Well this week was a little different, due to work commitments we decided to run the early session online via Roll20 on a google hangout at the weekend rather than miss out, prior to running the usual late session on Wednesday as normal.
The early group.
The party had followed the invitation to meet Axelcrantz at Citadel Adbar, arriving at the massive dwarven gates to find them heavily guarded by a grumpy dwarven commander who denied them access to the Citadel, especially as they had a “dirty half-breed” half-orc in the party. Before tempers could be raised Axelcrantz appeared and spoke to the party, giving them the information he had uncovered about the wand of Tir Lien and arranging an escort of dwarves to take them to the abandoned outpost.
As the outpost came into sight the dwarves basically said “you’re on your own” and returned to their Citadel. The heroes approached to be confronted by a grizzled duergar at the door, he was armed but wasnt threatening them, asking that they team up to deal with the “ghost” from the cavern below. The party let their weapons do the negotiating, the half-orc beserker leading the way and driving the duergar back into the room as more duergar moved to assist their stricken leader. The mage used hypnotism to cause one of the minion guards to take out his adjacent ally as the hunter filled the air with deadly arrows, taking down a few more minions as well as striking the leader and the beserker.
The fight was brutally short and the victorious heroes looted the bodies, discovering a square of vellum with a crudely painted blue key on it. Confident that they were alone they split up to search the outpost, and that was when the already wounded beserker lifted the rug and discovered the trapdoor. But before he could alert his allies the rug attacked, battering the beserker and almost dropping him as he quickly recovered and shouted to his companions.
The mimic scored a devastating critical on the half-orc who was then unfortunately not only taken to negative hp, but past negative bloodied (he was only on 2-3 hp before the hit), as the mimic chewed his remains the hunter and mage unloaded into it using their respective powers to keep it pinned exactly where they wanted it. It soon dropped without even getting within striking distance of them.
Mourning the loss of their comrade (ie going through his pockets) they discovered the blue painted keyhole on the trapdoor under the mimics remains and quickly deduced how to open it before descending into the tunnels below. The duo came upon the cavern to find the wraith floating above the underground river and the wand floating just beyond it. Using their combined ranged attacks they were able to keep the wraith relatively at bay while slowly whittling away at it before it inevitably dropped, and they retrieved the wand.
The late group
The party approached the gates of Citadel Adbar to be turned away by the guards for having not only a drow, but an undead one (revenant) in the party. Axelcrantz came down and spoke to the under the guards glare and advised them to seek out local hunters for guidance into the caverns of the wands resting place. Meeting up with such a band they were told of a cave nearby which led to the underdark and local wildlife avoided when possible. The heroes spent the night with the hunters before braving the cave in the morning.
The entrance showed signs of a large many-legged creature passing regularly, they followed the tunnels down and came to a large natural cavern with numerous patches of luminescent fungi growing. The heroes decided to try the fungi having ascertained that they weren’t poisonous (and gained temporary hp for doing so) and moved a little further into the chamber.
They soon found what left the tracks as a large carrion crawler charged across the chamber its paralyzing tentacles striking the revenant. To make matters worse the moisture dripping intermittently from the caverns ceiling turned out to be a colony of green slime which also decided that the party looked tasty.
The fight was brutal, with the slime repeatedly grabbing the revenant while the crawler moved on to the pixie (slime covered undead taste funny). The pixie fought bravely against the crawler but eventually it was the ongoing poison damage that dropped the small fey allowing the crawler to coup de grace and munch its bones. The revenant broke free of the slime and fled back to the surface empty-handed. Not only had they failed to retrieve the wand, but had also lost the Tears of Helm that the pixie was carrying.
Wow, two very different sessions again. Both groups were down on numbers, for the early group I reduced the attacks of the duergar and for the late group I reduced the slimes to a single monster. The late group gave me the opportunity to use my crawler mini and I chose to combine the mushroom grove with the combat encounter and use the mushroom grove map from Vaults of the Underdark. Should be interesting how the storylines diverge from here now that one group has lost two of the named quest items. Hopefully the worsening weather doesn’t cause us to have too much of a drop in numbers in the coming weeks.