Last night was definitely the longest session of D&D I have ever run. We started at about 7:30, and didn’t wrap up until something like 2:30 in the morning…
For anyone who actually reads my play reports, there’ve been plenty of sessions between my last one and now, but I haven’t had the time or energy to actually write them. But here is a small summary of the month between now & then:
–Louiee was slain by the Medusa in the Delve; he was later resurrected by Eequor, Blue Lady of Dismay.
–Ishtal, Servant of Thor, was slain defending his comrades from a horde of undead in the Delve, and a doppleganger which had taken Louiee’s form.
–Wren the Unpronounceable died to a cockatrice’s claw (it was a freakishly unlucky critical hit)
–Helios & Celedur (Wren’s & Ishtal’s replacements) faced werebears and demon-summoners, and won.
–Buddy the Bard was cleaved in half by a minotaur.
–Magic was banned in the lands east of the river (the Taril province)
Tonight, our fine heroes venture further down into the Delve than any man ever has…to the shores of the Black Lake itself!
-Celedur, elvish frost mage
-Helios, cleric from the temples of Freyja
-Marley, a weak but sexy elvish druid
-Louiee, servant of Eequor
-Lendai, sneak-thief extraordinaire (this player’s first game ever)
Our heroes descended into the depths; the Delve was eerily quiet and empty. They passed the site of Buddy’s death, and met up with two wild Tuatara lizards. Lendai won initiative, and one-shotted a Tuatara through the eye (first kill = one-shot!!). The other was quickly dispatched. Our heroes ventured down the steps, and found themselves on the shore of the Black Lake.
The first place they found was a sandy cave off the edge of the shore: a half-dead elf was tied up on the sand, between a pair of huge stone doors and a dark opening. After interrogating the elf (he was tied up by troglodytes to be given to the ogres), they trapped the door and made some noise. The ogres, unfortunately, came from the other direction. Two of them were quickly killed. More came looking for their friends; Lendai tripped them with oil and set them on fire. The rest of the ogres were covered in boiling oil, a web, and some half-cooked rats. Treasure was found and our heroes rejoiced.
Still worried about the doors, our heroes crept further around the shore, where they’d heard voices. They were ambushed by three troglodytes, who cut up Lendai’s eyes and legs. After they were dispatched, Marley (a cunning strategist, it turned out) planned a pincer manoeuvre: Helios, Celedur & Lendai would play dead behind the entrance, while Louiee & Marley attracted the trogs’ attention. It worked. With only minor injuries, our heroes dispatched all but one of the trogs, which fled into the second cavern, only to be sliced in half by Louiee while cowering in a corner.
Fearful that the dragon would be up the stairs nearby, our heroes returned to cave (where the elf was still tied up), and started forcing the doors open. They were locked, and between Helios & Louiee, it took a good twenty minutes. On the other side, four trogs were waiting. Two attacked, while the others ran for help. The first two were dispatched with ease by Helios & Louiee. The twelve or so who came around the corner got completely destroyed by an iceball from Celedur. There was more fighting – some trogs rode on Tuataras, while the King and his bodyguards fought to the last. But our heroes won in the end, and left with a suit of plate +2, more +1 arrows, a +2 longsword, more than two dozen fine gems & almost 10000gp.
Marley decided to summon a bear for help, while the others rode to Sholar, where they proceeded to sell as much of their loot as they could (to level up before they faced the dragon). Louiee levelled up in the middle of the jeweller’s shop. Eequor reduced his stats, gave him a second pair of eyes, and demanded BLOOD!!! unless he wanted to be smote. Louiee left the shop and quickly murdered three random passers-by and licked the blood from the blade [note: he is chaotic evil, like his deity, so it’s not at all out of character]. With the guard hot on their heels, our heroes split up & fled. Louiee got an invisibility potion, while Helios drank a polymorph potion & turned into a spider. It was close, but they managed to escape. The party was understandably annoyed with Louiee at this point (and Louiee was annoyed at Eequor, though he could do little about it).
Returning to the bottom of the Delve, our heroes prepared to fight the dragon. They spent quite some time buffing themselves – debating who would get barkskins, who would get protection from fire or resist fire, etc. In the end, it didn’t matter too much. The dragon was a black one, who breathed acid. After finding the dragon’s ample horde, our heroes sent an illusion of armed men into the lair. The dragon breathed on it, and dispelled it. Our heroes charged in – Celedur unleashed an iceball, the dragon acid-breathed them before Helios could activate their forcefield, and then Louiee stepped up and killed it with one shot (he had striking on him, as well as a potion of giant strength in his system, so he dealt 21 damage per hit). It was a decidedly anticlimactic battle.
After dealing with some horde-snakes that rose out of the pile of coins, and Lendai got poisoned by one of the two chests, our heroes hired men to carry the treasure out. It took two whole days. By that time, Marley had gone to the nearest town and bought a cart & two draft horses, and acquired the services of a tanner to skin the dragon. Our heroes skinned the dragon for all it was worth – the brain, the heart, teeth, hide, bones, claws, etc… When they got back to Sholar, they arranged for a dragon-claw dagger, two dragon-bone staves (one as a weapon, one as a vessel for spells), a set of dragon-leather armour, a set of dragon-scale armour & a necklace of dragon teeth to be made (all details here). Then, after managing to convince the High Lord Malor himself to buy their jewellery for 20000gp, our heroes took the head of Dulwin the Wyrm to Ravolox, where they were awarded with parades, feasts, and the Lesser Province of Keldor, by the eastern mountains.
Lendai’s player thoroughly enjoyed himself. I mean, in his first game of D&D, he one-shotted in his first combat, he faced a dragon without dying, and levelled up, with something like 8000gp to his name, not to mention a share in Keldor.
The swiftness of the dragon fight disappointed me. They did go in with lots of buffs on, though. I suppose if I’d really wanted to make it tricky, I would have sent Dulwin out when they were still fighting the trogs on the shore, and have the other trogs come running. Then the battle would have been seven different flavours of epic (if anyone had survived, that is). Well, we live and learn.
It’ll be interesting to see what kinds of things the party gets up to in their new land.