Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Aldelle Group - Session 27 - Descent into the Depths

This session happened Tuesday, May 17, 2011. OK, this isn't the All Day session - I forgot I had not typed up last Tuesday's session, which is the prelude. So here is that.

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)
   Aziz of the Light, cohort of Harkaitz (NPC, male human paladin)
Wednesday (female elf rogue)
Cactus Flower (female half-elf ranger)
Luna (female elf sorcerer)
Frankie Hu, Master of the Distracting Fist (male dwarf monk)
Tre-ba Bel a sheer (female elf alchemist)

Ferahal, Watch-Captain of Ttaeladra (NPC, male elf arcane archer)
Short John Copper, cook (NPC, male halfling expert)

Evening, April 20, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, His light shows us many new things.

As we were preparing to leave Ttaeladra, a young woman approached us and asked to join us against the drow. At least I thought she was a young woman. As it turns out, she is half-elven and a few decades older than she looks. She is from the city of Evergreen, which was overrun by drow, drow who were provoked into attacking by Cactus Flower’s previous group of adventurers. I believe she seeks some form of atonement and revenge. We all agree that anyone motivated to kill drow is a good person to have with us and she is invited to join our expedition.

Ferahal brought with him six elven warriors as a guard unit for our camp, something Short John was happy to see. Based on the red tunics they wore, I dubbed them “The Red Shirts”. Red is a color sacred to Ra and it is fit that these warriors wore that color on a quest set by Ra.

We set out in the morning, heading south and following Luna’s trail of arcane marks with Cactus Flower scouting ahead. Late in the afternoon we discovered a quickwood in the forest, off on our right flank. I did not think anything of it, thinking it merely some sort of fast-growing tree, until its roots erupted from the ground and grabbed several of my companions (Tre-ba, Ferahal, and Wednesday). Suddenly I realized that Tre-ba had not been calling out interesting trivia but an actual warning of battle.

In addition to being able to attack with its roots at least 40 feet from its trunk (which is where we were when it attacked) it is apparently impervious to fire and lightning. This made the fight against it very difficult as we specialize in fire magics. We did eventually kill it before it consumed any of our companions, although it wounded many, especially those grappled by its roots. I shared the blessing of Ra and mended many a broken rib.

While I was healing the wounded, Frankie, ever practical, started hacking the quickwood apart to see what it had in its gullet. He found many trinkets of gold, mostly of elven manufacture. We decide to camp here, under the belief that any animals in the forest would have learned to avoid this area. We also harvested much wood from the thing for Short John to whittle into fireproof wooden cooking implements.

We have set watches for the night using the Red Shirts supplemented by Tre-ba, Luna, and Frankie. For the first time, most of us will be able to sleep through the night while in the wilderness with every confidence we will still awaken in the morning. Short John is cooking a stew that smells very tasty. I think I will go over and see if I can assist.

Midday, April 21, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, may His radiance blind our enemies.

We have just finished half a day’s march and have returned to the large clearing containing the drow barrow. Cactus Flower and Wednesday have gone ahead to scout out the actual barrow entrance for traps or drow guards.

On the way here, Tre-ba discovered a clear spindle ioun stone in the forest. After some discussion, it went to Frankie, protecting him from the need to eat or drink. It orbits his head in a slow orbit with a four foot diameter. It is an odd thing to see.

Wednesday and Cactus Flower have returned and report a single tripwire at the top of the ramp and no visible guards. We will scout out a camp site and then move in to investigate. The Red Shirts will stay to guard our supplies and Short John while the rest of us descend.

[Hurried Script]
Late Afternoon, April 21, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, may we be enlightened by his brilliance.

This has been most unexpected. The barrow tunnels had only two trip wires with bells between the entrance and the descending ramp to the “lower level”. The ramp was a 15-foot wide ramp that descended in a wide spiral for TWO HOURS. Instead of a “lower level” it ended at a chamber with a gatehouse. In front of the gatehouse was a half spider, half drow monstrosity known as a drider. It had not noticed us, so Frankie, Cactus Flower, and Wednesday (invisible through a potion) snuck towards the drider, hoping to surprise it. This failed.

The monster somehow noticed Frankie and Cactus Flower and moved to attack them. It did not see Wednesday, so the invisibility protected her. When we heard the sound of combat, the rest of us charged forward and the fighting started in earnest. During the fight, two windows, thirty feet up the walls of the gatehouse opened and two drow archers started peppering us with arrows. This drew a fireball from Luna and I covered both with a wall of flame. Combined with Ferahal's counter-shooting, the drow died quickly.

Eventually we defeated the drider. Right now Frankie and Luna are scouting the guard rooms the archers were fighting from. We do not seem to have set off any general alarm. Maybe our luck will hold.

*End of Session*

[We had a new player join us this session. She learned D&D under 4E, so we are not certain how she feels about Pathfinder yet. I know there are significant differences between a 4th level half-elven ranger of one system compared to the other, so we’ll have to see how she feels.

This was the set up for our all day session on the 21st, so rather than fall back to camp when it was time to quit for the night, we instead paused the game and picked up exactly where we left off. That write up will follow on Thursday as I expect to have time Wednesday night to type up my rather long notes.]

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