Thursday, September 6, 2012

D&D Encounters: Council of Spiders Session 02

The Council of Spiders continued this week among heavy rain in my area. Unfortunately, Zaketrin's player was unable to make it out. However, we had two new players at the table making up for it. One that had participated in several sessions of The Elder Elemental Eye and she brought along a friend completely new to D&D.

It's always pleasant to get new players. The veteran didn't make a character for herself so we got to crack out the new drow pregens. We ran into a curious problem when we discovered the Warpriest pregen used the name Zarra which our Cleric was already using via the random names off the character builder. Ironic situation so the player opted to lift the name Chali from the other female pregen. Using the pregen Warpriest and Chevalier we added these two new characters to the roster:

-Chali Xorlarrin: A Warpriest of House Xorlarrin. Forward thinking, she wholly supports Lolth's initiative in forming the Demon Weave and the power it could bring to the arcane focus her House holds.

-Syndrina Xorlarrin: A Paladin of Lolth within House Xorlarrin. Close friend of Chali and supportive of the same goals.

Overall the session went very well. In my eyes this was the typical filler episode that WOTC pads into Encounters. With a shorter season this time, I was a little disappointed to see a session spent on what amounted to a combat with a little bit of roleplaying at the end. Ultimately, nothing about the encounter really progresses the plot besides a few clues regarding the rogue Priestess. However, her bad nature was already established last time so this session really didn't change that much.

That being said, I had a lot of fun and hopefully our new players will stick things out to the end. Next session ends Chapter 1 (so soon compared to last season) which means House Melarn and the Bregan D'aerthe will be coming up on their secret goals. Since House Xorlarrin got theirs botched last time, it will be interesting to see how the remaining two factions carry out their business.

Session 02: Miners' Ambush
-As rocks crashed around the party, svirfneblin miners rushed forth ready for combat. One of the deep gnomes cried out, "The goblin's warning was true! They'll give us no mercy, so show none to the drow!" Fortunately, the party received additional support as two new drow appeared to assist them. Chali and Syndrina of House Xorlarrin. Concerned over how important the party's task was, Hoshtar ordered these two to head out and catch up to the group.

-Syndrina charged into the fray taking the lead and meeting the Svirfneblin's own Protectors head on. Chali followed suit creating a defensive line while the rest of the party filed in for combat. However, the party found itself outnumbered and swarmed by svirfneblin.

-Amid the chaos of battle, Solvayas found himself continually pursued by enemies becoming injured time and again. Only kept in the fight by the combined efforts of Zarra and Chali. Meanwhile, Eowam remained in the rear firing arrow after arrow. With a front line locked down by Syndrina, there was no hope for the enemy to reach the Hunter and deter his fire.

-From the back of the cavern, two svirfneblin's wielding slings seemed to lead the attacking group as they too unleashed a hail of ranged attacks; slinging stones at all those in sight. To the surprise of the party after a stone smashed against Zarra, it mystically bounced and ricocheted off striking Phaeqel. Taking advantage of this trick shot, the two Slingers became quite dangerous.

-Over time, the party began to take the advantage as they fought back the svirfneblin. However, the enemy was not without surprises of their own. As the party advanced forward, having cleared the side path of the cave system, Zarra found herself surprised near the rear of the group. Hidden among the rocks had been a lone svirfneblin waiting to ambush. Rushing up behind Zarra, he attempted to use a garrote to strangle her crying out that felling the Priestess would be enough.

-Not to be easily overcome, Zarra was able to break free of the choking hold and working with the party quickly fought back the stealthy attacker. Muttering arcane words, Phaeqel dominated the assassin's mind forcing the sfvirneblin to turn his dagger against himself; ending his own life. Without their support, the two sling-users were easily overwhelmed and as the final one became backed into a corner Syndrina struck the killing blow.

-In the aftermath, the party began to move towards the far end of the cave which would continue on to Sezz'ia. However, Eowam noticed something hiding in the darkness. Inspecting closer, with Solvayas at his side, he discovered a goblin. Capturing the cowering creature, the party confronted him about his involvement.

-The goblin introduced itself as Snut and begged for forgiveness. Snut explained that he had been paid to deliver a message to the sfvirneblin's leader about drow travelling through this tunnel. The message suggested that the drow would enslave anyone in sight, thus brewing anger among the svirfneblin for fear that their kind might be captured.When pressed, he quickly revealed that he did not know the name of who had paid him; only that it was a female drow from Menzoberranzan.

-After questioning further, Snut was able to reveal that the woman resembled Zarra. This led the party to conclude it was a Priestess of Lolth; perhaps the traitor from the Faen Tlabbar expedition. Eowamn intimidated the fearful goblin regarding the svirfneblin about if they had any valuables stashed nearby. Snut led them to a small side area where the svirfneblin stored a small collection of equipment. There among the gold Eowam found a magical great bow, Syndrina an enchanted long sword and Chali a shield of deflection.

-In return for his support, the party decided not to kill Snut. However, his actions against Menzoberranzan could not be ignored. Shifting into his spider-form, Solvayas webbed the goblin to the cave wall leaving him for dead unless he discovered a way to free himself. After taking a moment to rest and recover, the party forged on.

-Leaving behind the old mines, the party traveled another day through the winding passages of the Underdark toward the Sezz'ia outpost. At last, they reached an area of worked stone that suggested they must be at or near their destination.

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