Monday, August 13, 2012

D&D Encounters: Web of the Spider Queen Session 11

I have let myself get a little behind with these Encounters summaries. Had a lot of stuff going on recently and posting them fell by the wayside. So there should be a posting spree this week regarding 4e stuff. I knew there was going to come a session where my playing the story elements tight would get tested and it finally happened. With the party looming just outside the torture theater in the heart of Zadzifeirryn, we got a new player at the table. Don't get me wrong, I am always pleased and usually excited to have new players. However, from a storytelling point of view it made things difficult.

Luckily, I was not without some easy out's thanks to this season in general. Elminster has been a constant plot device poofing NPC's in and out as needed for the story. Overall, I had a lot of fun with this session. In the bigger picture, I feel like it was mostly filler. The only real major point to the battle is getting part of the Pendant and learning where to go next. Still, I enjoy the mix of comedy and drama that tends to roll up from the characters themselves. Most sessions, Drake tends to rush and go all out against the strongest enemy; which gets him surrounded or badly hurt. I am always entertained with how the party finds a way to work together and turn around such situations.

The only big problem I ran into with this session was from our new player. He caught some of the human slaves in his blasts and insisted that his character didn't care despite trying to dissuade him. Since the season has been all about the story, I decided to go with it and let the party decide their own reactions. This led to some interesting in-fighting after the battle which luckily didn't get too far out of hand.

Session 11: Pain & Blood
-As the party watched the torturers from the shadow, Meecht noticed that the leader had a small pendant hanging from her belt which resembled the Pendant of Ashaba. Pointing it out to the party, they realized that perhaps their goal had finally come into sight.

-While discussing how best to proceed, the party was joined by a new member who appeared in a puff of smoke and flashing lights. The eladrin, introducing himself as Jaun, appeared to be a Wizard of sorts and assuming he was more reinforcements from the enigmatic Elminster the party welcomed him into their fold.

-From there, the party attempted to iron out a plan of action. However, before they could finish formulating the plan Daveak put up the hood on his cloak and strolled out into plain view of the nearest torturer. She called out asking who the mysterious figure was and initially Daveak merely stated he wanted to watch and learn some new tips.

-Angered at this statement, the torturer demanded to know who he was and Daveak simply stated that he would be their death. As the torturers readied their scourges, the crowd began to disperse. However, select members in the crowd snatched up weapons from the ground and joined them in combat. With their plan of sneaking in blown, the party prepared for direct combat.

-Typical to his nature, Drake charged immediately into the fray rushing the lead torturer and injuring her with his precise strike. However, the torturers quickly turned the battle in their favor revealing that they had learned the art of summoning minor demons. From the blood fonts situated in the room, two maw demons crawled forth supporting them in combat.

-Daveak found himself critically injured at the hands of one demon and its master. Meanwhile, as Drake pursued their leader the dashing pirate was quickly surrounded and swarmed by drow. With precise acrobatic movements he managed to weave in and out between them almost as if dancing while pursuing his target. Once the leader fell by his blade those present seemed all the more determined to fight to the death.

-As the battle continued, Jaun fey-stepped into the fray prepared to unveil his arcane might. Releasing forth an impressive blast of flames he managed to defeat multiple drow at once. However, to the shock of his party, the blast also engulfed and killed one of the human slaves too weak to flee in time.

-The battle continued and over time the party slowly began to claim victory. Jaun continued to shock the party as he slung spells about wildly with no concern for who they struck; ultimately catching another of the slaves in the crossfire. United together, and with Harbek's healing powered from Moradin, the party defeated the leaders of the Torture Theater and banished back their demons to the Abyss.

-After the battle, Drake charged down Jaun striking him with the handle of his rapier hoping to knock him out. Already fearful of spellcasters, he could not forgive the deaths of innocents. Quickly, Daveak drew his crossbow pointing it first to Jaun and then Drake unsure who to fire upon. As the tension between the party began to finally boil over, even Harbek seemed weary to speak and seek a solution.

-Covertly weaving one of his spells, Jaun submitted mental suggestions to Daveak implying that they were close friends. Spurred by these suggestions, Daveak trained his crossbow on Drake just as the pirate readied his rapier. Trying to calm things down, Meecht stepped between the two.

-Jaun quickly began to explain this his magic was quite uncontrollable and very complicated to wield effectively. Weary of this answer, but confident Elminster had to have sent the eladrin for some reason the party accepted this answer. While they took a break, Harbek treated the wounds of the surviving slaves who proceeded to loot some of the weapons strewn about the floor. With luck, they planned to escape back to the surface.

-The party inquired to the slaves about Khara Sulwood only to learn that she had been taken on towards the slave pits. Another slave pointed in the direction the party ought to go. Having recovered it from the torturer amid the battle, Drake showed the party the pendant he had retrieved. While it resembled the Pendant of Ashaba, it seemed to be only half of the full relic.

-Realizing their task was not complete and that Khara remained in danger, the group pressed on towards the slave pits. After a short travel, the group began to hear the shouts of guards and wailing cries from those imprisoned by House Jaelre.

-Peering around the corner, the group saw a drow soldier driving forth a limping deep gnome slave back to his cell. A large creature made entirely of webs stood in their way. The creature examined the drow and after a faint spark of recognition, the beast moved aside. As the deep gnome was sent down the corridor, the drow retreated back the way he came.

-As they watched this scene, Halvar made a startling discovery. The deep gnome's foot wear held the same design as the enchanted boots he had discovered and been wearing since...

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