2008-03-09 Drakthar

Our Shackled City DM James reports:

We had an interesting session last Sunday, not too much intrigue or diplomacy, but an journey through the jungle, the rescue of some slaves, and the destruction of a mad Derro, seeking to resurect the cult of Drakthar.

The morning following the massed Goblinoid attack was pretty peaceful, and became interesting when it was interupted by the arrival of Alec Tercival and Fario Ellegoth. Alec and Fario explained that they had been scouting the area, looking for the source of the Goblinoid problems, though they knew nothing about the temple shown on the map. Alec had heard rumours of a Goblin training camp North West in the jungle, and proposed exploring further in that direction, the group agreed that two scouting missions would be useful, to identify what the best option was, Alec and one group would go to the Goblin camp, and the rest of the party would go check out the temple. Borg and Zacharias said they thought they would see more action checking the camp, rather than a crumbling old temple, so they elected to go with Alec. Rhysalis, Aria, Fenyal and Wim chose to explore the site of the temple.

Before they left, Iruth Mercud explained that as the guard was at only 1/2 strength, following the disappearance of Kallev and Chorlyndyr plus five other gaurds, he was unable to offer any additional people to assist the party.

Setting off on the journey through the hostile jungle, the party was surprised about how difficult the conditions were (though most people made their Fortutiude save for heat exhaustion...) and were even more surprised by the attack of two Giant Crocodiles. Luckily some early blows from Rhysalis cause one croc to loose heart and run off, and the other exploded following a critical spell from Fenyal, otherwise the outcome could have been quite different.

The rest of the journey passed uneventfully, and the party found itself creaping up on a the temple, which Fenyals familiar told them was far from disused and uninhabited.

After skulking about for a fair bit, the party drew some of the Bugbear and Hobgoblin guards away from the camp, and attacked them. The goblinoids got reinforcements, and the party was about to make a tacktical retreat, when the slaves made a poorly timed attempt to escape. Rather than watch the slaughter of the slaves, the party rejoined the battle and were ultimatly victorious.

On questioning the slaves, the party found out that something nasty was living in the temple. They chose to return to Achet, rather than confront the evil boss.

They part brough the rescued slaves back to Achet, and rejoined to discuss the situation with Alec and Fario.

Alec explained that they had found a large Goblin camp in the jungle, but was most interested to hear about the nast creature in the temple. Over many beers, and much discussion a decision was made to make a double assault, one group to destroy the temple, another to destroy the camp. Alec agreed to join the temple raid, since he had some experience of Demons, and Iruth offered to reinforce the camp raid, since it offered the chance of ending, or at least reducing the Goblin menace for some time.

The party made their way back to the temple site, and after suitable buffing, whent into the temple, to be greated by a mad Derro, and a bearded deamon. Although tough, and long, the battle in the temple was untimatly a straight forwards brawl, the Derro was too crazy to make good use of its spells, and Alec and Rhysalis did good work tag-teaming the Demon. Fire support from Fenyal and healing from Aria made sure that the end was inevitable.

With the death of the Derro, the evil in the temple faded, and the threat in the region reduced dramatically.

So an ending to Drakthar... or someone trying to pretend to be Drakthar anyway. That will be the end of that then... maybe...

I have awarded 40% exp to Borg and Zacharias. They fought goblins in the Jungle with Alec and Fario, but it was risk free, and I do not want people to get too far behind.

Before the next session, there are choices...

If the party chooses, you could catch up on the raid on the goblin camp, which would be a big long fight, or you can choose to return to Cauldron. You do not have to choose now, but if you let me know your interests, I can plan better. So choice 1: Lets go back to Cauldron quickly, and pick up the main quest choice 2: Lets raid the goblins, and maybe investigate further about Drakthar and what is sturing up the goblins.

Choice 1 takes you back to cauldron, with no real issues, we pick up where you left off. Choice 2 takes us away from Shackled city, and certainly makes you too high level to do some of the early Cauldron chapters.

Please let me know..,

After last session, exp stands as:

Aria 11215 (level up to 5)
Borg 7685 (level up to 4)
Fenyal 11215 (level up 5)
Zacharias 8885 (bad luck, no level)
Wim 10190 (level up to 5)
Rhysalis Eina 9600 (level up to 4)

We will discuss loot at the next session...



I really enjoyed the last session: fighting hobgoblins and bugbears (yay favored enemy bonus!), sneaking around (I really need to boost my Move Silently), and tense moments of the battle to free the slaves.

Scariest moment: The giant crocodiles. I thought for sure one of us was going to get dragged underwater.

Coolest moment: Once again, Fenyael does all the dirty work, while us melee-types goof off :-P The critical hit with the Scorching Ray was very, very nice, and came at a very good time.

Most surprising moment: That Drakthar was not a vampire. My D&D meta-sense was tingling something fierce, but in retrospect the evidence also fits a derro very well. I really liked that touch.

OOTS moment: I now feel Vaarsuvius’s pain, with a fragile animal companion that appears and disappears when I remember/forget it. Not sure if the poor little guy is going to tag along with me for very long, though...

– Adrian 2008-03-17 16:47 UTC

I really need to turn Rhysalis into the party tank. As soon as possible I’ll have to arrange for enchanted full plate armor... :)

AlexSchroeder 2008-03-18 01:01 UTC

I thought Rhysalis was all about the elvishness. Fenyael would tell her that the best armor around is elven chain – not clunky and ugly like plate mail, but light, strong, and very stylish!

– Adrian 2008-03-18 07:08 UTC

Indeed, indeed. I guess that’s why Rhysalis went for a chain shirt. And now she’s wearing what—a piece of big ugly heavy chain mail that slows her down. :'(

Eventually, however, we’ll have to think about our effectiveness. Borg will be the well armored tank, specially if he goes into the dwarven defender prestige class. Rhysalis was to be the diplomatic person. But without Borg Rhysalis is forced into the tank role and she doesn’t have the AC to go along with that.

I’m torn on the issue. :)

AlexSchroeder 2008-03-18 11:41 UTC

Ah, effectiveness. I daresay that Wim leans decidedly towards less than effective side of the spectrum – a gnome (strike 1) ranger with a low Wisdom (strike 2) that is going to take the Horizon Walker (strike 3) prestige class. It is a wonder he’s made it to 5th level :-)

It is hard to keep the AC high enough to make it worth it – a mithral plate and shield dwarven defender, or a duelist are exceptions. You either have to pour all your resources into getting a high AC (best armor + Dex bonus combo, magic items, feats), or focus solely on damage-dealing, since the faster the monster dies, the fewer times it can hit you.

– Adrian 2008-03-18 13:23 UTC

In my Monday group we have Fäm who regularly walks around with AC 29 and often brings it up to 36 using defensive fighting and what not. It’s pretty impressive...

But I’m also fine with not being all that effective and placing all my hope in the DM. Perhaps I should resist the little powergamer in me that is struggling to come out... ;)

AlexSchroeder 2008-03-18 14:09 UTC

No, come to the powergaming dark side. Absurd ACs, overpowered combinations, and ridiculous damage awaits you...

– Adrian 2008-03-18 14:26 UTC

Yes yes yes, I can’t agree more to the point that Borg needs a better armor! Just wanted to say it all the time, but thanks Rhysalis ;-) Eventually he could need some help with buffs, since the dwarven defender is not much more than a rock (being totaly stationary)

– Mircea 2008-03-18 17:45 UTC

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