Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 31

[Day 61 – Team Teleport reports, crossing the Lake of Ghouls, and speaking to the Queen of Giants.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened August 16, 2021.]

[SPOILERS!  If you are likely to adventure through the Shattered Star Adventure Path from Paizo, this campaign will be spoilers all the way down.]

Player Characters

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 6th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 6th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 5th level Wizard

Marativy – female ratfolk 6th level Ninja

Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 6th level Summoner (Synthesist)

Hrefna – female changeling 5th level Omdura


Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 3rd level Wizard (Invoker)

Ariphi – female tiefling 5th level Rogue

Mel Sharples – male halfling Cook (Expert of unknown level)

Alice Hyatt – female halfling Bodyguard (Warrior of unknown level)

Flo’ Castleberry – female gnome Bodyguard (Warrior of unknown level)


Day 61

Early Afternoon

Team Teleport, consisting of Templeton, Roscuro, Marativy, and Hrefna, were on a stone jetty that reached out into the furthest of the underground caverns the Ratpack had discovered under the Lady’s Light, a monumental statue of the Runelord of Lust, Sorshen.  Templeton recognized the cavern as the one beyond the compulsion field he had investigated alone before being attacked by the undead giant bats.  As a result, the group was quiet to avoid attracting any other guardians in this cavern.  Templeton reported that there was another landing across the lake with a red metal door.

Zitch, with the rest of the Ratpack in the stairs from the Chamber of Grey Flame, made use of his earrings of telepathic communication to speak with Roscuro and find out where the teleporting mural sent them.  Roscuro reported that it led to the cavern the compulsion field was hiding and both Team Teleport and the landing area were safe.  The rest of the Ratpack made use of the teleportation and shortly the Ratpack was reunited.

While there were three boats available, the Ratpack decided to use only two.  Roscuro, Marativy, and Gridik were in the first boat with Roscuro rowing.  Swamprover, Hrefna, and Ariphi were in the second boat with Hrefna rowing.  Zitch rode on Templeton’s back as Templeton flew.  Concerned about being attacked by a spellcaster, the two rowboats kept a 30-foot distance from each other as they rowed across the lake.

At the mid-point, the arms of unknown creatures reached up out of the water and grabbed the sides of the boats, preparatory to flipping the boats!

Swamprover used her tongue to deliver a Shocking Grasp spell to one of the attackers, instantly regretting it due to the taste.  Zitch cast Protective Luck on Marativy.  Roscuro performed a flurry of blows, only one of which landed effectively.  The things under the water attacked, flipping the first boat and dumping Roscuro, Marativy, and Gridik into the water.  Back on the second boat, Ariphi struck one of the things while Hrefna killed another.  Templeton flew back to the swamped first boat and dropped the end of a rope for Roscuro, Marativy, and Gridik.  Gridik grabbed onto the rope but was unable to climb out of the water [failed a climb check, which was not surprising as he had a modifier of -1 to the roll].  Marativy, in the water, grabbed the rope and slashed at one of the attackers, injuring it but not killing it.  It was now obvious that the attackers were aquatic ghouls, which lent a sense of urgency to those in the water.

Swamprover cast Force Bolt at one of the aquatic ghouls, wounding it.  Zitch put Protective Luck on  Gridik and cackled.  Roscuro grabbed the rope Templeton was dangling before throwing a punch and missing one of the aquatic ghouls.  More of the aquatic ghouls arrived and joined in the attack.  Gridik was attacked, but missed due to a combination of Protective Luck and bodyguard actions from Roscuro and Marativy.  Roscuro was attacked, but they missed due to bodyguard actions from Marativy.  Unfortunately, Marativy was hit once, despite the Protective Luck and a bodyguard action from Roscuro.  Luckily, Marativy was able to shrug off the paralytic effect of the strike [made her save].  At the second rowboat, the increased number of attackers were able to flip the boat.  Ariphi continued her attack on one of the ghouls.  Hrefna climbed onto the flipped rowboat and cast Spiritual Weapon.  Templeton flew ahead to the stone landing the group was attempting to get to, dragging the rope behind him with Roscuro, Marativy, and Gridik all clinging to it.  He was able to get them adjacent to the landing.  Gridik climbed up onto the landing and cast Magic Missile at the ghouls attacking the second boat.  Marativy joined Gridik on the landing, drawing her bow and shooting an arrow to no effect.

Swamprover attempted to climb onto the overturned second rowboat, but was successfully attacked by a ghoul [she invoked an attack of opportunity from the ghoul], landing paralyzed atop the boat.  Her familiar, Snek, cast a Ray of Frost at the offending ghoul.  Zitch cackled to maintain the various Protective Lucks he had cast and held onto Templeton.  Roscuro climbed out of the water onto the adjacent landing and readied his crossbow.  The aquatic ghouls swarmed the second boat, but due to luck on the adventurers part, only landed one blow and Hrefna shrugged off the paralysis effect from the hit [made her save].  Ariphi climbed onto the overturned boat and then slashed at her foe, finally killing it.  Hrefna attacked another wounded ghoul multiple times and with Spiritual Weapon, killing it.  Templeton flew back to boat 2 for another air rescue.  Gridik asked Roscuro for advice on targets and was told to aim for the left one.  He did so, hitting it squarely with a Force Bolt.  Marativy fired another arrow from her bow, but the waterlogged missile went far off target [she rolled really low to hit, again].

