Monday, April 4, 2011

The Aldelle Group – Session 18 – Devils at the Gate

This session happened Tuesday, March 15, 2011.  This campaign used the Dyson’s Delve dungeon pages on A Character for Every Game as a starting point, but has now moved on to new material from the DM-in-training.  I heartily recommend Dyson's Delve as a beginning adventure.

Adventuring Group:
Harkaitz of the Red Soul (male human cleric of Ra)
Wednesday (female elf rogue)
Tre-ba Bel a sheer (female elf alchemist)
Frankie Hu, Master of the Distracting Fist (male dwarf monk)

April 2, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, for He shows us the way.

Today started with high hopes and the anticipation of putting an end to the vrock.  Such was not the outcome, but a worthy goal was achieved none-the-less.

The day started with a hearty porridge cooked by Short John with apple slices stirred in.  While I made my morning prayers, my companions packed up our camp so we could be off quickly.  We escorted the halfling "Stunty" and his deceased companions back to the Adventurer's Guildhall outside Terranor.  We found Guildmaster Jarr in the common room and presented the surviving member of The Comet of Katin and gave our report as to what we found in the cave.  He granted us a reward of 1,000 gold kroners (500 for the live guild member and half that for each dead guild member).

We decided to split up to pursue several courses of action while in town so we could speed our return to the cave.  Tre-ba searched the guild's library for spell formulas she could convert into alchemical fluids.  Wednesday stayed in the common room to "gather information from the other adventurers there".  What she really meant was, she was going to gamble with them and see how much coin she could take them for.  She is willing to make use of this coin to our group's benefit, so who am I to complain about its source?  Luna wandered off somewhere else, probably to indulge in her taste for companionship.  Elves.

My plan was to go check at the Temple of Ra for messages, notably to see if Professor Walsh of the Royal University Department of History had sent a message that he was back in the city and willing to look at the golden sarcophagus lid from the Delve near Aldelle.  Frankie followed.  At the Temple, I met with Becket, the High Priest.  After exchanging pleasantries, he informed me that I had no messages at the temple, but there was a person here looking for me.  Frankie and I waited to see who it was with some curiosity.

The man escorted in and introduced to us was Aziz of the Light, a paladin in the service of Ra.  Aziz is of average height, but he has quite a presence, with short black hair and piercing blue eyes.  His armor and shield are made of dragonhide and the pommel of his scimitar bears the All-Seeing Eye of Ra. 

After being introduced, Aziz explained that an oracle of Ra had told him to seek a man in the north with a "soul of fire".  He traveled many weeks searching for such a man, arriving in Terranor yesterday.  Becket continued the story, explaining that when Aziz arrived at the Temple and asked after "a man with a soul of fire", Becket immediately thought of my sobriquet and recommended Aziz remain at the temple until I next stopped by.  Frankie and I welcomed Aziz to our group and we made our good-byes to Becket.

Frankie and I decided that it might be a good idea to stop by the university to see if Professor Walsh had returned, but not had time to answer our request for a meeting.  Part way to the university, bells started ringing all across the city.  The locals immediately started closing shops and men in armor started moving through the streets toward the city walls.  Not knowing what was happening, we stopped a passerby and asked.  The bells were the city's system of warning of an impending attack!

As the guild house is outside the walls of the city, we made haste to the main gates, hoping to either get out of the city and meet up with our friends of find them as they entered the city.  When we arrived at the main gate, it was closed and militia men were swarming around.  We spotted the others off to one side and joined up with them.  We then made our way into the center of the courtyard, where Sheriff Reynolds was dispatching people to defend the city.  We offered our services in defense of the city and the sheriff directed Luna and Sahar to the Main Gate, while sending Wednesday, Tre-ba, Frankie, Aziz, and myself to the Side Gate, which had a greater need of defenders.  [Out of game, this is how we split off the characters of the two players not present this session.]

The Side Gate was light in defenders, with only 15-20 militia men to hold the gate.  Wednesday, Tre-ba, and Frankie joined the defenders on the walls while Aziz and I bolstered the 8 men in the courtyard, at the ready in case the gate was breeched.  We were needed.

The attackers were a mixed group of demons and devils, mostly lesser creatures, but with a few noticeable exceptions.  While the bulk of the horde attacked the Main Gate, a smaller force of approached our position.  The militia men on the walls rained arrows on the attackers when they came within range.  Suddenly a creature like a purple ape with horns and stubby wings appeared in the courtyard, using a dimension door power to bypass the gate entirely.  Aziz and four of the militia men attacked it immediately.

Aziz had blessed his longspear, thinking to attack through the portcullis if the gate doors were breached.  When the kalavakus (the name of the purple ape we later learned, from Tre-ba again) appeared, Aziz dropped the spear and drew his bonded scimitar, channeling the holy powers of Ra into it, alighting it with the burning light of the sun.  It was magnificent to behold.  Aziz then charged the demon (or devil, I cannot remember) and held it in mortal combat with the assistance of the four militia men.  I assisted where I could, mostly by healing Aziz of the grievous wounds the kalavakus was able to inflict.

At the same time, Wednesday, Frankie, and Tre-ba were attacking the creatures rushing the walls.  They and the militia men were able to kill all the dretches at the wall, but the lemures were able to smash down the gate.  Luckily, the portcullis held long enough that most of the lemurs were destroyed before the final lemure raised the portcullis – just in time to be cut down by the militia man with Aziz's blessed longspear.  Aziz had finally slain the kalavakus, freeing up the militia men assisting him to move to the portcullis and assist cutting down the lemures.  All told, it was an arduous fight and if the attackers had had any reserves, the gate might have fallen.

Having stopped the attack on the Side Gate, we sent a runner to the Main Gate to see if they needed assistance.  We received word that the attack there was mostly stopped, but a few demons had made it into the city before being killed.  There was much flame and smoke in that direction.

At the end of the day we returned to our rooms at the Murdered Manticore and ate our dinner there amongst a much subdued crowd.  The air is still heavy with the smell of smoke, although all the fires have been extinguished.  I think tomorrow we will have to seriously discuss our plan of action, but that is tomorrow's problem – now it is time for sleep and recovery.

Blessed is Ra, who fills us with His light.

*End of Session*

[At the end of the previous session, Harkaitz had enough experience points to make seventh level.  I debated as to which feat to take and chose Leadership, gaining a cohort.  After thinking about it a bit, I decided to try out a paladin, especially as it seemed likely that a paladin would be easy to introduce.  As it turned out, Aziz rocks and he quickly became a critical member of the team, especially with the demon/devil story that Geoff (the DM in training) is running.  It is interesting to see the mix of foes selected by someone not familiar with the D&D backstory.  This is one of the main reasons I like gaming with people new to the hobby – fresh eyes bring fresh ideas.]

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