August 20, 2013
The sixth session of the party’s adventures in and around the Caves of Chaos were the most combat intensive yet.
The party picked up back at Kendall Keep healing up after the last session. While there, healing up and restocking, they found that the merchant caravan of Rocknose Hammerstaff had arrived and offered an opportunity to do some wheelin’ and dealin’. The party also learned that in three days, the Keep population will be celebrating the Autumn Festival. That gave the party 3 days to kill until the festival started. And what does our beloved party do with 3 days to kill? Why, kill, of course!
The party heads back to the cave entrance where we had previously assaulted the Hidden Temple, taking a real beating in the process. We get back to the cave entrance and find that it has now been partially barricaded by a makeshift stone wall with maybe a half dozen goblin archers behind it. Iomhar and Richter move into tactical positions on the flanks, while Robert and Ingrid close in for a frontal assault. Zaphael and Tharsis move up behind them.
A conversation is had on which is the best approach to take in dismantling this defense, which is quickly trumped by Richter, who felt a stick of dynamite would probably do the trick. He was right. A quick move through the rocks bits and goblin goo and we were back in the caves.
We moved down the hallway where it comes to a T-section. A quick look down both ends reveals identical barricades in both directions, creating a deadly killzone for the party to step into. Iomhar picked up a rock and Zaphael cast Darkness 15’ Radius on it. Iomhar tossed it down the hall in front of one of the barricades, blinding the goblin archers on that end. Robert, Ingrid and Tharsis headed down the opposite end to engage the goblins there. Iomhar and his pet mountain lion headed towards the barricade that was blinded by the Darkness spell to engage them. Richter remained outside, and using his magical snake, worked it’s way past the barricade by Iomhar to scout out what lay beyond.
Turns out, what lay beyond both barricades was a second string of zombies and a priest on each end. The first few rounds of combat pass with the party rolling very well and slicing through most of the goblins. One particularly stout goblin (later revealed to be a goblin king….who looked nothing like David Bowie….and also was not a level 20 Illusionist) ran into Robert “The Meatgrinder”. Robert in two swings dropped the goblin king to 1 hit point, who retreated back to the priest for a quick heal.
Zaphael, who remained in the first hallway, hears the sounds of something trying to sneak up behind the party by slipping in the entrance they had used. The DM also mentioned that is sounded “big”! Deducing that sneaky + big + behind us is bad, cast Dark Mirror on himself and slipped down the hallway to stand in the middle of the Darkness 15’ Radius spell area and wait to see what was coming up behind them.
Iomhar and his cat easily held their own against the first barricade, and Tharsis with Ingrid began to move back his way after cleaning the goblin and zombie goo off of themselves. They ran face-first into the big, sneaky thing…which happened to be a 9’ troll. They engage the troll, but after a single round (in which the troll got a pretty good hit on both Ingrid and Tharsis), Zaphael cast Lubricity under the troll, putting all three squarely on their butts. The priest popped out and cast Hold Person on Ingrid…to which Tharsis replied by casting Charm Person on the priest. Failed saving throws all around (except for the troll) and a very different situation was presenting itself. The troll would be free in one round and the party not free for two rounds. Also, the Lubricity spell separated everyone from everyone else. Zaphael cast Slow on the troll to flip the odds, and the troll failed his saving throw.
Tharsis and his new best buddy priest swung the undead to our side while Ingrid, Zaphael and Robert finished off the troll. Richter slipped by everyone and ducked into a secret door that led to the treasury for the temple. While Richter very quietly looted his heart out, Zaphael literally cut the heart out of the troll and saved it for future alchemical experiments. Iomhar, the cat, Ingrid and our new zombie and priest allies pressed the attack against the second waves of skeletons and zombies on that side of the hallway. Richter came screaming and yelling out of the hidden treasury with some sort of shiny slime on himself. He makes it halfway down the hallway before he drops to the ground, paralyzed.
Tharsis tries to scrape the slime off of Richter, only to find out that it is not a slime, but more of an amoeba-like monster (Invisible Tracker or something) which attaches itself to him, attacking him now. Zaphael cast Levitate on the slime and lifted it above everyone and out of range for it to fight back. A few oils, Magic Missiles from the wand and a few friendly zombie attacks and the slime is dead…and quickly scraped into a bottle for future use.
The other end of the hallway is finally subdued, due in large part to good rolls and creative shield bashing from Robert, Iomhar and Ingrid and the halls are quelled. Tharsis learns from the charmed priest that there are two high priests who are not here at the moment and few zombies left cleaning the place up from the previous session’s explosive mayhem. Tharsis cleverly manipulates the priest while the party stealthily cleans out the temple’s treasury. The party, with all of their goodies and a priest in tow, head back to the myconid cave to rest and heal up. A debate is had over what to do with the charmed priest. Kill him? Let him go? Give him wedgies? Tharsis decides to hoodwink the poor guy a little more and sends him far away on a geas-like quest to do battle with neutrality…or something. The priest was named Wer. Remember that. If this party has proven anything, it has proven that anytime we leave a foe, they ALWAYS show up later.
The party rests for a day and decides to head out back to the Keep to attend the Autumn Festival. However, as they attempt to exit the myconid caves, they are confronted with what appears to be the two missing high priests, 5 minotaur bodyguards and a contingent of hobgoblins behind them, very OK Corral-style.
So what happened…..? Tune in for our next session!