Friday, 14 March 2014

SESSION 8 – The Obelisk of Forgotten Memories aka A Tactical Lesson

Where we continue Gus' ASE module The Obelisk of Forgotten Memories.  Make sure you download it.

CAST

Nick:  Cybella - Magic User 1;  Jon-O-Tan - Troubleshooter2  (yup, a level 2 henchman!)
Syam:  Brychan - Fighter 1.
Telfer:  Maredud - Thief 1.
Michael: Pelegost - Cleric 1  (Calina of the Twelve Annihilations)
Theresa:  Fokus – Cleric 1 (Frig - Gluttony and Rutting)

ASSUMPTIONS AND HOUSERULES

We agreed to use the Dungeon of Signs counterspell rules.  Roll D20 plus level and INT bonus against AC10 less caster’s level and INT bonus.

WHAT HAPPENED

We left last session on a cliff-hanger.  The PCs had arrived at the Obelisk, and investigating sounds from the woods of someone apparently muttering to themself Maredud came face to face with a rather scary undead ‘ghoul’.

The horror before him, clad in green cloak and copper scale armour, has blackened fingers gnawed or rotted to the bone, and blackened flesh around it’s mouth which has partially receded, and partially been bitten away.  It hisses “what do we have here then”.  END SESSION.

SESSION 8  Tactical Lessons

Maredud shouts a warning and positions himself between the creature and Jon-O-Tan, receiving the attack as Jon-O-Tan moves to assist.  A frenzied assault and two failed saves verse paralysation see them both go down, a creeping stiffness spreading through their bodies.  The creature attempts to carry Jon-O off, but is thwarted by the others arriving. 

It tries to get away, but the PCs give chase, Pelgost unleashes his recently acquired the war dogs.  The dogs catch the creature which turns to defend itself and drops both dogs with it’s paralyzing claws.  Brychan catches up and attacks, and receives a vicious swipe across the jaw in reply but he makes his save.

Pelegost invokes Calina to drive off the foul thing but the creature feels it’s master is the stronger; it turns to run regardless as it doesn't know how many more there are.  Reassessing the four paralyzed figures before him Brychan wisely lets it go.  The party arrives and Pelegost uses cure light wounds on Jon-O-Tan, annihilating the fugue, and Fokus casts the same on Maredud, a lusty vigour overcoming the paralysis.

The PCs retreat to the three statues just outside the obelisk grounds and set camp.  Firewood is gathered from the treeline but they aren't keen to venture further into the woods.  The PCs all consume a PPP (protein power pill) to each regain 1hp.  Sadly the random encounter rolls do not go the DM’s way and the night passes uneventfully except for some noises of movement and muffled shouting coming from within the grounds during the morning watch.

In the morning the PCs decide that instead of investigating the rest of the grounds that they will head in the direction in which the ghoul fled the night before, and soon come across a strange cottage in the woods.  It is made of a ceramic type material with a thatched roof, slit windows and two doors. 

The PCs approach unseen in a skirmish line (they’re learning) with Maredud leading the way, and sneaking up to the cottage he peeks through the slit windows.  In a workshop is one ghoul, ranting and tearing up books while attended by two others, and in a living room, two more ghouls crouch among broken furniture.  He also spies a trap in the living room with a swinging log set to smash anyone coming through the door.  He identifies one of the ghouls in the living room as the one from the previous day’s encounter.

The party discusses what to do, and the DM gives the ghouls a one in six chance to notice as the PCs haven’t moved away before having their chat.  Options discussed include setting fire to the roof.  The ghouls roll a one, and when they are noticed one ghoul goes to warn the others, and one tries to get out the door which Brychan quickly holds closed.  Fokus also holds the door, and thinking fast Maredud runs around to the other door and starts spiking it shut (nice encounter changing move).

Pelegost starts spiking the door that the PCs are leaning on shut.  The ghouls come out of the other room.  Two try to force the door open, two leave the room headed around back, and the leader runs up to the window and assessing the situation casts sleep, rolling enough HD to take out the whole party.  Cybella recognises the spell and not having acted attempts to counterspell rolling a 19 to successfully counter the sleep spell.  The Lead ghoul then unleashes a magic missile at Cybella and a very tense moment is had until the DM rolls a 1 resulting in (a disappointing) 2 points of damage.

