Well guys, it’s a day late, but I’m here to give you guys your regular D&D recap! I apologize for the lateness, but the epic level of this session took a lot out of me. No, it did. I wasn’t able to get to sleep that night until about 2:30, though part of that may be credited to the heat. Regardless, I woke up yesterday feeling all kinds of terrible, so I slept the day away to recover; hence the lateness. However there shall be no more delays! The D&D recap begins… now!
So picking up from last week’s session we licked our wounds following our battle with the mushroom people and traveling south once again to Ihestas (specifically Morwaytha’s shack). Though days passed in game, we traveled the distance quickly and came upon the shack under siege by a Gnoll Hunter and two festering Witherlings. What proceeded was complete and utter domination, and for likely the first time in this game, we were the ones doing the dominating! The first round of combat Garret was hit with two attacks that, had I remembered he was to have +4 to all defenses for a round due to Nature Sense, may not have counted anyway. Regardless, after that attack the enemy never got another hit on us, and I think in three rounds we wiped out the monsters without expending any Daily powers. We managed to save Morwaytha before she could be attacked, and then delicately pressed the issue that we needed her to help us translated the cursed tomb of an ancient demi-god. Yep.
She was hesitant at first (surprise surprise) suggesting that we destroy the Word of Morgana, however we explained the situation with Darstine. We were then treated to a very interesting tidbit of news. The book is Morgana’s phylactery. All that stuff about Darstine’s mind being erased? Well her mind wasn’t so much being erased as it was being slowly taken over by Morgana until she would eventually become the demi-god herself. Fan-freaking-tastic. So we now find ourselves on a very limited clock as each day a page of the book disappearing further putting Darstine’s mind on a timer. We don’t know when her mind will be lost, but we do know that it will happen if we can’t break her curse.
One problem at a time though since, you know, the whole “king slayers” thing. We asked Morwaytha to help us learn the language, and she agreed to teach Vane, Juliet, and I believe Viktor. Sadly Viktor and Vane blew their Wisdom checks so they were all “derp”. Juliet learned it fine though and shared the info with Vane so we knew, without a doubt how to undo the curse. Phew. It was time to leave Morwaytha for now, and we bid her farewell. Actually first we waited to see if she had ritual casting herbs. Okay then it was time to leave. Actually wait we wanted to know if she had a box. Okay then we left. Actually wait no then Grae asked for arrows. And then we came back to ask for rations. And then I think Darstine came back in to ask how long she had left or something. Jeez, talk about abuse of the whole “one more thing” trope. I’m surprised she didn’t shoo us out of her cabin. Heck, she probably wanted to considering how much she hated Vane.
So we left (for real this time), and now it was time to start my plan. I said before I had a way to get into Sarmanath, but it wasn’t 100% guaranteed. When Vane spoke to the Halflings last session (I didn’t mention this in the last recap as little came out of it) he asked how Queen Elena was doing, but they had no news. More specifically I wanted to know if she was seen in public appearances, and we never found that out. I curse myself for not sending Vane into Ihestas to find out as that information would have been crucial. Anyway, my plan was thus: Upon nearing Sarmanath I was going to send an animal messenger to Queen Elena from Garret that would instruct her that we had a way to save her father, and that we had proof of our allegiance. The proof would be Esgalion’s head, and we would show this proof to her by having one of her most trusted servants come to a meeting spot to see the head. From there we would ask that Vane be given a private audience with the Queen to find a way to let us in. The plan was working fine for awhile, and the rest of us set up camp after the messenger was off. Vane waited in the tavern for the “trusted servant” to arrive, and eventually a woman cloaked heavily in robes arrived. The Queen!
Vane took her to his room to continue the story, though I suppose at this point I should explain a joke I don’t think many got that night. Vane was operating under a fake story that he was a mercenary named Bomar. Bomar was a reference to joke running in LordKaT’s stream about a game of Madden 11 where Jason was playing the Giants. Eli Manning threw about four interceptions, so we jokingly had Jason bench him for third string QB Rhett Bomar… and Bomar played better. This started a joke that Bomar would carry the Giants to the Superbowl, and for some reason we made Bomar retarded. The idea being that after winning the Superbowl, Bomar’s interview would go along the lines of “BOMAR PLAY FOOTBALL GOOD! BOMAR WIN SUPERBOWL!” Funny to us, though honestly I don’t know why we’re so mean to the guy. He’s not a great player, but that’s why he’s the third string back up who might not even make the team. Hell, the guy’s only a 2nd year player, and he’s not an idiot so I’m not sure why we made him a caveman in our joke, but we did. This joke then carried over to D&D, and when we needed a fake name for Vane, Bomar fit the bill. BOMAR GOOD NAME! BOMAR MAKE GREAT DECEPTIVE FRONT!
Back to the story at hand, Vane realized quickly that he was speaking to the Queen, and that he needed to get her to us, however a few things were suspicious. Why did the Queen come herself when we asked for a trusted servant? Why was she so adamant about speaking to Garrett? More importantly, how did she even get out of the castle if Talbot was being such a douche? At this point I wish Juliet had gone instead of Vane. Not because I didn’t trust Joe, but unfortunately Vane was at the mercy of his own skills. Juliet’s passive insight was a 20, so even without a roll she’d know something was up, but Vane unfortunately rolled a 15 on his insight and detected nothing. He led the Queen towards our camp and she nervously asked “is that Garret? Is that where he is?” When Vane finally confirmed that he received a blade in the back as the Queen shifted into a horrid raven like monster. Yep, we were deceived, and we quickly found ourselves surrounded by a flock of those raven like monsters. Or is it a murder of ravens? I can never remember.
