same time. After assuring themselves that things were as they expected, the group set to some serious tomb plundering. First having enhancement magics piled onto himself, Mog removed the slab covering the next tomb in line through sheer brute strength. Behind the slab was a decorated thirty-foot hallway that dead-ended. Agnes and Rhapsody set to looking for a concealed crypt entrance, finding one behind a plaster covering depicting royal children being buried. Agnes raged a bit and shouldered into the plaster a few times, eventually plowing into the chamber beyond.

Inside the exposed room were three chests/sarcophagi and more wall decorations. Investigating the first chest/sarcophagus, Agnes and Rhapsody were able to bypass an electricity arc trap. Inside they found the bundled remains of a youth, a small ceremonial club, and a coffer. Agnes opened the coffer, seeing a symbol on the inside which exploded into a concussion of power, robbing Agnes and Rhapsody of nearly all their strength. The weight of their armor and gear pulled them to the floor under gravity's irresistible pull. Mog and Sal quickly stepped down the hall to the crypt to assist. With the symbol still exposed, Mog was immediately weakened, staggering under the sudden loss of strength but not falling. Sal was able to stop short upon seeing Mog stagger and avoided being affected by the symbol of weakness. Realizing what had happened, Sal quickly tied a blindfold over his eyes and moved into the crypt by touch alone. Rhapsody was able to describe the layout of the crypt and Sal closed the coffer. Agnes and Rhapsody were then pulled out of the crypt and the group camped for the night.

With nearly half the group severely weakened, including their heavy hitter, the group decided to withdraw entirely. Sal cast mount several times and the adventurers piled onto the phantom steeds. Following the new road, the adventurers were able to make it back to the Iron Keep as the sun was setting for the day. Sitting in Spider's Bar and discussing the expedition, the group decided that, even though no treasure was claimed (the coffer was left behind in their haste to recover Agnes and Rhapsody), the building of the Terrace Road was an accomplishment in itself and much experience was gained in the process. [Four of the six adventurers leveled on this expedition.]

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