The Weaver of Tapestries

The Fifth Session; Caves of Chaos

August 6, 2013

Did I ever tell you about the time the party used suicide bombers that were zombies strapped with explosives and holy water and sent them into an evil temple? No? Well…

The party picked up where they left off, cowering in the Myconid cave. They knew they had three potential leads: the mysterious traps in the swamps to the south, the Hidden Temple in the Caves, and going after the spider buried in the Myconid cave. A quick look at the entrance to the hidey-hole in the Myconid cave proved that Ingrid’s shield had collapsed the tunnel completely, so that was ruled out. Zaphael, who is both a mage and an alchemist, along with Richter, the new thief, wanted to go to the swamps to collect some sulfur anyway. They had a plan to develop some gunpowder for some makeshift dynamite….cause….ya never know. Everyone reasoned that dynamite might come in handy in the Caves, so off to the swamp we went.

Or tried.

On the way, the party got ambushed by two leucrotta. One directly ahead and one directly behind. Robert, son of Paul and Tharsis turned to engage the leucrotta at the rear. Zaphael cast Levitate and promptly sent the front leucrotta skyward. After a brief pause to consider that, everyone else engaged the leucrotta to the rear. It was laid waste in short order. Once the levitating leucrotta drifted up to 100 feet, it was released and made a very big splat. Graceful? No. But let that be a lesson to all the other leucrotta!

Upon exploring the swamps to the south, a boulder fall-trap is discovered. The party hastily creates a fake corpse and hides and sets off the trap. The plan was to ambush the ambush site. We set off the trap, wait for whatever made the trap to come by and then ambush them. However, we got ambushed while ambushing the ambush site. The kobolds (by the way, it was kobolds) ended up behind our ambush position and basically walked right up to us. Figuring that plan very quickly went to crap, the Tharsis the priest and Iomhar the ranger engage the kobolds with some hasty negotiations.

A deal was struck in which Tharsis, Robert and Iomhar would go back to the Keep, get a mule and a wagon, load it down with alcoholic goodies and bring it back to bribe the kobolds to behave, to leave the humans in the area alone, and to consider the swamps to be their cozy little reservation until such time as we could clear the Caves out. Meanwhile, Zaphael and Richter went about collecting their sulfur. After all was said and done, back to the Keep it was in order to inform the Castellan of the Keep of the deal we had struck and the obligations of the truce.

However…

Tharsis, feeling wicked good about his negotiation skills, runs into two of Mendel’s gaurds and Mouse, the Halfling thief we almost killed last week, in the tavern. Mendel, you might recall, is the merchant in charge of the caravan that got us here in the first place, and the secret evil slave trader behind the slave trading going on in and around the Caves of Chaos. Well, unfortunately, he was accompanied by Richter, our thief, who suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome. Zaphael was upstairs trying to prepare the gunpowder, while Ingrid, Robert and Iomhar were coming back from securing the wagon and mule and passing on the relevant information to the Keep. Things turned south really fast.

Richter’s Tourette’s kicked into high gear, and sure enough, a fight broke out. Mendel’s guards started to attack, so Tharsis tried to stop them with a Hold Person spell. Mouse stole Tharsis’ holy symbol and slips out the door. The Hold Person spell worked nicely, too…except for the fact that Mendel and about a dozen more bodyguards showed up at exactly that moment. Mouse was out there with them.

Tharsis cast Charm Person on one of the guards being held, a female. She failed her save and Tharsis tried to send her out to negotiate with Mendel, who was demanding the release of his guards. Otar (the charmed female) failed terribly at negotiations, but excelled at her use of a bola. Thus, the fight breaks out, OK Corral-style.

Most of the party retreats to the tavern and tries to barricade it. Mendel and Mouse, the Halfling thief are about 40 yards away. Iomhar darts upstairs and alerts Zaphael to the situation. Iomhar and Zap take positions by second floor windows looking down on the fracas. The guards in front start trying to break down the door. The guards in the rear pull out their crossbows. Mendel starts casting a spell.

Roll for initiative, baby!

Zap comes up with a 6 and leads off with Glitterdust and centers it on Mendel. It works and Mendel, who was casting invisible, managed to turn invisible, but was still covered with gold dust…and blinded. Iomhar started firing off arrows. Tharsis’ charmed guard started laying waste with her bolas. Mendel’s guards with the crossbows start firing at Zap and Iomhar.