We had to engage the assassins in battle, and being that we never lit a fire, we fought in complete darkness. This battle didn’t go as easy for us, but still we benefitted from Spoony rolling like absolute dump last night. We fought off the assassins, however the leader of the group escaped to warn Talbot placing us in a very awkward position. More than that, we learned that Talbot was going to marry Elena in a few days. So we had to stop the wedding, and more so we had to hurry as now Talbot knew we were here and we planned on saving the King.
So our plan failed, and again I refer back to my earlier questions. I wanted to know two main things. How Queen Elena was after the death of her father, and if she made any public appearances. With the latter I’d know if she was still a public figure head, or if she was Queen in name only and, as I expected, Talbot had basically taken power. Had we known we could have come up with a new plan as Elena was compromised, but we weren’t as prepared as we thought. Shame too, because I liked the plan. Well, we now sat a good while outside of town with no idea how to get in, but a knowledge that we had to. We couldn’t just run away. At this point we had exposed our hands, and the only option left was to do it like prom night and go all the way!
At this point Darstine began to remember different curses inside the Word of Morgana that could help—specifically a spell of clairvoyance, and a dimension door that could transport us anywhere we had been before. So we made a new plan. Lord Vane needed to see the amber statue of King Donovan to cast the ritual, and a full minute of preparation before he could finish the spell. That meant one full minute, or 10 rounds, of uninterrupted casting. In addition Darstine would need to stay back so she could maintain the dimensional door as without it, we would be trapped and Vane couldn’t cast the spell. That left Viktor, Grae, Juliet, and Garret to enter the throne room and distract the guards for one minute. This was a tense battle planning session as the likelihood of surviving a full ten rounds against who knows how much reinforcements would be nearly impossible. There was a good chance some or all of us could die in the battle, or worse that we survive the ten rounds only to have Vane fail the incantation. Still, this is that badass moment where none of the matters and we all get to be big god damn heroes!
We all gave ourselves a pep talk and a few epic speeches before we did it. We charged in, swords, arrows, and spells readied. The battle field was about even odds at the start. Four of us versus two average guards, two elite guards, and one mage. Right off the bat Viktor almost killed the mage, and we thought maybe this battle wouldn’t be as hard as it appeared, but this was not the case. See, the two elite guards were complete and utter rape machines. Yes, rape machines. These guys hit hard, hit often, and hit you from far away. Even with Viktor and Garret’s high ACs we found ourselves in danger quite often. Garret’s healing spells went quickly, and we all found ourselves very, very bloodied. At one point I was running about three rounds at 4 HP. This was a very tense battle, and the person I felt worst for was Joe as he had to watch us get torn apart and know he couldn’t help. It’s crazy how much action was compacted into a single minute, but it was intense. There were some rolls I had to hold my breath during. The battle with Esgalion may have been more epic due to the whole punching off the pyramid thing, but this battle, at least for me, carried a lot more weight as every dice roll seemed like the roll to determine if we lived or died. Finally the moment came and Lord Vane completed his incantation and it came time for the final roll. The roll to determine if those ten rounds of hell were for naught.
GAGOOSH! Vane cast the spell and light shot out of the amber prison freeing the king. We were quick to march upstairs, almost dragging the king with us as we had to stop Talbot. We arrived to find one of the Queen’s handmaiden’s stabbed (Juliet healed her), and then Father Emmitt in critical condition (I believe Juliet and Garret saved him too), only to find Talbot holding a blade to Elena’s neck with his back to the window. He was prepared to use her as a hostage and run away with his new bride, until Donovan showed up. Talbot was… stunned to say the least. He momentarily hesitated, and that allowed Lord Vane (or maybe Viktor) to toss him out the window. He clung to the edge, but Juliet turned into a beast and cleaved off his fingers causing the fiend to drop to his death. In retrospect probably should have kept him alive for questioning, but come on, how often to you get to throw assholes off a building? Come on, cinematic value alone says we had to do that.
We ended shortly thereafter. Next session we’ll begin the long process of explaining exactly has happened in the past five sessions to the King, and that’s sure to be interesting. Assuming we leave free men, our next goal is to find a way to save Darstine. Truth be told, I’m not 100% happy with how we won. While epic, what we did was take the easy way out and we tripled how much of a hit to Darstine’s mind that we initially planned when we started this adventure. I don’t know how else we could have managed such a feat, but the fact is we’re abusing this book and that’s going to bite us in the ass. But I suppose I should be optimistic as we’ve now finally defeated Talbot and saved King Donovan. For half of our group, we dinged at Level 4, so expect newer, stronger characters next level for Juliet, Viktor, and Garrett. In addition I believe we’ll be receiving a new party member next week in Iron Liz who will be joining us as a much needed Cleric. Sweet.
Okay well, that’s all there was to the session (I say two pages later…), and a session next week is a maybe. Spoony has PAX coming up, so we may not play for the next few weeks. Again though, if you were going to choose any session to have a break on, this would be the session.
Well that’s all for this week everyone. Until next time: BOMAR KILL BADGUY! BOMAR WIN D&D! NAMASTE!