Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Aldelle Group – Session 53 – The Unbeating Heart of Darkness

Session 53 happened Tuesday, November 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:
Tre-ba Bel a sheer (female elf alchemist)
Elspeth (female half-elf rogue)
Frankie Hu, Master of the Distracting Fist (male dwarf monk)
Harkaitz of the Red Soul (male human cleric of Ra)

Aziz of the Light (male human paladin, cohort of Harkaitz)
Sarisvati the Sun-touched (female Ifrit oracle, cohort of Aziz)
Midnight (female half-elf witch, cohort of Frankie Hu)
Macha (female human fighter, cohort of Elspeth)
Estrela (female Aasimar druid, cohort of Tre-Ba)
Asmo (male halfling sorcerer)

Evening, August 4, Year of the Earth Rabbit (continued)
Praise Ra, who protects fools.

Aziz engaged in a duel of taunts and bravado with the lich, buying us enough time to cast some last moment spells.  I cast protection from evil on Aziz and Sarisvati cast blessings of fervor on all of us.  Tre-ba drank an elixir and the rest of my compatriots prepared themselves for the fight.  Then, with a final, “Have at you villain!” Aziz charged at the lich.

The lich was prepared too.

Before Aziz made it halfway across the chamber, the lich surrounded itself with a forcecage.  A rather potent one.  Thinking we were ready for such an eventuality, Macha, Frankie, and Midnight moved to Aziz and then Midnight cast her last dimension door to move the group of them into the forcecage with the lich.  Frankie, having readied for this, immediately struck the lich with an elemental fist.  It passed right through the lich with no effect.  It was an illusion.

The lich was very prepared.

Laughing maniacally, the lich cast circle of death on the group of us still at the doorway, felling Sarisvati [the rest of us were, luckily, too high of level for it to effect].  I immediately used my last breath of life to bring her back from death’s door.  The rest of my companions attacked as best they could.  Frankie located the lich in the back ten feet of the chamber, completely blocked off by the forcecage.  Asmo and the revived Sarisvati threw fireballs against the back wall, burning the lich slightly.  It responded with a prismatic spray that poisoned and killed Aziz, drove Tre-ba mad, and burned or electrocuted several others.  [Frankie barely resisted be sent to another plane, which would have been disastrous and likely led to a TPK.]  Frankie started attacking the forcecage with a continuous flurry of blows.  The lich responded with Evard’s black tentacles, grappling most of us, but not Midnight nor Asmo.  [Yes, I know it is not called Evard’s in Pathfinder, but that is what I will always call it, grognard that I am.]

Frankie (with help from Tre-ba, who was able to keep her mind focused a few seconds longer) finally sundered the forcecage, immediately followed by Asmo successfully dispelling the black tentacles.  This allowed me to move up to the corner where the lich was (spotted thanks to Midnight’s casting of see invisible on Frankie).  I then activated my nimbus of light and channeled positive energy, burning the lich’s unholy bones with the light and power of RA!

Asmo then dispelled the lich’s improved invisibility, allowing me to stare the lich directly in the eye-sockets.  I then slapped the lich across the skull, my hand imbued with the power of a cure critical wounds spell.  Combined with the nimbus of light and the positive energy I was channeling, it was more than the lich’s bones could stand and they started to crumble.  The lich’s last words were, “Fools!  I will only come back stronger!”

I grinned at the lich as it disintegrated under the power of Ra.  I know where its phylactery is and have already dispatched the others to seek and destroy it.  If they step quickly, they should get there either just before or just after the lich re-forms.  The vile thing won’t know what hit it.  Ha!

Sarisvati and I immediately set to healing ourselves so we would stay conscious.  The lich’s last spell was similar to a symbol of pain [I don't remember then name of the spell] and continued to cause us pain for nearly a minute after the fight ended, nearly knocking Sarisvati and I into unconsciousness.

Estrela cast quiet repose upon Aziz’s body and Sarisvati and I carefully wrapped it up for transport.  While this was happening, the others claimed the lich’s possessions (Elspeth removing a trap from its spellbook) and investigated the gate.  The glyphs around it were in Celestial and indicated that this locus of power was being used as a prison, not a gate.  Satisfied with that, we left, returning to our rude camp outside the pyramid. 

I have made a sending, providing Wednesday with an update of what has happened here.  We are exhausted, injured, and without any spells but our cantrips and orisons and my best friend is dead.  Tonight will be long and not very restful.

Morning, August 5, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, who honors his servants.

After my meditations at dawn, I restored the last effects of the bodak upon myself and with new insight granted by Ra [we leveled], I was able to restore Tre-ba’s sanity [cast greater restoration, which just became available].  I then summoned a planar ally, so the gate we cleared at great cost would remain in the power of the light.  I may have been curt with the messenger, possibly even rude, something I will have to do penance for later.  I informed the agent that we had secured the gate and would very much like Aziz either resurrected or to be delivered a diamond of sufficient quality that I could do the job myself.  We would wait here for an answer.

While writing this entry, I noticed a sudden gleam in my haversack.  Investigating, I found a diamond of great size and clarity.  I have my answer.  Time to bring my friend back to the lands of light.

Evening, August 6, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, Guardian of the True.

I have spent the last two days using wind walk to bring those left at the Red Temple here, to the Throne of Ra.  They were much pleased to see me and hear that we had succeeded.

Tomorrow we re-enter the Throne to finish clearing it out and hopefully destroy a vampire or two.  Ra’s will be done!

*End of Session*

[This was a very tough fight and the DM ran the lich very smartly.  If Asmo had not dispelled the black tentacles or Frankie had been sent to another plane, we would have likely all died except Elspeth, who stayed back outside the room as she had no way to harm the lich.  If we had fallen, she would have had to flee and get help.  Plus, her player was not available for the game due to a last minute switch of when we were playing.

Half way into the fight, we were convinced this was going to end in a TPK, but we kept fighting.  As it was, at the end of the fight, most of us were down to single digit hit points, dead, insane, or with no power to harm the lich (Midnight was in this boat with Elspeth, although Midnight could buff the other players, like that critical see invisibility spell).  We were also completely out of spells and elixirs.

THAT was a good session.]


  1. Awesome fight!

    One of my greatest pleasures is a fight against a foe who is played very intelligently! (the flip side of the coin being a fight against a powerful foe who is abysmally stupid, thinking of a particular session where my group killed an ancient dragon with hardly any effort, at level 11)

    Bravo to the DM on an epic battle and the players for continuing through!

  2. Yes, it was a great fight and the lich is a villain we love to hate.

    We (the players) were so concentrated on keeping our characters alive and maybe defeating the lich that I entirely forgot to take notes as things progressed, which is why the recap is a bit disjointed. My apologies to the other players if I missed anything cool your character did.