Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Turn Behind the Screen, Part IV

It has been awhile since I have updated my current run as DM. I guess that it has been going so well that I haven’t felt the need to regale you all with tales of it. We left our players in the first of 4 crystal towers, fighting both the undead and living enemies.

The players learned quickly about dealing with the mindless undead. They swiftly set up gauntlets for the skeletons and zombies so that they could destroy them with limited risk. The party suffered their worst injuries so far in a battle with three shadows. Soon after that an encounter with a wraith left the party seriously imperiled. I am starting to think that stat damage is a deal breaker at low levels. The party was having some trouble and no way of recovering the strength damage.

The party did subdue an orc in their battles. He confirmed their suspicions about there being multiple groups battling for control of the towers. The orc was helpful until the party started arguing and discussing how they would kill him. In a last courageous effort the orc yelled his defiance and attacked only to die under the repeated blows of our heroes. Once the orc died and the stairway issue was resolved (There was some confusion on my part as I read a stairway incorrectly and thought they party had reached the top level. That was swiftly remedied), the party moved to the next level. To their surprise they ran into a grizzly bear and his Thorn master. A battle ensued and even with prep time the thorn had a disappointing run, firing sleep arrows past the bear and into the party. Sadly, the heroes hit by the thorn’s arrows were immune to sleep. The bear was defeated and after some rule checks and die rolls, for battling while standing on top of the bear, the thorn was also defeated.

By examinaing the corpses they discovered that the thorn was twisted by evil magic as was the grizzly bear. Inside the room the party found a half finished wood font, fey runes inscribed on the rim, a saucer like bowl of dark wood leaned against it. The party used their knowledge of the arcane (and everything else they could roll for) to attempt to determine the nature of the liquid in the font. As close as their studies could bring them was that a positive energy and possible healing powers infused the water. The chosen guinea pig (elf fighter) used the bowl and drank a dose of the water, lo and behold damage was healed and the earlier stat damage was repaired. Even with that timely blessing there seemed to be more to that mystical water then has been discovered. The party dosed themselves and packed the remaining liquid into bottles with the arcanist (read Warmage) remembering to refill the font before they left the thorns chambers.

The party had a little difficulty with a party of well disciplined and highly trained orcs in their next encounter. The rear members of the orc band threw javelins over the head of the front line attackers with the Orc Sergeant bellowed and bolstered their moral. The running battle took two rooms and drew reinforcements from a third area. The battle was done and the party looked around and realized the first tower was cleared with only a prisoner left to interrogate. The orc prisoner, scared to the point of pissing himself, answered any question placed to him. The party was able to put more names to their foes and the elves finally recognized the name of the their undead enemy. Childhood stories flashed through their memories and visions of an evil elven spellcaster, that killed his own noble family with his heinous experiments haunted their thoughts.

After coup de' grace-ing the orc, the party was left looking at a bridge that the living creatures were defending; they found themselves deeply in need of a rest before moving forward. During the last combat the Elf fighter noticed a hidden door and the party went to explore. Looking into this room, it was stocked with rations and water, apparently the towers original occupants had found a way to store food for long periods of time without spoiling. The party searched the room and hiding their tracks behind them they moved into the large storage room. The door secured the party took to eating, recovering and preparing for the battles ahead.

As they rested dreams of a three eyed, three armed, three handed, three fingered creature disturbed the party’s cleric/healer. The visions of the three cold eyes over a gaping maw was enough for him to inform the rest of the party of the possible threat. The party did not know if this was a warning from the cleric’s god or a spell cast by their enemies to confound them and make them fearful. Secure in their courage and faith they moved forward crossing the bridge to the new tower the visions of evil beings lingered in the back of their minds.

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