This session happened Friday, February 25, 2011, and was the only session I ran this past weekend. There was no game on February 18th due to player scheduling issues (and the DM, me, not really being ready).
Su Bel (human cleric)
– Dame Yasha of Bereste (Su Bel’s human cavalier cohort)
Mog the Doomed (half-orc barbarian)
Xin (human wizard)
Thorngrim (half-orc sorcerer)
– Kainen (Thorngrim’s human fighter cohort)
Sal Ty (elf wizard)
– Maenwen (Sal’s human wizard cohort)
Note: the list of player characters is in player sitting order, from my left and then clockwise around the table.
With the group of adventurers still out in the mountains, Sal used reduce person on the others (so he could carry everyone) and then teleport on himself to get back to Drop-off Tower without hiking the entire distance. Back at the Tower, the group dispersed to pursue their own preparations for fighting the red dragon, having decided that they would be able to defeat it easier than the banshee in the copper mine. [Despite not knowing where the dragon lairs or, really, anything about it.]
As pert of his preparations, Sal went to the Iron Keep to consult with the few sages there and perform some other errands, like updating the Table Map in Spider's Bar. At Spider's, he was introduced to Xin, a human wizard new to town. Xin had some peculiar understandings about how things were here in the Southern Reaches (like he thought a cabal of wizards ran the place), but was still very much interested in joining up with the adventurers to expand his knowledge.
Sal teleported both Xin and himself back to the steps of Drop-off Tower (without warning Xin first). There he dumped Xin off with Su Bel to have her verify Xin was on the up-and-up. She did so after talking with him a bit (and casting a few discreet spells). She then gave Xin the five copper tour of the tower. [As a note, construction of the keep walls has started, requiring Thorngrim to dispel the illusionary walls he was using to plan out the constructions. This made him slightly sad, but the workers demanded it be done so they could see what they were doing.]
Once Xin was introduced to everyone, planning for how to fight the dragon started in earnest and continued far into the evening. Once the tactics were agreed to, Sal set to inscribing the necessary scrolls support the group against the dragon. This took another day, during which the rest of the group made their own last minute preparations. The following day, Sal used several spells to transport the group [minus Agnes and Tycho as their players were not in attendance] to the plateau in front of the Banshee Copper Mine. There the adventurers made camp while Sal cast scrying several times, attempting to locate the dragon's lair. The only time he was able to locate the dragon, it was flying high in the sky. Having used most of his high-level spells, Sal needed to rest [only two hours – he does have a ring of sustenance] before re-memorizing.
Late that night, during the second watch, the camp was attacked by six stone giants. Mog, Sal, and Maenwen were on watch, with the rest of the adventurers up in a rope trick, sleeping. The giants achieved tactical supremacy early in the fight, killing Mog and Maenwen during the fight. Su Bel was able to save Mog by casting breath of life on him [see end note], but she was not able to save Maenwen. After this point, the dice turned in the favor of the players, allowing them to get their tactics in order and turn the tide of the battle.
While the adventurers eventually defeated the stone giants, they had clearly been punked. This seriously shook their faith in the odds of defeating the dragon, let alone without anyone dying (but the dragon of course). When the dawn arrived, Su Bel cast raise dead and restoration on Maenwen, then Sal cast reduce person on everyone and teleport on himself, teleporting everyone back to Drop-off Tower with their tails firmly between their legs.
*End of session*
[Well after the fact, I realized that Su Bel's Healing domain granted power, Healer's Blessing, only works on cure spells, not healing spells. This means that she would not have received the +50% increase in effect from breath of life, which would have left Mog dead until the next day, assuming the PCs would still have won the fight. His body might have been lost if they had to retreat to live.
I allowed it based on incorrect input from one of the players who generally knows the rules extremely well. I'm not certain how I want to deal with this. His advice was exactly the opposite of what the correct ruling was and his character may have died permanently otherwise, along with one or more other characters as his character is the damage-dealer in the group. I'm not going to go back and require a re-do as that is lame. If I retcon that Mog died and then was raised by Su Bel, that would seem to have little impact other than the use of resources (I require that they have the diamonds necessary). It may be that I just bring it up at the beginning of next game and let it go, which seems the most likely, but I'm not happy about being told the wrong thing by a walking rules encyclopedia.]