035

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition
The Red Larch Adventure.

The European Union consists of-
Bob (Serbia & the world) playing Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard (Folk Hero)
Christer (Sweden) playing Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus (Hermit)
Pedja (Serbia & Germany) playing Goren Naeris, Male Wood Elf Rogue (Criminal)
Simon (UK) playing Zalt, Male Half-Elf Warlock (Sailor)
Zoki (Serbia) playing Grimm, Male Human (Variant) Paladin of Tymora (Sailor)
&
Me- Goonalan (UK) playing everyone else (DM)

We play using Fantasy Grounds and Skype, usually once a week for approx. 3 hours.

And so-

Session #035 Wednesday 25th May 2016
The Temple of Moving Stones.

Starring-
Zalt, Male Half-Elf Warlock (Sailor) Level 5
Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus (Hermit) Level 5
Grimm, Male Human (Variant) Paladin of Tymora (Sailor) Level 5
Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard (Folk Hero) Level 5
Goren Naeris, Male Wood Elf Rogue (Criminal) Level 5

Pedja who plays Goren is having to work late, therefore Zalt is (reluctantly) botting the Rogue- it’s fortunate he did because it gets very hairy later on in the session.

A fantastic session, although Pedja was sorely missed.

Enjoy.

The Action-

1) Plot Quiz.

We started the session with a Plot Quiz- I decided to find out exactly what information the guys had been keeping tabs on, as it turns out… well two of the guys scored 2 out of 6 correct, and for that they receive my hearty congratulations.

Still- the info I needed to get across (again) is out there now.

2) Grund & the Cultists attack.

Moving_Stones_4.jpgBeneath Red Larch.

The guys are checking things out- there are three dead bodies in one chamber and a floating stone in the other. The latter, a 10-20lb lump of rock hovering around two feet in the air, is poked and prodded (although not forcefully), best guess the scientific minds present (Ken Lee and Zalt) can tell is the rock is not magical- there is some other magical force holding it up.

The investigations however are curtailed- Zyler can see and hear more bad guys ahead, Grimm joins his brother in arms- there follows a shouted conversation between the guys and Grund. Grund as it turns out is a slow on the uptake Half-Orc, who spends much of his time when he’s not being a nasty cultist selling pickles- go figure.

Grund’s supposition (in translation- without the shouty bits and swearing) is this- the guys should not be here, they need to go away… quickly.

The adventurers are, to parrot Captain Barbossa, disinclined to acquiesce to Grund’s request, Grimm goes a little further proffering promises of terrible assault, and employing violent sexual terms and nomenclature.

Remarkably Grund has no problems understanding Grimm’s threats- the fighting starts.

It starts with Zyler blocking the passage south and getting shot at by four or more crossbow wielding Cultists (actually Bandits stat wise). At some point soon after another group of Cultists start shooting the guys from the rear, if you’ll pardon my French.

For the second time in a row the guys find themselves the meat in a Cultist sandwich, and so they turn the tables on the bad guys- or at least one of them.

Stone_Masked_Men.jpgCultists (Bandits).

Soon after Zyler, the Battle Priest of Tempus, finds himself facing off down the narrow passage against Grund, a Half-Orc Thug- and Grund is hitting. Zyler therefore slams his shield into Grund, knocking the Thug down- he leaps over the fallen enemy and safely lands beyond the Half-Orc.

Grund.jpgGrund.

Grund is now the meat in an Order of the Gauntlet sandwich- Grimm unleashes Hell, or rather Hewer- his magical greatsword, seconds later Grund (prone) has dropped his weapons and is screaming, and begging, for the guys to spare his life.

Meanwhile at the back of the queue Zyler and Goren are managing to keep a Cultist and a Thug at bay- exchanging missile and spell fire.

Ken Lee cuts to the chase- he lobs a Fireball into the chamber ahead, the room was inhabited by four more Cultists, I say was- all four are destroyed in the fiery blast. Less than ten seconds later the few remaining Cultists are off and running for their lives- the guys let them go.

The fight is won.

ENCOUNTER #55
PCs 5 x Level 5
Monsters 5 Stone Masked Humans 25 XP each & 2 Thugs (including Grund) 100 XP each
XP 325 Adjusted 812.5 CR 3
Trivial

The guys take a moment to finish their searching of the chambers- the floating stone is knocked out of the magical field which suspends it in the air- it thunks to the ground uselessly. Ken Lee is certain that a very small, and localized, variation of a Levitation spell is in effect, “no more than a stupid parlour trick”, is how Zalt sees it.

