Monday, August 9, 2010

Dire Lions are Dire

This session happened Friday, August 6, 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)
Rhapsody (half-elf rogue)
Thorngrim (half-orc sorceror)

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

After two weeks in town recovering from the effects of the symbol of weakness, the adventurers decided it was time to return to the Terrace of Fallen Horses and claim what treasure they could. They marched along the Terrace Road, leaving from the Woodcutter's Camp. Along the way they spotted a pride of dire lions stalking a herd of horses and wisely avoided the pride. [They should have remembered this later.] While camped on the road, a giant scorpion was spotted moving towards the camp and quickly dispatched.

Mid-morning the next day they arrived at the Terrace of Fallen Horses. To ease climbing to the upper terrace, Mog started hammering a set of pitons along the back wall of the lower terrace and discovered a previously unknown tomb entrance. After some circular debate, it was decided to leave it alone for now and return to the third tomb on the upper terrace, the one they opened on their previous expedition.

Returning to the aforementioned tomb, Rhapsody blindfolded herself and re-entered the children's crypt. Finding the coffer with the exposed symbol of weakness by touch, she removed the coffers contents (some scrolls) and closed the coffer, hiding the symbol. She turned over the scrolls to Sal for investigation but kept the coffer for herself. He determined that these were arcane scrolls containing the spells illusory wall and symbol of weakness.

Rhapsody and Agnes then investigated the other two child coffins, triggering a hail of arrows from one but bypassing the trap on the other. In addition to mummified remains, the two rogues found some minor magic items (potion of fire resistance and arrow of direction) and a clay urn full of jewelry (seven pieces worth 3000gp total). Having exhausted the possibilities in this crypt, Agnes and Rhapsody finished their sweep of the hall and found another concealed crypt. The entrance to this one seemed very solid and they called in Mog to take a pick-axe to it. Mog found multiple layers of stonework sealing this crypt – 10 feet worth. After working at it for nearly an hour, Mog finally broke through to the crypt beyond.

Mog announced over his shoulder that he had broken through (the rest of the group having waited out on the terrace playing cards while Mog dug). When he turned back to the crypt he saw two shadowy figures with burning eyes. The creatures attacked Mog with ancient swords, one of them connecting. The weapon itself did minor damage, but Mog felt his life energy flow out through the sword and into the creature. He panicked and immediately fled, running out the tomb and sliding down the slope to the lower terrace before stopping. This unnerved the other adventurers greatly [to say the least]. Sal and Agnes fled down the length of the upper terrace while Tycho, Rhapsody, and Thorngrim nervously readied themselves around the tomb entrance.

What stalked out of the tomb were two cairn wights. Surprisingly, the cairn wights fell quickly, making the other adventurers wonder why Mog had spooked. [My dice ran cold and the hit on Mog was the only hit the two wights made all fight.] Agnes and Rhapsody investigated the now exposed crypt, finding two iron chairs covered with arcane glyphs and symbols and a large iron coffin, sealed to keep whatever was within it inside. Rhapsody called in Tycho to investigate the chairs and after doing so, Tycho was rather excited. Taking that as a good sign, Rhapsody loaded one of the chairs into her handy haversack while Tycho retrieved the group's bag of holding and inserted the other chair into it. Squeezing back out of the crypt, they brought out the chairs to Sal for inspection. Sal pronounced them foul necromantic items. This please Tycho even more, although he quickly covered it. [Que ominous lighning.]

In the meantime, Mog felt the loss of life essence settle in and realized he would need some divine attention to recover. [He failed the Fort save (of all things) and the negative level became permanent, requiring the casting of restoration to fix.] The group decided to head back to Iron Keep, hiking an hour along the Terrace Road before camping. They expected to get up the next morning, have Sal cast mount several times, and ride back to have Mog cured. Things did not go that smoothly.

On the first watch, Mog miraculously noticed a dire lion ready to pounce upon the camp for dinner. [Rolled a 20 on Perception.] Having learned a lesson, Mog warned Sal to the dire lion's presence before charging into combat. Mog struck the dire lion a heavy blow, but the dire lion proceeded to claw, bite, and rake Mog multiple times. By the time the rest of the adventurers weighted in and killed the dire lion, Mog was a bloody corpse. Sal pulled together Mog's remains and placed them into a sack to take back to town. The rest of the night passed tensely.

When the sun rose, Sal cast mount and the quiet group rode back to the Iron Keep. Once there, they sold all of the recently acquired treasure [but not the iron chairs or the coffer with the symbol of weakness] and then chipped in from their own funds to have Mog raised. Again. While once again among the quick, Mog was not fully restored to life and still suffers the touch of the grave. [He still has the two negative levels from the raise dead spell. The group did not have enough money to get the two restorations cast, so they'll need to go out and find some more treasure.]

[As a note, I did not stack the additional negative level from the wight's touch on Mog because I'm not certain it would stick after he died. In hindsight, it probably should, meaning 4th level Mog would have one effective level and be very suceptible to becoming undead after another level drain. I need to think on it some.]

[Additionally, there will be no game this week as I am going out of town to a friend's Army Retirement Party. Personally I see it as a reason to get together and hang with a high school buddy, but it is kind of wierd for me.]

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