The guards at the door break in and go after Tharsis, Ingrid, Robert and Richter. It is a mistake. The party gets the upper hand quickly and tears them a new ass. Ingrid in particular rolls a critical hit and massive damage. The DM decides that she basically severed the guy’s head and all limbs in a single, mighty blow. Morale checks are failed miserably by 5 or 6 guards, who run away, peeing their pants. The party spills out into the street.

Iomhar gets some good hits on Mendel, and Tharsis’ charmed guard drops him with yet another awesome bola shot. Several more guards are dropped and Mendel is killed as well. Mouse is finally laid waste and suddenly the Keep Watch shows up. Tharsis against puts those negotiation (and lying) skills to the test and gets us out of trouble and gets the remaining guards arrested and held for questioning. We also get the keys to Mouse’s shop and Mendel’s caravan. We loot our little hearts out.

During the looting, Richter, OUR thief, finds Tharsis’ holy symbol on the corpse of Mouse, and for reasons no one quite gets, refuses to give it back to the priest. Negotiations quickly collapse into a brawl until finally Richter gives the holy symbol back after taking a beating. I’ll never understand rogues.

So the truce meeting with the kobolds was so well received that the kobolds rewarded the party with a surprisingly well drawn map of the Caves, where they had previously resided, and where the party was determined to go. A study of the map leads to a bizarre plan to assault the Hidden Temple at the heart of this whole mess. Rather than grind it out, an insane guerilla tactic is settled on. Zombie suicide bombers!

Iomhar and Richter cook up a plan on how to assault the caves. It involves a lot of explosions and mayhem, which suits the party fine. The chances of success are slim, which also suits the party fine. However, Tharsis chimes in with “Why don’t we have Zap use his Amulet of Undead Control to control some zombies, strap them down with the explosives Richter and Zap made, load them down with all of my holy water, and march them into the temple and set them off?”

We all sat there silently for a few minutes. Could it work? Would it work?

HELL YEAH!

So, we approach the Caves and find a fresh batch of rotting zombies. A quickly roll on the attempt to control undead and we get them all; six of them. We hold 4 back as bodyguards and set 2 up as suicide holy bombers and march them in, using the map as a guide. We also load them down with as much fragmentation as we can in the form of copper, silver and electrum pieces along with the holy water. They march in and explode…after a few moments of calculating and dice rolling and ponderous looks from the DM, it is decided that the explosion as a catastrophic success. The suicide zombie bombers wiped out 62 undead in the temple! That’s the good news.

The bad news? The flesh golem, owlbear, remaining dozen zombies and the Necromancer coming from behind.

A massive fight was had. Zap cast Darkness 15’ radius on the flesh golem’s two heads…one of which was the head of our former party member, Koyten. Iomhar, Robert and Ingrid set to work on the zombies. The Necromancer and the owlbear were at the rear, so we had a moment or two. The flesh golem threw a flask of flaming oil at the priest, who, it turns out, is flammable. A stop, drop and roll took care of that. Richter lands a backstab and runs off to disappear again. Zap hits the flesh golem with a Chromatic Orb, blinding it again. Richter lands another backstab. The Necromancer and owlbear close in.

On the other side, Ingrid and Robert land some of their best rolls in the adventure yet. Ingrid rolled like….a dozen 20s during the night, most of them in this fight. Zombie parts flew everywhere…and then she rolled two 1s in a row, yet again mangling herself.

Iomhar and his pet cat cleaned up the last few zombies, while everyone else focused on the flesh golem. Robert landed some good rolls and dropped the flesh golem, including decapitating Koyten’s head…again. The owlbear came in fast and the Necromancer cast a Fireball that nearly dusted us. The priest ended up unconscious from the damage he sustained, Richter, Iomhar and Zaphael were all at less than 50%. Ingrid acted quickly and poured a Potion of Healing down Tharsis’ throat to keep him from dying.

Robert and Richter kept hitting hard while Zap cast invisibility and back away since he lost about 50% of his hit points with that facefull of Fireball, and sent the zombies under his control to attack. An ugly and bloody fight soon ends with the owlbear, golem, Necromancer and zombies all dead.

Knowing that there is still a lot of undead and other unsavory types around, the party grabs Koyten’s head and the corpse of the Necromancer and run away back to the Keep to search them and split the loot.

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