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Author Topic: [4E] Golden Lady Death Song (Unquiet Grove pt II)  (Read 431 times)

Abyssal Maw

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[4E] Golden Lady Death Song (Unquiet Grove pt II)
« on: July 14, 2008, 08:19:11 am »
This weekend was the conclusion session. Because the game is run in an open format, there were some slight lineup changes.

We still had
Markol (warlord) played by Steppen
Samantha (wizard) played by Denise
Arden (rogue) played by Mark

Added in this time were
Eli (ranger) played by Robert
Dante (paladin) played by Dave

Missing were Travok and Anthony.

At the conclusion of the last session, the characters had fought off the specter of Queen Faenril and her 4 phantom guardsmen in the Unquiet Grove, and then Samantha had used her magic to reseal the shrine in an extended skill challenge.

The decision was made *not* to copy the inscription and turn the teleportation circle over to the War-Wizards.

Deonda (the local ranger) and Strongbranch the treant (both NPCs) arrive to congratulate the party on their victory. Having learned that they plan not to turn the shrine over to the War-Wizards, Strongbranch calls forth the spirit of Queen Faenril from the tree once more, only this time she isn't corrupted and hostile.

She floats out of the tree in her ghostly form and thanks the party personally. As a reward for their help, she grants each party member a spirit token that will allow them to return to the grove one more time. They will be allowed to teleport anywhere, even off-plane through here. The caveat is that the travel will be one-way, and will only work once. When the last token has been used, the shrine will be destroyed completely.

Queen Faenril returns to her tree.

Strongbranch gives directions to the camp of the Eldreth Veluuthra:

"Beyond the shrine, at the rear of the grove, you will find an overgrown, rusted gate. Beyond that is a path to a hidden part of the wood. Find your way to a cliff's edge, descend to the bottom, and walk west towards the Veluuthra camp. There, you will see the Harpy chieftain's cave. Already the Eldreth Veluuthra squabble amongst themselves, and there is talk of leaving her service."

The group re-equips and does a short rest before pressing back towards the rear of the grove, and breaking down the gate. As they pass through, Strongbranch calls the brush and trees to move back and conceal the grove entrance.

So around this time, Eli and Dante show up, and Travok and Anthony are said to have left the area for the Stonehorns.

(to be continued...)
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Abyssal Maw

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[4E] Golden Lady Death Song (Unquiet Grove pt II)
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2008, 01:07:20 pm »
The group headed down the path in the direction of the cliffs. They had some vague foreknowledge of an ancient stone staircase that descends the cliffs, or the option to rappel down the side- ultimately a 70' drop.

Wandering monster checks were made: this was noted to be an especially dangerous part of the woods.

What they ran across was.. a pair of Satyrs, who were drinking and playing music along the path. The group asked for help in finding the way down, and the satyrs slyly offered to lead them in exchange for 100 gold.

This apparently offended the paladin (Dante), who proceeded to attempt to intimidate the satyrs, (and failed).

The Satyrs suggested they follow them, anyhow, and the players suddenly realized that they may have been in danger.. prompting more threats from the paladin, including a final insult "goat boy".

(In truth, the Satyrs were leading the group towards a series of deadfalls where they hoped to rob the group, but the insult was enough to set them off. )

The satyr pulled his ocarina out and summoned the charmed Owlbear that was hidden nearby!

Rawr!

So the battle ensues, with the paladin charging at the two satyrs, while the rest of the group was nearly overwhelmed by the owlbear. The satyr rakes in 4e are VICIOUS. Able to feint and sneak attack with ease, as well as do a harrying strike where they attack, move up to 3 squares and attack again.  

The owlbear on the other hand is a real mauler. It strikes twice with it's claws and grabs an opponent, then on the ensuing round, it doesn't have to roll, it just bites for a horrible amount of damage. Markol took the brunt of the Owlbear's attack, and held it off as best as he could, but within a couple of rounds, he had been knocked unconscious and flung into a set of nearby trees. Eli quickly ended up bloodied, and Dante as well. I think nearly everyone was hurting except for Samantha near the end, who managed to stay back from most of the fighting.

One of the Satyrs was finally killed... the owlbear was beyond bloodied near the end of it. Dante was making a lot of tactical blunders and low rolls, and getting the feeling he shouldn't have picked this particular fight.