The three dead bodies turn out all to be locals, although only one of them is known to the guys- all three have been dead only a matter of days, their throats cut- one has also been tortured. The holy guys within the group are suitably aghast- they spout their usual gibberish about Tempus and Tymora.

I’m kidding guys- LOL. I absolutely love it when you get all holier than thou.

Two of the bodies are quarrymen, the guys are convinced from their attire; the third is that of a Thug the adventurers met (but didn’t speak to) when they were selling some of their hard earned treasure in Gaelkur’s shop in Red Larch. Gaelkur is, the guys are already very aware, the local fence- as stated above they have made use of his services previously.

Next up- time to head south, there’s lots more to see and do there.

3) Investigating the Cult.

The recently Fireballed chamber is a mess, and inhabited now by a very old man in ragged robes- Baragustas goes into full on harangue mode; the adventurers, or else “Unbelievers” as Baragaustas would have it, are loudly informed that they are not welcome here. A short but illuminating theological debate follows- Zalt doesn’t like religion, it’s silly. Zyler and Grimm don’t like cults- it’s three on to one, and yet the old man gives as good as he gets.

Eventually other discoveries catch up with the action, while the arguing continues Grimm and Zyler wander off and discover a young boy, only just conscious, weighed down by great rocks which have been placed on and around his body, being the good guys the religious duo rescue the young lad. Braelen turns out to be the son of Ilmeth Waevlur- one of the rich-folk that the adventurers took prisoner earlier. It seems Braelen is being punished by his father for failing to run an errand for the cult.

What with Grund, the Half-Orc, also still being present the guys are reluctant to continue further with their adventures- they have three prisoners (of sorts) with them now- time to head back to the chamber they originally fell into, to communicate all they have found to Constable Harburk.

The guys take a short rest, play show and tell with Harburk, and then pump the cultists present for further information, at some point Baragustas breaks down, and belatedly starts telling the truth. The guys piece the following together-

a) The cult (such as it is) call themselves the Believers, they worship the Moving Stones (a bunch of large stones in the temple ahead which sometimes mysteriously move of their own accord) and the remains of the Delvers (a bunch of dead Dwarves- best guess).

b) The Believers started in Red Larch centuries past, most likely with the discovery of the chambers the guys are at present exploring.

c) The Believers, mostly, occupy positions of power- the oldest and richest families of Red Larch, the head of the group is also the head of the Red Larch council- they have quite a grip on power.

d) The Believers are for good- they serve to protect the town, and yet…

It’s at this point that the guys finally manage to break Baragustas- Zalt points out to the old man that the Union has taken care of a gang of Bandits and a Necromancer in the last few days, the so-called Believers don’t like to get their hands too dirty, it seems. Grimm and Ken Lee counter Zalt’s statement- the three dead bodies they found, locals with their throats cut, it seems the Believers have started to get their hands, not just dirty, but bloody. At which point Baragustas finally breaks, after more careful questioning the guys also learn that-

e) The three locals were killed by Ilmeth Waevlur, Albaeri Mellikho and Elak Dornen; the deaths instigated by Larrakh- the Believer’s new High Priest. Now the guys are getting somewhere…

f) Larrakh arrived three months ago, his ways are more… Baragustas struggles to find the right word- direct, perhaps. The Believers are changing, for the worse.

g) Larrakh is a tough fellow, he has two even tougher guards- big men that never speak and that dress in studded stone armour. He dwells in the temple just a little way further into the complex, there he studies and translates the messages delivered by the Moving Stones.

It seems the guys are going to be making a house call.

4) Chatting with Larrakh.

Ten minutes later the guys bust into the Temple of Moving Stones.

ToMS.jpgIt’s really moving in the Temple of Moving Stones.

The huge chamber contains over a dozen massive floating stones, apposite- given its name. Larrakh takes to shouting at the guys, he seems comfortable with this form of address. The text of his speech is alas very negative, and a little one-track; in summary- the guys are all going to die, they’re also ‘Unbelievers!’, and they’re all going to die (did he mention that already).

