Monday, July 16, 2012

D&D Encounters: Web of the Spider Queen Session 09

This week marks the end of Chapter 2 for Encounters. As discussed before, my group was a week ahead of the proper schedule so we wrapped things up last week. The reason? I'm spending all of this week visiting South Carolina so starting next week we'll be back on schedule. Due to said vacation, posting will be sparse until I get back in but I have several things in the pipeline.

I find there's some irony in the fact that Dungeon Crawl Classics inspired me to start this blog, yet I have not yet discussed the game at all. I've started a store-based campaign with the hopes of getting the game out there to more people. When I get back I will try to make some posts about it as at the end of the month we will be holding our second session. I'll also be posting some more content for the Weird West RPG; likely the small collection of monsters/antagonists I have worked up for the adventure my players are going through currently.

The session that capped off Chapter 2 was plenty of fun. The group got quite into roleplaying with the ogres so I had a great time making up their responses and playing up their 4 Intelligence. Everyone was present so things were in full swing. I brought back one of the kobold merchants while mentioning it had been the liberated goblins (from the Demonspur) that informed them the party was marching on to Zadzifeirryn. the group seem to really enjoy little touches like that bringing back up side characters and also showing that their actions have had visible impact. Things went smoothly overall so I don't have much commentary; the session notes speak for themselves. I look forward with a lot of anticipation towards Chapter 3. A lot of the plot threads for our players will be coming up and I have a handful of characters that survived past their intended deaths by the module as written to play around with. On with the notes:

Session 09: The Gates of Zadzifeirryn
-Studying the gates before them, the party noticed the path ahead was blocked by two porticullises; each guarded by an ogre slave that controlled the switch to raise them. Dung, the outer gate's guardian, seemed to be throwing rocks in boredom as Worthless, the inner guard, chastized him fearing they might be punished by the drow.

-Formulating a plan to get the porticullises open, the party hid while Harbek and Meecht disguised themselves in robes they had pilfered previously off some of the drow along with the emblem Valan's troops wore. Approaching Dung, they presented themselves as scouts employed by Valan Jaelre with urgent news to bring to their master. Though immediately skeptical, the primitive ogre was easily swayed by Harbek's words.

-At the second porticullis, the duo began to attempt the same ploy upon Worthless. However, they found that this ogre was far more cautious in accepting their story. Meanwhile, fearing they might be left behind Daveak led the rest of the party forth claiming to Dung that he was a powerful Warlock who had dominated these adventurers to be brought in as new slaves. Easily falling for the ploy, Dung ushered the group along to follow along Valan's scouts.

-By this time, Harbek had managed to convince the discerning Worthless and the second porticullis was opened as well. Without raising a sword, the party had infiltrated Zadzifeirryn. However, as they passed through a patrol of drow stumbled upon their infiltration. Calling out, the drow alerted anyone in the area of the intruders and a fight broke out as archers stormed across the wall taking prime position to rain arrows on their foes below.

-With his usual brash nature, Drake led the charge into battle swiftly critically injuring two drow all in one fluid motion. Following suit, the rest of the party engaged in combat as well. Curiously, the two ogres seemed to abstain from combat merely watching on with a mix of excitement and enjoyment.

-As the battle wore on, more reinforcements joined the fight while Halvar, Daveak and Drake climbed the sides of the walls themselves to face the archers directly. In a berserk rage, Halvar deftly chopped down two drow in quick succession. Trying to support Halvar, while fueling his own fued, Daveak tried to bluff one of the archers into believing Drake was their leader and a high ranking member of a resistance against Valan's forces. Below, Damaia faced off one-on-one against one of the drow templars. Meanwhile, Worthless began to take a curious gaze towards Meecht licking his lips with interest. All the while, Harbek continued to beseech the ogres to cast off their bonds of slavery and join their fight so that they might be free of the drow's opression.