What ended it?

Well, because Arden's player was late and had just showed up, we had him arrive late to the battle along with Deonda the ranger and Strongbranch and end the battle at that point. Strongbranch separated the satyr and Dante and called for the owlbear to stop, which after a round or two, the owlbear hesitated and then shuffled away. After a moment, the battle was over and the owlbear lumbered off angrily into the forest, and the Satyr vowed revenge. Samantha was able to heal Markol just before he had to make his third "death save".

GM Note: I probably did balance that particular battle a bit too heavy: It was budgeted at 1100 xp, which was meant to be very tough for a group of five 3rd level characters. Being one person short, the players not realizing how tough the satyrs were ("we're going to fight some wussy satyrs? no big deal..") , and a series of tactical blunders and low rolls by the paladin was enough to really doom them. It could have been a 40% death for the group if I hadn't had Strongbranch show up (Markol and Dante would have been dead).

Strongbranch warned the group to be careful at this point, and offered to guard them for an extended rest.  The Satyr (Mannan Mac Liir) vowed revenge on the paladin so we worked that in as a plot point, so now there's a whole clan of satyrs out to kill him. That should be fun later.

In the morning they set off through the forest at Strongbranch's direction and quickly found the cliffs. Unfortunately they also found out that the stone staircase down.. was infested with bloodmote spiders, possibly thousands of them. They had to decide how to get down. Samantha was especially worried about the spiders.

The decision was made to rappel down the cliff face. The idea was that Arden and Dante would lower party members by rope, and then make the final climb down on their own. Arden was an especially good climber, and was able to edescend unassisted. . Dante was very careful, looped a rope around a tree, and still made it down just barely.

They made their way down the cliff ravine, towards the Eldreth Veluuthra camp.

(to be continued...)
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Abyssal Maw

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[4E] Golden Lady Death Song (Unquiet Grove pt II)
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2008, 08:43:52 am »
Fianlly they reached near he edge of the ravine. Rising up above they could see the platforms and tree-towers of the Eldreth Veluuthra camp. Down below, they could see a cave entrance guarded by a pair of Veluuthra scouts, dressed inthe hary-feather uniforms.

Grisly bones of various types lay scattered in the dust outside the cave entrance.

The group remained hidden, trying to assess the situation before moving in, and while they remained hidden, a scene unfolded.

The enchantments of the harpies had broken by this time. Most of the Veluuthra were leaving- they were abandoning their camp and moving further into the Hullack. A few loyalists remained behind, and the players got to see the leader make one last attempt to convince the scouts to abandon their positions outside the cave.

Loyal to the end, they refused.

So at this point, most of the Eldreth are gone, but the real threat remains.

The group decided to try and use diplomacy to convince the guards to leave as well. They are focused on taking out the harpies.

So Arden (alone) approaches and makes an attempt at talking to them, and does a fairly good opening speech..which works! But perhaps he didn't think this through. The guards invite him to meet their leader, but Arden refuses to come inside. They begin arguing, and soon another pair of archers comes out of the cave. They point their bows at Arden, and initiative begins.

The battle was very chaotic: the rest of the party came charging out from their hiding places to take on the elves, and within two rounds, Maggie Goldeneyes (the harpy leader, who also happened to be a Warlock) and her two sisters came out. Arrows were flying and the harpies sang their alluring song which froze everyone momentarily.  Arden and Eli trapped Maggie finally and brought her down, while the two remaining Eldreth archers remained behind cover firing arrows. The scouts moved out to skirmish-- Dante and Markol held down most of the map, while Samantha tried to stay behind cover and use her magic missiles.

By the end of it, every single member of the party was bloodied, and Markol was out of healing, but it was all over. The Eldreth were long gone, retreating deep into the hullack, the harpies were dead.

The party moved into the cave to rest and recovered the crates that had been looted from the caravan's as well as a sizable portion of gold and a magical orb. They met with Deonda and hiked wearily back to town where they met with the Baron, and received their bounty.

Now: this was set up as a contained adventure, rather than as a campaign ( I am essentially running this in an open format, first come, first seated). Had this been a campaign adventure, I have a second cave complex placed down here at the harpy cave.

Next week: The Stoneboar.
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