Friday, April 15, 2011

The Aldelle Group – Session 22 – First Steps

This session happened Wednesday, April 13, 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)
Sahar (female human fighter)
Tre-ba Bel a sheer (female elf alchemist)
Frankie Hu, Master of the Distracting Fist (male dwarf monk)

[Luna’s player was out due to a college astronomy lab again. We’ll be moving the game day back to Tuesday until the end of the semester so Luna can participate, though we may lose Tre-ba to a business conference in May as a result.]

Evening, April 11, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, for illuminating our way.

We spent the day scouting some more and verifying we are at the correct location. I cast locate object several times from different sides of the clearing to triangulate the location of the magical gate we seek. I was able to verify that it is towards the center of the clearing and below the surface.

Tre-ba has been brewing a number of extracts for us to use. I will have expeditious retreat (which can be used to advance, thank you), shield, and barkskin. Aziz is receiving barkskin and haste. In fact, all of us will have an extract of barkskin, which should keep us alive longer tomorrow.

Tomorrow we enter the barrow.

[In hurried script]
Midday, April 12, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, for granting us strength against our enemies.

We approached the barrow as quietly as we could (which for Aziz, Sahar, and myself is, admittedly, not very quiet), using the tree stumps as cover. Wednesday and Frankie were our vanguard, moving near silently and scouting the way for traps and enemies. We achieved the tunnel with no response from the drow, which was good and unsettling – they had set no watch.

The entrance to the barrow angled steeply downward from the entrance for 20 feet and then leveled out. The initial hall forked and Frankie set off a portcullis trap on the right-hand path. Wednesday and Frankie heard footsteps moving away along both paths, so they knew we were here. Wednesday found and circled in chalk the portcullis trap on the left and did the same for the trigger on the right. After lifting the right-hand portcullis and locking it back in place, we lowered the left-hand one. Unfortunately, Sahar slipped and I could not hold the entire weight, so it dropped into place noisily. We spiked it shut with four spikes.

The right-hand path curved sharply to the right and then split multiple times. Wednesday scouted the most right tunnel as I thought it would link up with the left-hand path after curling under the entrance. It didn’t – it leads to a drow oubliette with three cells, one which had skeletal remains. When we went to explore the next corridor, a group of drow attacked!

There were two scouts with bows and rapiers, a mage, an evil cleric, and a heavily armed and armored warrior. My first action was to throw a fireball down the corridor at the scouts (who were all we saw at first). They evaded the fire, but I later learned the others were not so lucky. Frankie then led the charge, attempting to suppress the archers by being right on them, which mostly worked but left him vulnerable to many attacks. The tight (five foot) corridors made combat difficult, but we eventually killed them all, with Aziz refuting the evil cleric’s unholy words using the holy fire of Ra dancing upon his sword.

Just as we were defeating these foes, another group started unjamming the portcullis we had spiked to avoid just this problem. Tre-ba was far enough back to hear them at it and warned us. By the time they had pulled two of the spikes out, we were on them. This fight was hampered by the portcullis, but I drove them off by placing a wall of fire along the walls and ceiling of their side. We killed two of them and drove the other three away having been burned terribly by the wall.

Have a respite, some of the group went back to loot the bodies of the first set of drow while Aziz stood watch over the paralyzed Wednesday, who had a hold person spell cast upon her during the fight. I am taking time to update my journal before we continue exploring (not being disposed towards handling the dead to remove their valuables).

*End of Session*

[We ended the session in media res, which is a benefit for us as we will not have to fight our way back to this point. On the other hand, we are down spells and potions and still in the dungeon. With the switch in the day we are playing, Luna will be available and full up on spells and hit points, so we should be good to go.]

[We had a heated discussion during the second fight about whether or not a drow reaching through the portcullis to remove a spike in the middle of the combat was subject to cover and or had his DEX-bonus. This came up due to Wednesday getting a critical hit on the drow in question. The DM ruled that he did not have cover and was denied his DEX-bonus, but was not exposed enough to suffer Wednesday’s sneak attack damage as the DM felt that a single arm did not provide an adequate vital point for the sneak attack damage. This was unsatisfactory to the players to say the least. I expect some discussion on this at the beginning of next session to clarify how portcullises will be handled in the future and then we’ll go on. We sort of ran out of time at the end of the session to discuss it then and some distance will be good.]

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