Realising they might be up s#$t creek facing five angry ghouls, Pelegost wisely jacks up the syringe with the skull emblem (a potion of undead control rolled as random treasure in a previous adventure!) and sets about negotiating with the now willing to chat (less murderous) three ghouls in the living room, the leader of whom claims to speak for Bezonaught, one of the Orbital Gods performing service at the Obelisk.  A deal is struck in which if the PCs deal with the Cult of Furter and bring the ghouls their corpses, then the ghouls will not eat the PCs.  The leader calls the other (unaffected by the undead control) two through and explains this to them, but they do not look happy and keep licking their lips regardless of the deal.

The PCs leave, passing by a a large reflecting pool.  The PCs examine it at length, sorrounded by mist,noting that it is four feet deep and the walls are inscribed with names,  'LT. Ripley' in particular giving the players a giggle.

Moving further up the main path they head towards an large object they can make out through the mist, which is the shrine.  Inscriptions an reliefs around the door show the exploits of a fierce fanged warrior.

Upon entering they encounter Vicar Malokai, accompanied by two cultists, and two 'animated dead'.  He is talking to Furter in the God’s Eye.  Malokai is very much in line with proper fashion for gentlemen sporting a frock coat over scale mail and a top hat perched upon his big hair.  Malokai is initially suspicious that the PCs are grave robbers, and rants about the degeneracy of Bezonaught and Bonechewer’s followers and how that is no way to honour the dead with such foul creatures. Malokai agrees that he will speak to his boss about accepting the assistance the PCs offer.  The PCs like the idea and feel much better about allying with these guys than with the ghouls.

Vicar Malokai, just add top hat and scale mail under a frock coat.  I scanned this from a play program, the whole time I was watching the play I was thinking "that guy is so Malokai".  A surprisingly competent cleric and astute 'relationship manager'.

Malokai instructs the PCs to stay put and heads to the Mausoleum to talk to his boss, at which time Pelegost attempts to activate the God’s Eye, and succeeds in achieving contact, but with Furter.  Seizing the opportunity Furter instructs Pelegost that he is to go to the Mausoleum and offer his assistance to Patriarch Chax.  The PCs go to the Mausoleum and are met with eight zombies and eight skeletons guarding the entrance.  An acolyte lets them into the main entrance and they wait.  Patriarch Chax* arrives a short time later along with Vicar Malokai and others.  “Welcome to the team”  says Chax distractedly, along with “Tally ho” and “Have at ‘em”.  A deal is struck whereby a small contingent of undead will be made available to the PCs and the groups will work together to destroy the fleas and destroy or drive out the ghouls.

*Chax reminds us of the buffoonish Prince in Blackadder 3, except I am playing him as more distracted rather than stupid: he has a sharp mind when it is focused on something.  It would appear that the characters will mostly deal with Malokai, who despite the foppish Denethix fashion comes across as competent and passionate as befits his rank.

LOSSES:  None, but oh so very nearly the whole party, twice!

GAINS:  Treasure –none.  XP – Dunno yet, Allies - Both factions met so far (you know this is going to end badly).

THE (DIS)HONOUR ROLL 
Here we list those brave adventurers who have been tested and found wanting (more hit points).
NAME                                     CLASS/LEVEL        PLAYER                SESSION                   HOW
Dode Enemy-Breaker        D1                             Nick                        2                              Fell into a pit trap.
Fighter guy                            F1        `                  Telfer                     3                              Throat torn out by Pretender.
Mike’s Wizard                       MU1                       Mike                       4                              Shot through the back by ‘High Programmer’ with a high intensity laser while carrying 8 flasks of oil in backpack.
Syam’s Elf                               E1                            Syam                       4                              Face burned off by energy bolt from nano-poo-monster in water recycling plant.

This (Dis)honour Roll has been static for a while.  Just wait for the next couple of sessions, aye, there will be some tears ;-)