Monday, November 28, 2011

Carrion Crown: The Final Push Into Schloss Caromarc

Saturday our intrepid adventurers travelled into the final areas of the Scholss Caromarc to search for The Count Caromarc, creator of The Beast of Lepidstad. Lets recap the party and go into the meat and potatoes of the session.

The Players

Matt - Thredorik Trapspringer (male dwarven rogue 7 / uncouth / becoming the master of the DFA)
Jess  -  Nisha  (female tiefling fighter(weapon master kit) 7 / combat monster....literally / not a fan of leech swarms)
Charles - Zuri (male aasimar wizard 7 / varisian wanderer/ harrow reader / coldest finger in Lepistadt)
Charles - Dragos ( Zuri's raven familiar / smart ass / smarter than the dwarf)
Me - Julian Du Marc ( male human cleric of Pharasma 7 / NPC/PC / stoic / makes 'short' jokes at dwarf)
Me again - DM (DM / rules dude / story mover-along-er / still bribed by pie or hot cocoa/ still no bribes of pie or hot cocoa presented...again)

We picked up after getting beat on while crossing the rickety wooden suspension bridge from last session. Getting into the third building of the Schloss wasn't a problem for Thredorik. And this building was a store room for all sorts of parts to various monsters that...well....we were not sure what the hell they are for. Examination? Experimentation? For creating more flesh golems?? Until we run into the Count we'll not know for sure.

So we began searching around the main floor of this building and in one room Thredorik noticed a out of place section of wall which behind that was a secret staircase going up onto the next floor. We go upstairs into this new storage room which contained more creepy things in bell jars suspended in some kind of liquid. There was also a ladder than went to a trap door in the ceiling. Thredorik went to check it out.

One failed perception check later he opened the trap door and unleashed a magic trap on the area. The room began to fill with an acid fog trap. While this burned our lungs and started to eat away our attire we hastily retreated down the secret stairs to safety. And then we heard a loud crash coming from the main foyer. Nisha peeked in to spot a large, eyeless, flesh golem being led on leashes my a few homunculi (like seeing eye homunculi). Combat ensued, people were injured, Zuri struck with ray of frost to slow it,golem was defeated, band-aids applied liberally by Julian.

Exploration continued. We followed where the golem came from and entered into an antiquities room. Within contained two sarcophagi from Osirion, assorted other historical things and a pile of heavy chains in the center of the room. Thredorik, again, started to investigate the areas for traps starting with the sarcophagus closest to us. "Looks safe to me guys!" he said as the front of the sarcophagus twisted into a gaping maw of teeth and tried to eat his face. A mimic and a hungry one at that. Combat begins.

Now we are keeping the mimic at bay when the other sarcophagus opens up and a mummy rises from within its depths. Great....and we were all in range of its fear aura. Luckily we all saved from fear and on his turn Julian proceeded to channel positive energy into the undead menace (successfully I might add). Nisha and Thredorik resumed combat tactics of norm (get flanking asap) and ended its monstering career.

However.....Thredorik was exposed to mummy rot over the course of the battle (failed his fortitude save by 1) and was now contagious. He looked a Julian for help and my cleric said 'Tomorrow. I can't remove the curse until I pray for assistance.'  Thredorik looked worried. And then the crotch-rot jokes began for the rest of the night. For example, even after he was cured the following day, Thredorik would say 'Hey <insert party member name>' and we'd reply with 'Yes Crotch-Rot?'.

Good times.

Well we checked out the rest of this building and located the passage along the cliff to the final buildings up high. One was the tower with the lightning rods on it. In the meantime it was getting late in the day so we returned to the main house where we slept before and after checking on our horses slept. The next day Julian cast 'Remove Curse' and with a successful caster check got rid of the magical side of the mummy rot affliction while Thredorik chugged a 'Remove Disease' potion to end the physical affliction. Julian also readied another 'Remove Curse' spell just in case another mummy was encountered in this insane menagerie.

Off adventuring we go! Up the sheer cliff side passage to a building comprised of four large silos. The door was rusted shut and after a mighty effort (and a few charges from a Ring of the Ram we pilfered off the ex-mummy) we pulled it open to be overwhelmed by a torrent of water. Apparently the inside of this building flooded out and the water pressure was hampering our effort to open it. Now the passages were partially flooded and we get to go through them (about three feet of water).

Thredorik led the search of the split corridor starting with the right branch. He located a pit trap in the floor and disarmed it and led us to a double door. This opened much easier and into a room that the center dropped twenty feet lower than the main corridor....all of this was flooded. Across the way was another double door which we would have to reach by swimming and thirty feet up in this silo was the remnants of a metal walkway (which now lie at the bottom of the pool of water) and two doors up there. Well we ain't swimming so we leave to check the other passage.

Naturally it isn't that easy. Julian hears the water splash lightly behind him in the silo. He turns around to be staring into the gaze of some kind of translucent slimy basilisk. Julian made his save to keep from becoming stone (thank Pharasma) and the rest of the party began to assault the beast. The fight lasted all of one round as all the party members went before the beast. Soon....dead beast. Continue with the exploration.

