Have I ever mentioned how bizarre that we allow Left 4 Dead 2 to make us furious, yet we still continue to play it? It’s baffling to me. I mean we’re aware of this every single time we open the game up too. We’re all very aware that there’s about a 60% that one person in the call is going to get angry and probably rage quit. And yet we still choose to play it. That’s insanity people. Of course, that actually has no bearing at all on recapping this week’s D&D session, but I couldn’t think of a witty opening, so I thought I’d just wax nerd on you all for a little bit.
This was a long session of D&D (around 7 hours I believe), but sessions usually run long only if they are particularly epic. This session had action, drama, triumph, failure, and some very cryptic messages from Corellon, but we’ll get to that in time. For now, let’s get into the recap!
After killing the Goblin King and taking his “epic lootz” as it were, our party ventured back into the Borreal Maze for another run with insanity. This time around we weren’t attacked by any trees (not that that prevented Dahl from freaking out anyway), but we were essentially attacked by the Hunters from Left 4 Dead. Holy crap, my intro suddenly makes sense now! I need to go back and modify it to make it look like this was a brilliant and witty observation discovered on my front prior to writing this article! Ah… but the backspace key is so far way… ah fuck it.
So yes, our party was attacked by these strange monsters that attempted to pounce on us and do us harm, but we fended them off rather well after Denora went all Solar Flare on everybody and blinded the monsters. After that we escaped the maze a little worse for wear, and we began to plan our next move. Dhother was now fully recovered from his time spent at the Demon Baron’s tower (which was our reason for why Dhother was not participating last week, so the party had to catch him up on current events—the biggest of which being, of course, Caitlin’s prisoner exchange. Dhother seemed legitimately shaken by this news especially as he read the letter she left behind for him, and for those still a bit late to all of this Caitlin and Dhother have a crush on one another. So with newfound conviction, the party makes a move to head to Wyrmwick and see if they can find the location of any of the other towers.
Meanwhile in Demon Baron land, Caitlin is still at the mercy of her captors, though despite this she’s doing everything in her power to irritate and antagonize the followers of Tiamat, and Dhother will tell you if there’s one thing Caitlin is great at it’s annoying people. She began by carving a symbol to Bahamut out of a chunk of rock, and used it to pray to Bahamut which she managed to successfully do. After getting the information about the towers from the Demon Baron (who is still trying to convince Caitlin he’s on the up and up), Caitlin asked Bahamut if he could send this information to the party. He agreed, but he could only do it in the form of a dream. Caitlin was pleased to know she still has a way to help the party, even if it isn’t the most direct way.
However Caitlin wouldn’t go unnoticed by the High Cleric for long and one day he came upon her cell with an entire force of guards. Caitlin was her normal, cocky self, and was promptly gagged for her arrogance and dragged off to a chamber where they strapped her down to a table. The High Cleric was preparing to perform a ritual, and just before he began he removed Caitlin’s gag probably on the hopes she’d start begging for her life, but instead she fired off a Disintegration Breath. Sadly, this move did nothing (which makes me worry how BAMF this cleric is), and immediately afterwards a white gem was forced into Caitlin’s chest. As the crystal settled, its magic bonded it to her skin and the magic began to take effect. All at once her dragon mutations began to revert; leaving Caitlin as the same normal elf she had been before entering Zalelah’s Crypt. She passed out from the pain only to wake up hours later back in her cell with the crystal implanted firmly in her chest.
Back to our intrepid heroes, they have finally made their way to Wyrmwick and the first order of business is to inform Alpert of Caitlin’s situation after neglecting to speak with the councilman during their past visits. The party informed Alpert of Caitlin’s decision to surrender herself to the Baron, and the shock of knowing his daughter is a prisoner of the Demon Baron was too much for Alpert’s heart. The poor councilor suffered a heart attack and proceeded to fall into a coma. Denora tried every spell she had to bring the councilman back, but sadly his condition was very poor and the prospects for his future looked grim. Before leaving Dahl let the unconscious Alpert know that his daughter was doing great things and that he should be proud before promising to bring her back home. The party left for Redwulf in somber spirits.
It seemed Bahamut came through for the party by providing our heroes with a dream—or rather one party member. That party member was Dahl as he’s the only follower of Bahamut currently in the party, and these dreams were a doozy. They all involve Dahl seeing his family, then the location of other towers. There would be one to the northwest, and one to the east. Then Dahl’s family would become zombies and try to eat him. Caitlin really does need to scald Bahamut for that one. Like poor Dahl needs anymore stress in his life at this point. Dude’s already paranoid of three trees less than a mile apart. This dream was the guidance that brought us to Redwulf, and there we attempted to find the location of perhaps another tower.