Remarkably the guys decide to press for the chat- Larrakh however has nothing more than insults to offer the adventurers, this does however buy enough time for several of the guys to scope out the room and to signal where they think the bad guys are hidden.

The result of this interaction is the guys think that Larrakh and his cronies are dead ahead, in reality there are a trio of Dust Mephits hidden behind the great rocks ahead, Larrakh and his cronies are somewhere else.

Moving_Stones_5.jpgReady…

And so it begins with Zalt filling the center of the chamber with a thick scramble of Webs from his Spider Staff, hitting all three of the Dust Mephits, although remarkably all three of the creatures escape the webs in an instant. It gets worse for the guys very quickly- the first Mephit swoops into action and bathes Zyler and Grimm with its sandy Blinding Breath, leaving both adventurers blinded.

Dust_mephit.jpgDust Mephit.

Seconds later the other two Dust Mephits swoop in and start Clawing chunks out of Zyler- the Battle Priest is much easier to hit when he’s blind.

It gets worse- Larrakh fires a Shatter spell into the mix, both Grimm and Zyler take the full force of the blast (and I roll very high on my damage- 3d8 = 21 Thunder damage), Zalt is also hurt by the spell. Zyler is left on five hit points- the Priest is almost down, and we’re only in round one- that’s pretty unbelievable.

Stone_Priest.jpgLarrakh.

Ken Lee drops the Fireball- just to even things up a little, the Mephits are less than impressed- one is destroyed, another critically wounded (soon after it flees); Larrakh and his cronies are also caught in the blast, the trio are still hiding behind the floating stones- they survive. Zalt gets into action and hits Larrakh with an Eldritch Blast (and a Critical Hit), the Priest of the Moving Stones Temple is starting to look a little worried, a moment later Goren thuds an arrow into Larrakh and he staggers- not long for this world.

At which point a hitherto unseen secret door in the south eastern corner of the chamber grinds open and half-a-dozen more Cultists (actually Bandits) lurch into the chamber firing their crossbows as they come- Ken Lee takes hits, including a Critical.

Meanwhile one of Larrakh’s Stone Guards at last reveals himself, he’s not pleasant at all-

Stone_Guard.jpgStone Guard.

Grimm takes two hits in quick succession, the Stone Guard’s morningstar erupts in thunder as it strikes- the second hit is a Critical, there have been quite a few of these already this evening- Grimm falls.

Zyler hears his brother Grimm fall but is still blinded, the other guys shout directions at the Battle Priest- Christer has to make a 20+ Perception check to find his way using his other senses to the fallen Grimm- he makes it with plenty to spare and pumps healing into the fallen Paladin of Tymora.

Ken Lee continues to stay out of trouble- the Wizard hits the bad guys again, this time with a Shatter spell of his own- Larrakh survives only because Ken Lee rolls so low with his damage. Zalt steps in and finishes the Priest- although it takes two more Eldritch Blasts, both misses- and then an Inspiration Point, to end Larrakh.

As soon as Larrakh is destroyed (by Zalt), the Warlock (still Zalt) feints away in an instant (falls to the floor unconscious)- WTF is the consensus, don’t worry the strange fellow is just having his next ‘vision’, I thought I’d fit it in mid-fracas, although I of course neglected to tell the players this…

Goren keeps on firing, and mostly hitting; Grimm gets back to his feet and starts swinging- the Paladin is still however blinded (as is Zyler). Larrakh has fallen but the support team are still in action, including two of the Stone Guards, and half-a-dozen Cultists. The guys however are made of sterner stuff.

Over the course of the next 20-30 seconds the guys start to work on the Stone Guards- Grimm eventually gets his sight back (after failing three saves in a row, and courtesy of an Inspiration Point from Zyler), Ken Lee burns through his spells (figuratively and literally), Zyler only just avoids getting smushed by generous use of his Lucky Feat- he spends all of his Luck points very quickly- he also fails six saves in a row (including two generated by Inspiration Points) to throw of the blindness. Zalt makes short work of many of the the minor Cultists with a Hypnotic Pattern spell, Goren starts to pick off the others.

The guys are winning- that is until the first Ankheg surges up through the flagged stone floor of the chamber- directly behind Zyler, who is still blind- and still on just five hit points.

“Guys! Guys! I can smell something… funny!” For maximum comedy affect the previous statement needs to be delivered haltingly, and in Christer’s dulcet Swedish voice.

