Sorry guys– once again it’s been quite a month, and we’ve only gotten two sessions out in the last four weeks. So…here’s our recap!
After the resolution of the murder situation back in Elbat Dnuor, the party headed out west yet again towards the Hooktongue Slough– there was still the unresolved map location that Noruas the Gunslinger found on her father’s map of the Stolen Lands! A few days of travel brought them to the aforementioned area south of Lake Hooktongue, where a bit of exploration brought them to their destination! The party moved closer to the cave, taking a look at the area– several broken-down wagons, some overturned, were littered around the entrance of this area. Noises were issuing from the cave mouth in a language that only Gavriil the Arcanist and Eneko the Cavalier/Bard could understand– they were speaking Giant! While the first three party members began to approach the cave, Elysia the Ranger decided to hang back with her wolf Tyr, keeping her distance and remaining suspicious.
A shouted greeting from Noruas drew attention from inside; a moment later, a large Hill Giant, similar in size and stature to the Gunslinger’s friend Munduk, emerged from the darkness. Noruas attempted to make nice to it– with Gavriil translating– and offered the Hill Giant some of her mead. The giant, for his part, took the mead– and then decided that playing nice was no longer any fun, and took a swipe at her! A fight was on, and many more hill giants emerged from the cave in short order! One of them was almost two feet taller than the others, with a wicked-looking spiked club that he swung about wildly, charging into the fray with a wild roaring shout of glee! While the party began dismantling their foes, this Hill Giant Chieftan rushed up to the three party members clumped together and grabbed Duke Eneko– then proceeded to use the Bard as a bludgeon to smash into the rest of the party!
After a few rounds of ‘smash the Bard,’ the chieftan was shot down, though not before Eneko was smashed into a bloody unconscious pulp. Not long after that, the Hill Giants were defeated, with one running away after deciding that the fight wasn’t worth the gain. The group managed to salvage several interesting items off of the chieftan, including a magical black dragonhide armor, and the insides of their cave was littered with goods and supplies that could be taken back to the kingdom and sold for three BP!
With that fight settled, and no clue as to why its location was marked on the map, the party set off to the south once again, in order to map more of the Slough. A few days later, and they came across a patch of interesting lilies– which were identified as being the rare and valuable Azure Lily! Five of them grew in a patch, and Gavriil, being the upstart gardener that he is, made it his mission to carefully uproot and prepare these plants for transport back to the capital, where he would attempt to replant them to grow more! Noruas also prepared some special ingredients from what she could find around her in order to preserve some of the lilies for alchemical purposes, in order to sell them for gold.
Unfortunately, Gavriil wasn’t fully brushed up on his knowledge of the plants– as he quickly learned, even the slightest disturbance of their petals would send a cloud of dangerous pollen into the air! Though the first lily’s pollen was mostly avoided, and the second sent him into coughing fits for a few minutes before he recovered, the third lily he attempted to carefully uproot sent a spray of pollen directly into his face! An instinctive inhalation quickly caused issues, as he felt his body begin to stiffen up– fortunately for the Arcanist, Eneko was able to save the day by focusing Gavriil’s attention upon the Bard’s words, giving him an inner strength and allowing a re-roll of the saving throw. After that however, it was determined that perhaps Noruas would do better at excavating the flowers, to give Gavriil a break. As it turned out, Noruas didn’t fare much better; the next flower spat pollen into her face which she shrugged off, while she lost her balance taking care of the final lily and fell face-first into the plant, crushing it! (let’s hear it for natural ones!) Fortunately, even though she got a face-full of pollen, she refrained from breathing it in, sticking her head in a nearby pool of stagnant water to wash it away.
With that fiasco over with, the party set out once again, slowly making their way back towards the capital in order to plant the three transplanted plants they had remaining. The course they set took them through much uncharted territory, with the plan being that they could explore new ground while also moving back home! A few days later the group had a new encounter, this time with none other than….BOG MUMMIES!
The Bog Mummies turned out to be much more of a challenge for our party than I thought they would be, and came close to giving us a TPK– the closest that they’ve been since fighting the army of trolls all by themselves a few months back. Three of the four party members were paralyzed upon the reveal of the bog mummies, who rose from the swamp water to ambush the group! Only Eneko managed to make his save, and thus spent two rounds attempting to not die while his friends were constantly slammed into by the mummies. Gavriil was the first to fall, going into the negatives on the last round of his paralyzation; Eneko followed quickly after, and the remaining two characters snapped out of their fear in time to grab their companions and ride them out of the mass of undead! Noruas swooped down to take Gavriil’s body up with her, but Elysia found herself struggling to lift Eneko, and had to receive help from her companion Tyr in order to get him into the saddle. This caused Tyr to be stuck back with the mummies for a time, with naught but Eneko’s horse Taz for support!
The PC’s rallied then, with the mummies slowly shambling after the horses and attempting to slay the two animal companions. Potions and magic were used to get everyone back up on their feet, and Noruas was hit with Greater Invisibility– Gavriil’s latest spell that allowed the Gunslinger to fire with near impunity at their enemies! This turned the tide, and soon the party was victorious; even the wolf Tyr and the horse Taz managed to come out alive, though Taz did go into the negatives for a time. The party gave a collective sigh of relief at defeating these foes, and made sure to travel a good distance away from that location before making camp for the night. During their rest however, all were beset by a sickness caused from prolonged contact with the mummies earlier; fortunately enough, all but Elysia and Taz the horse managed to shrug off the fever, causing the two of them to take Constitution and Charisma damage. It was time to move on…back towards the capital!
Players, do not read!
Thanks for hanging around with me guys– I know it’s been awhile. New job and conflicting schedules has led to a lack of games and a lack of time for writing, but things should settle down here soon. That being said– I made some mistakes!
The two caves that I had told the party they found on Noruas’ map were supposed to be one filled with Hill Giants and one filled with Chuul, based upon two encounter locations on the map. But then…I mixed the two of them up, and when the PC’s arrived south of the lake I brought out the hill giant encounter! Alas, but hey, I can just swap their locations and no one will know. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a ton of fun swinging a PC around as a bludgeon– that was an impressive set of feats that the Hill Giant Chieftan comes with!
If you’ve run the two combat encounters that the group encountered in these two sessions, you might realize that I bumped it up a bit– or at least, you should realize I did so with the Hill Giants. I ended up slightly increasing the number of hill giants (but kept them at range throwing rocks, so really they didn’t do too much) and placed the Hill Giant Chieftan in the fight to make it more interesting, and that seemed to go pretty well. With the Bog Mummies (neat variants that are resistant to fire), I upped the number to seven mummies, and then buffed their paralyzing aura by ruling that the DC to resist the aura increased by one with each mummy that would affect the player. Turns out these mummies were really good at hiding, and the party rolled pretty bad on their Perception checks, and so when they were surprised almost all of the mummies were within range. So…three paralyzed party members, who became laughably easy to hit with the mummies that then swarmed. It was nice to see the group rally the way they did though– a bad start but eventually overcoming the dangers.
One final note– I had an enormous laugh at the end of the session. The Mummy Rot disease took just the ranger and the horse, but on the horse I rolled a six for Charisma damage. Eneko helpfully informed me that the poor horse was down to zero Charisma, which places it unconscious! Elysia the ranger piped up at that point, “Help! I’m ugly and I can’t get up!” Noting the ridiculous nature of having become so uncharismatic that you just fall asleep 😛
Thanks for reading guys, and hopefully we’ll be back soon with another session, in which I fully expect to get into book three finally!