Swamprover remained paralyzed on the overturned boat, her familiar doing its best to keep her from sliding off.  Zitch cast Protective Luck on Templeton and cackled.  Roscuro shot a ghoul with his crossbow and reloaded.  The remaining aquatic ghouls attacked those on the second boat, fortunately with little effect.  Ariphi slashed another ghoul, with Hrefna striking and killing that target and wounding another.  Templeton arrived at the second boat and hovered over it, dangling the rope for the adventurers.  Gridik plinked the same ghoul with another Force Bolt while Marativy missed again with her bow.

Zitch cast Protective Luck on Hrefna and cackled [I'm skipping Swamprover at this point as she remains paralyzed until after the fight].  Roscuro fired his crossbow again but missed due to the ghoul being partially submerged.  He cursed quietly as he reloaded.  The two remaining ghouls attacked and missed hitting the desperate adventurers.  Ariphi grabbed the dangling rope and swung at a ghoul, missing the ghoul.  Hrefna concentrated all of her attacks on the same ghoul and killed it, leaving only one ghoul active.  Templeton flew up, lifting only Ariphi, and flew back towards the landing.  Gridik barely hit the last ghoul with a Force Bolt [minimal damage] while Marativy missed yet again with her bow.

Zitch cast Protective Luck on Ariphi as the only valid target and cackled.  Roscuro missed the last ghoul and reloaded.  The ghoul missed hitting Hrefna.  While Ariphi held onto the rope, Hrefna focused all of her attacks on the remaining ghoul, critically hitting it with her last attack and killing it.

Templeton dropped Ariphi and Zitch off at the stone landing with the others.  Roscuro packed up his crossbow and rode back to the second boat with Templeton so they could rescue Hrefna and Swamprover.  Roscuro used the rope to tie off the boat so it could be dragged to the landing and hauled out of the water.  Roscuro then did the same with the first rowboat and the oars plus any arrows or bolts that were floating in the water.  Eventually Swamprover was able to move again.  Zitch used the wand of cure light wounds to heal up the little damage taken from the ghouls.

While that was going on, Marativy investigated the red metal door.  It was quite large and decorated with one-foot square panels that also formed a mosaic.  The individual panels showed Sorshen dominating a variety of monsters while the overall mosaic portrayed all the monsters bowing to the Runelord.  Marativy started pushing on the individual panels to no effect until she pressed on the one showing a cave giant.  When she pressed on that one, Thassilonian words appeared in light, saying “…and so do the mighty architects serve eternal.”  The door opened.

Beyond the door was an immense hallway with plain pillars supporting the high ceiling.  Murals on the walls showed giants performing sex acts with humans.  [Roscuro was getting very tired of this theme.]  Zitch cast his ward and Heroism on Roscuro.  Gridik cast Cat’s Grace on Roscuro.  Then a voice boomed out of the darkness: “Who dares enter my hall?”

Roscuro was the most diplomatic he had ever been in his life.  He asked permission to approach and when it was granted, he did so, with the rest of the Ratpack following at various distances behind.  The hall widened to form a larger chamber where four giant lizards sat, watching the group approach but making no hostile actions.  At this point Roscuro paused, because he did not want to have the giant lizards behind him and the unknown person in front of him.  When told to approach closer, Roscuro replied, “Your pets are so large and I am so small, I am frozen with fear and can approach no closer.”

The unknown person made a noise and the giant lizards moved back, clearing a path for Roscuro.  Recognizing as good a deal as he was likely to get, Roscuro moved forward again.  When he cleared the last pillar, he stopped again.  Ahead the hall ended in a raised are with an immense throne on it.  Sitting on the throne was a cave giantess holding an immense axe.  She appeared surprised when she saw Roscuro – apparently Ratfolk was not what she was expecting.

Roscuro and the giantess talked.  Roscuro was very polite and when asked what tribute he might have, he offered up the soul gem.  This impressed the giantess, who gave her name as Mochtau.  She took the gem and asked what Roscuro was doing here.  Roscuro explained he and his group had been tasked with locating a shard of metal.  Roscuro described the shard without explaining what the shard actually was.  She offered to give some assistance to its location if Roscuro and his group would retrieve something for her.  Hoping to shorten the search for the shard, Roscuro was willing to make a deal.  Plus, the group of adventurers were starting to get low on resources and he was not certain they could pull of a fight with the giantess and her pets.

The deal was to go to the barracks of the Grey Maidens and access a secret door in their bath house.  The secret passage led to two things, a storage closet for perfumes and aromas and a shrine to the demon lord Nocticula.  The item Mochtau wanted was in the closet.  It was a vial of liquid that she described to Roscuro.  The shrine intrigued Roscuro as the groups art patron seemed to have an interest in Nocticula, so anything there would likely pay well if presented to her.  He agreed to the deal with Mochtau and they shook on it.

The Ratpack quietly left the hall, not wanting to talk where Mochtau might overhear them.

End of Session

Rat Whispers

[The encounter with the giantess was the first time Roscuro’s voice was honestly respectful and diplomatic.  Normally his words out of my mouth are cynical and borderline caustic, but not this time.  I have no idea what inspired me that session, but his words were perfect for the scene.  I’ve experienced this effect when writing stories in the past, where what appears when I’m typing seems to be writing itself, but this is the first time its happened while roleplaying.]

[Templeton’s player and I had discussed the rope airlift tactic before, trying to work out a tactic that would allow him to airlift the entire group at once.  We thought about him holding a pole in the foo dog mouth but a rope with knots seemed to be the best option as it could be stored easier.  It was nice to see it finally come into play.]


Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion

Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 20

Session 30

Session 32

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