We did find the location of another tower, but the biggest discovery had to be finding out Grieg is worth 100 Platinum for his crimes in the past. Yeah, if you weren’t there when we rolled it up, Grieg used to live in Redwulf, but he took part in several revolutions that got him labeled a revolutionist and had an insanely large price put on his head. Luckily no one in our party is driven by avarice because if they were Grieg probably would have been sold out. Instead we gathered supplies and headed for the tower to take it down before the forces inside could overwhelm the Redwulf army and create an undead legion.
Real quick let’s revisit Caitlin who is now back to being a normal elf. She has continued trying to pray to Bahamut since reverting, but communicating with the Platinum Dragon has been a difficult ordeal for the former first-born due to (most likely) magical interference from Tiamat’s influence. Eventually she did manage to contact Bahamut so that she could show him her new condition. Bahamut was weary on the gem and instructed her not to let anyone remove the gem, or else it would likely kill her. Instead she would need to visit him in his realm and he would remove the device, but until then she’d have to survive as she was. Finally he told her that the party was faring well, but one of her loved one’s was not doing so well. Before he could reveal who, the meeting abruptly ended as Tiamat became aware of it. The High Cleric came down and destroyed the makeshift holy symbol with conviction. In response, Caitlin fashioned a makeshift chisel and began carving prayers to Bahamut on the walls which again prompted the High Cleric to come down to her cell and restore the wall to normal. Caitlin, in response, went back to carving her prayers on the wall as she refused to be broken by these fiends. Until he physically prevents her from opposing him, either by strapping her to a table or breaking all of her bones, the High Cleric is going to have to get used to Caitlin being a bitch.
In another attempt to assist the party Caitlin asked the Demon Baron to send a message to her friends with the remaining locations of the towers and indication that Caitlin was alright. He agreed, and at this point Caitlin is beginning to sincerely trust the Baron. However she will not follow along with his plan. In three months time (two months have passed since), Caitlin is to be taken from the Demon Baron’s Tower to the Realm of Chaos where Tiamat resides as she is become the new second-born of Tiamat. However the Demon Baron’s plan relies on him sending someone else in Caitlin’s place which she adamantly refuses to happen. As it is should the party not arrive in time, she will be heading to Auntie Tiamat’s, and honestly I totally want that to happen as that will be one interesting family reunion.
Switching back to the party, our heroes are greeted in the night by a mysterious messenger bringing them a map of the area. On it are six marks. Two Xs that seem to indicate the towers still standing, three Xs in squares where the demolished towers once stood, and a circle around the area where Vante’s Tower stands. This circle is the most troubling aspect, but a message on the back indicated that while Caitlin was safe, she wouldn’t remain that way for long. This added pressure spurred the party to put this curious marking behind them for the moment and instead head towards the tower closest to them.
This new establishment was different from the past towers in that this was a complex with two towers separated by a small building. On the left tower we could see the standard white orb of evil land destroying, but the right tower had a brand new blue orb. We decided to scout the place out to investigate, but before doing so Dhother received a vision from Corellon. In his vision Corellon stood naked before he jumped on a surfboard. He flew around in a circle for several moments before a tower grew in the center of his rotation. He then landed, pointed at the tower and said “I just had lunch today”. Verbatim. I do wonder how Dhother keeps his sanity in these situations considering the company he keeps.
Taking that new information into account, we attacked. First we went after the right tower to discover what the blue orb might do, and after a quick encounter outside we came upon a hideous mass of assorted goblin parts. This was a very difficult encounter as this mass of parts has to have close to 450 HP. None of our characters are insanely high damage dealers at the moment, so bringing this mass down took quite some time. Luckily our rolls were hot pretty much the entire encounter, and the mass rolled rather poorly so we escaped without too much lost. As we discovered the blue orb seemed to be some type of incubation beam that was growing the mass—likely until it was large enough to stomp all over the Redwulf army. By stopping it now we prevented a potential future travesty! Go Team Us!
The second tower was filled with shadow monsters, and before anyone suggests I make Smoke Monster references, understand that already happened in Dethklok so I got out my LOST fanboy-ism there. These smoke monsters were actually freaking beastly and nearly wiped out depleted resources. We got lucky again with some great rolls, and discovered all the monsters were linked together as one. Just when Dhother and Jonn got hit with an attack that dominated them, Dahl lot loose a final blow that killed all the monsters at once. Following that we weakened the support of the white orb, and then took it out from afar destroying nearly half of the complex. What remained of the forces was quickly taken out by the Redwulf Army, and we, the Toothpick Brigade, were hailed as the heroes of Redwulf. With only one tower left to destroy, our party approached what may finally be the climactic showdown with the Demon Baron! Only time will tell, but stayed tuned viewers as next week promises to be exciting!
Images credited to Kluu, Sighter, and DarkVolt.
Until next time, Namaste!