Alright everyone, we once again return to D&D after a two week break in our gaming, however today’s adventure wasn’t as noteworthy as others. Not because we didn’t play long, but rather because nothing particularly major happened, and a heavy dose of the campaign was taken up by a single combat encounter (a weakness of 4E). Well, no point in waiting, let’s get into it.
So we started our adventure where we left off. Our group was bloodied, beaten, broken—but victorious. However our victory wasn’t a solid one. While it was true that we now had the Word of Morgana, we didn’t know how to use it, or what would happen. We decided to wait to open the tome until we had escaped the Black Swamp, so we returned to the room where we fought the shades, and were faced with two alternate exits. One from a locked door, and the other being a set of portcullises blocking a staircase. Half of our group, the Strong Group (Viktor, Darstine, and there to split the team evenly Garrett) stayed to try to force open the portcullis while Vane, Juliet, and Grae investigated the alternate path. The path twisted around before coming to a stop at a cliff above a room full of stalagmites and the croaking of frogs. As our nature person I was quick to ask “are these happy frogs or ‘I’m going to fucking eat you’ frogs” and rolled a high enough Nature check to find out they were likely the latter. Grae decided to test how far the cliff went down by lowering a rope to see when it would hit the bottom, but botched whatever roll he was making and the rope was ripped from his hands by something below. Well, that was all I needed to say “fuck it” and we headed back.
Back with our Strong Team, I’m once again amused at how Viktor can do the most epic things when it comes time for combat, and yet somehow every single time we need someone to muscle something open he comes through with an absolutely pathetic roll. “Hey Viktor, care to cleave the head off this dragon?” “Sure thing fellas!” *Chop* “Hey Viktor, can you open this pickle jar?” *Struggles* “Might I try breaking it with axe instead?” Point is, Viktor blows at strength checks, and today was no different. The conditions changed about four times, and each time Viktor still whiffed it. Again, guy just killed an elven lord by cleaving his head clean off, but a simply display of strength and he botches. AGAIN.
So once again a single doorway blocks our party’s progress more than any army could, but together we are strong! With all our might we heaved and pulled and managed to lift the portcullis! Two feet. And the second one was still unmoved. Fuck. Vane was tired of this, and decided instead that he would test out his new Ring of Ram. Juliet wisely moved out of the way as Vane tapped into the device’s unchecked power. A massive ram’s head filled the sky as Joe, the party around him, and the portcullises, were bashed by the fierce power of the ram. The gates were mashed against the ceiling and the party blasted upwards by Vane’s new ring. Snazzy, but dangerous. Anyway, so after the group peeled themselves off the ceiling, we moved forward only to find a stone wall blocking our path; an apparent dead end, though I was quick to remind the party that while they did that in LOST, they wouldn’t do that here. Yes, another LOST reference, but the people watching better man up and accept that I’m going to make every LOST reference I can. Every donkey wheel, every smoke monster, and every stick of dynamite is a chance for me to make a new reference! Wah~haha!
Anyway we found a secret door that led us back to the courtyard, and from there we headed back towards the hills north of the Black Swamp. Here we decided to open the Word of Morgana, but a quick Arcana check by Vane revealed that the book laid a curse on whoever tried to open the book without being the owner (i.e. Morgana). However we remembered that Darstine actually opened the book back during our battle with the Lich, and that now she was likely cursed. Fun times! We managed to gather the nerve to open the book and have Garrett read it, with his first interest being the curse on the book’s cover. Basically the curse reads that whoever opens the book without being the owner is now tied to the book both mentally and physically. Every piece of damage that happens to the book happens to the user, and if anything should be removed from the book it will have an adverse effect on the user. We caught just a glimpse of this when Garrett held the book and Darstine felt ill. It appears this book will be tied closely to our Rogue from hence on. An interesting development.
Garrett investigated further, and found amidst the poetry and stories a section on curses with the same spell that held King Donovan. With a bit of reading we found out the curse could be reversed by simply changing the words in the incantation, however Vane realized in particular that if we messed up that incantation that the results would be disastrous for the caster and the group in large. In addition we know that the way the spell works is that by using it we will essentially use the spell like a scroll. This means one chance to get it right, and even then the spell disappears which will likely harm Darstine. Sucks, but furthermore we don’t know which word to change. Vane has an idea, but he’s not sure as he doesn’t know the old elvish language the book is written in. We want confirmation, and the only person we can think who might be willing to help us is Morwaytha, the cleric of Melora that Juliet encountered outside of Ihestas. She was an elf, and she also warned us about the High Elves, so her allegiance to the Witch Queen is not in question. In addition we helped enact justice on those that killed her fellow Rangers of the Silver Leaf, so she might be willing to help, or at the very least, would be willing to show us who might, so our goal is to now head south past Vundel (a stronghold city ruled by an insane Duke) and over the plains until we can reach the forest of Ihestas.
However right after passing Vundel we ran into an encounter where spiders leapt from the trees to attack us, followed up shortly by a group of Mycinoids. I think that was the name, but I can’t be sure, so I’m calling them mushroom people. Anyway, for sentient mushroom these fuckers hit hard. In the first round of combat Juliet was buffeted for 33 damage. Viktor was crit I believe three separate times in the encounter, and Lord Vane found himself surrounded for most of the battle. And yet who went down? Freaking Garrett. You know I barely remember him being hit, but this now marks the third time he gone down in battle. If Spoony were keeping up with his “if you go under 0 HP then bad shit happens to you” rule he had after we fought the Scorpion Queen, then Garrett would have a nice collection of war wounds at this point. We won the battle, but being honest, it was not an easy battle. Once again our group finds themselves battered and ravaged with themselves still not all that closer to saving the King. Still, with luck Morwaytha is on our side and will assist us in understanding the ritual. Getting into Sarmanath? I’ve got a plan for that. Figuring out how to reverse engineer a powerful demi-god’s curse into a cure spell that only has one shot to succeed and that with a failure would likely kill all of the parties involves? Yeah, we’ll need a little help.
If you read, leave some comments below. What do you guys think we should do?