-As the tide turned in favor of the party, a final band of reinforcements arrived led by a powerful drow Spellspinner. Noticing her power, Drake flung into action with a swashbuckling feat that more than proved his past as a former sea captain and pirate. Rushing to the edge of the wall, Drake jumped through the air landing upon the back of Worthless and dashing across before diving forward again. Descending down, he used Damaia's shoulders as a final "ledge" catching himself before diving ahead once more a second later as he quite literally charged through the sky towards the Spellspinner. In one swift blow, Drake struck the Spellspinner running her through with his rapier and removing her from the battle before she ever had a chance to cast a single spell.

-Rallied by this show of martial prowess, the party fought on rapidly approaching victory. Harbek managed to sway Worthless to their cause as the ogre promised not to fight them and that if he freed him then he would flee the area; after having a little snack of course. Unable to resist a small tasty kobold, Worthless began to attack Meecht. Unable to dissuade the massive creature, Harbek and Drake began to fight the ogre directly to protect their companion.

-Meanwhile, as Damaia and Halvar mopped up the remaining drow, Daveak attempted to engage Dung and sway him as well. Summoning all his rage, Daveak gave an intimidating speech. However, this held little impact on the ogre and as one of the drow archers barked a command at the dim-witted creature he complied slamming the Tiefling with a powerful blow. The strike sent Daveak flying through the air landing several feet away unconscious as he began to bleed out.

-Harbek scrambled to get Daveak back on his feet calling upon the power of Moradin as Drake and Meecht managed to defeat Worthless. Worried for his brother, Dung called out inquiring if Worthless was safe. Knowing that the death of what appeared to be his brother might send the ogre into a frezny, Halvar did his best impersonation of a ogre as he replied, "I'm fine," tricking Dung.

-Realizing he could not be so direct with the ogres, Daveak tried speaking with Dung one last time. This time he approached the ogre as he spoke of the grandure of Bael Turath and how the drow were his enemies as well; adding that he would free the ogre from their tyrrany. Dung agreed to this and the Tiefling promptly freed him from the chains binding him to stay close to the outer porticullis gate.

-Having been freed, Dung began to make his way towards one of the many exits leading back into the Underdark. Daveak called after Dung charging him as his servant and entrusting him with the task that he might destroy any and all Dragonborn settlements he come into contact with. However, concerned only for his freedom and ignoring the idea of serving anyone else at this point, Dung promptly praised being free and requested the party release his brother and send him along as well when they got a chance. Unfortunately, Dung would only later learn the truth of what happened. More importantly, Daveak's words gave the party quite a large amount of concern.

-In the aftermath of the battle, Halvar took one of the archers captive as he looted a nice suit of Ebon Platemail off one of the templars. Rousing their captive, Daveak took charge with his usual tactic of leveling a knife to his victim's throat demanding that he tell them everything if he valued his life. The drow, a proud warrior of Zadzifeirryn, refused to speak noting only that the party would become lost and die within the Flycatcher Tangle.

-Trying to support his efforts, Meecht joined in the intimidation prompting a quip from the drow that he could never be afraid of a petty slave. Flying into a rage, Meecht ended the drow's life before the party had a chance to try and gain any further information. Nearby, the party discovered a small building that seemed mostly unused by the drow since Valan's claiming of Zadzifeirryn. It seemed as good a place as any to take a rest and plot their next course before infiltrating Valan's fortress directly.

-As the party began to sleep for the night a shifty kobold approached and was permitted in by Meecht recognizing him as one of those they met among the merchant caravan when they first entered the underdark. The kobold mentioned that their tribe had met with the goblins who the party liberated from the Demonspur and hearing that the group was pressing on to infiltrate Zadzifeirryn, they knew the heroes could use some support. Having gathered what supplies they could, they sent the lone kobold in hopes he might catch up with the group and once again do some trading allowing the party to resupply before their final push to retrieve the Pendant of Ashaba.

-As they began to sleep, the party could not help but feel anxious about the coming day. They were now very close to both Valan Jaelre and the Pendant; presumably as well their allies Khara and Tharinel. In the morning, they would apparently face the Flycatcher Tangle; whatever that happened to be...

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