The Ankheg attacks!

Ankheg.jpgAnkheg!

And with advantage rolls ‘1’ & ‘1’- the guys switch targets in a fury, eventually they take the last Stone Guard, the Ankheg and all of the Cultists down (except for those caught in Zalt’s Hypnotic Pattern).

The second Ankheg surges through the floor of the chamber, a moment or two before the end of the fracas, just in time for Zyler to at last recover his vision- “I can see- now for retribution!” The Battle Priest curses the final enemy- the second Ankheg, he vows to destroy it.

Zyler’s initiative is a ‘1’.

The other guys destroy the last Ankheg, the Battle Priest finishes the fracas on his knees screaming at his deity, having failed to make a single attack roll- he did however valiantly keep Grimm alive.

The fight is over.

ENCOUNTER #56
PCs 5 x Level 5
Monsters 6 Stone Masked Humans 25 XP each, 3 Dust Mephits 100 XP each, 2 Ankhegs 450 XP each, 2 Stone Guards 450 XP each & Larrakh- Stone Priest 700 XP
XP 2950 Adjusted 8850 CR 12
Deadly

The guys watch as the bodies of Larrakh and the Stone Guards turn to ancient stone, and then crack, snap and finally crumble into dust; all that’s left is a piece of paper, formerly clutched in the evil Stone Priest’s hand.

Larrakh_Note.pngThe Code.

However that’s the end of the session.

Session #035 Ends.

Ongoing Quests- Quest #1 Get the Pitchblende safely & secretly to Red Larch (COMPLETE), then meet up with Strom Halifax- get it authenticated, sell it and then return home- easy job. Quest #5 Investigate Tricklerock Cave.

NPCs of note- Gundren & Nundro Rockseeker (Patron, again), Sildar Hallwinter (Lord’s Alliance), Sister Garaele (Shrine of Tymora)- GRIMM’S SQUEEZE, Halia Thornton (Town Master & Phandalin Miner’s Exchange- ZHENT?). Mags O’Mara (Triboar), Oggnog the Smith (Triboar) & Gable, of Gable’s Stables (Triboar). Sgt. Beavis & his men at Black Maw Bog Bridge. The Popper family & Gordo at the Rusty Gorgon. Sister Gallafrey (& the Pilgrims of Chauntea). The Village of Westbridge= More Owlman!

NPCs of note in Red Larch- Phaendra Chansyrl (Curvy in leather), Imdarr (Priest of Tempus & Gauntlet), Endrith Vallivoe (Junk shop owner & Harper), Mangobarl Lorren (Baker), Ghilee (Serving wench at the Swinging Sword), Constable Harburk (the Butcher, and the law), Ironhead (Ironhead Arms), Kayleesa & Ghilee (Owner, and Serving Wench, at the Swinging Sword), Gaelkur (Fence- buys gems etc.), Minne & Pell Mhandyver (Poultry & Ghost Stories)- kindly old lady and her granddaughter. Elak Dornen (Quarry owner). Ilmeth Waevlur & Albaeri Mellikho (Rich men in Red Larch), also Baragustas (mad Old Guy), Braelen (Ilmeth’s son) & Grund (Pickle selling Thug).

Enemies of note- Gnolls, including (odd-looking) hard-to-kill pale Gnolls. Goren has enemies- the Greymen. Oreioth the Necromancer & his undead- DEAD. The Necromancer of Lance Rock’s “Great Eye”? Goblins? Ilmeth Waevlur & Albaeri Mellikho (Rich men in Red Larch), also Baragustas (mad Old Guy), Braelen (Ilmeth’s son) & Grund (Pickle-selling Thug), and the bad men in the Temple of the Moving Stones, including Larrakh- mostly all dead.

New Info- The ‘Believers’ have been routed, likewise Larrakh and his Stone Guard have been destroyed. The evil Priest has corrupted the ‘Believers’ used them for his own nefarious purposes- the guys bring all that to an end, and discover a coded letter.

XP Awarded-
40 Section 1) Plot Quiz
325 Section 2) Grund & the Cultists attack
450 Section 3) Investigating the Cult
200 Section 4) Chatting with Larrakh
2950 Section 5) Destruction in the Temple of the Moving Stones
3965 XP Total

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