On the other side of the main corridor Thredorik missed another pit trap (Matt rolled a 2 and with his bonuses didn't come close to the target DC) and he sunk under the water out of sight. Within this pit was two leech swarms....hungry leech swarms...and they had dwarf on the menu. Thredorick swam as fast as his nubbies could propel him back to the hall and the leeches followed. The flowed onto him and Nisha and started to feed. Nisha screamed and begged Zuri to get them off her. Just because she is a combat monster doesn't mean she's not a girl and gets squeemish. Matt got squeemish too. No further comments needed here folks.

Anyways, Zuri magically altered 'Burning Hands' into electical damage and shocked the water. It damaged the swarms but didn't drive them away. It also injured all of us but we knew this before he let the spell loose. Julian released a burst of positive energy to heal the party some. Zuri then cast 'Lightning Bolt' into the water frying the leeches and making the rest of us look like Frankenstein's bride. Julian applied band-aids and we continued into the next silo. Where, naturally, more monsters awaited us. This time flying vampiric heads of three girillions. More combat. More ban-aids and then we managed to make our way to the upper floor of this chamber via the partially collapsed walkway. And now on the upper passage we managed to find our way out of this place and into the tower with the lighting rods.

When we breached the tower we were greeted by another flesh golem, one that looked like a girillion (multi armed large ape).  Big combat ensued. Lots of healing. And then we checked out the room. We find blueprints and instructions for two devices: The Storm Caller and The Bondslave Thrall. One calls lighting storms to collect electical energy to power the Thrall. The Bondslave Thrall controls The Beast. Oh my. Was the Count controlling The Beast to break into the college and steal the Seasage Effigy? Well we can only go up from here so hopefully we can find him and ask.

On the next floor we find the room choked with webbing and some chalk notes scribbled on the wall pertaining to using The Bondslave Thrall. We also attract the attention of this little homunculi (named Waxwood) who approaches us and begins to pantomime answers to questions we ask. Eventually Waxwood pantomimes writing and Zuri hands him parchment and charcoal. Waxwood, in a very small handwriting, lets us know his master (Count Caromarc) is trapped on the next floor in an cramped iron prison and hasn't eaten or drank in a few days. Also the bad men that did it let loose a terrible construct the Count created and its patrolling around there. Waxwood mentions The Thrall and we need to call The Beast to aid us. So we prepare for a rough fight. Zuri cast 'Haste' and 'Mage Armor' and Julian cast 'Bull's Strength' on Nisha. Thredorik drank two potions; 'Invisibility' and 'Spider Climb'. When we breached the next level and the creature was in sight Julian cast 'Prayer' to give us some aid in the fight.

And it was a really rough battle too. The creature, known as The Aberrant Promethian, was a flesh golem composed of chuul, choker, cloaker, ettercap and other nastiness. It hit HARD, had resistances, had two seperate vocal attacks, could grapple, had paralitic tentacles......its bad. Really bad. In game terms we were level six taking on a challenge rating eleven encounter. We *need* The Beast! Thredorik sprinted to the ladder leading to the ceiling where the Storm Caller and Thrall were kept while the rest of us had the priveledge of playing with the creature. Thredorik (with assistance from Dragos) got the Storm Caller going and got the Thrall activated. Touching a control orb the dwarf saw where The Beast was (nearby) and told him to come help. And of course The Beast was happy to come save his new friends even without the Thrall's commanding.

A side effect to the Thrall's use is that a PC can convey a class ability to The Beast while in control (like sneak attack for a rogue) however you can also see and experience The Beast's memories too. So being a good DM I started to describe the immense sorrow and pain The Beast has felt over its existance. Specifically targeting the moment where he carried his dead friend (the little girl from the trial Julian cast 'Speak with Dead' on) and how painful that was to him. And Thredorik's heart grew three sizes now its the size of a raisin.

Meanwhile on the lower level we were holding our own pretty well for a while. Zuri slowed the flesh golem with 'Ray of Frost' and Nisha kept hacking away with her great axe. Then the creature grabbed Nisha by the throat and carried her to the ceiling. It transferred her to its tentacles which started to crush her and paralized her too. Then it grabbed Julian by the throat stopping him from casting but he could silently channel positive energy to heal the party in range. This left Zuri all alone. And when Zuri cast another 'Ray of Frost' (crital hit too if I recall) the creature AOO'ed him into a wall bringing him to 1 hit point. The creature then dropped Julian (with the help of Thredorik doing a daring DFAonto the Promethian) and released the paralized Nisha and began to climb to the roof to assault the Caller and Thrall. Fortunately The Beast arrived to assist us then and the fight took to the rooftop admist a raging lightning storm and pounding rains.

I mean it was a cool as hell image of this fight going on with this background too. Eventually the party with The Beast's help took down the Promethian who fell over 350 feet to its demise on the rocks below. Healing ensued. And we released The Count from this iron grinning idol the Whispering Way agents stuffed him into. He tells us they used the Thrall to control 'Adam' (The Beast's addition BTW) to steal break into the college for something. The stuffed him in there when he refused to help them. He also told us he overheard where they were going as well; The Shudderwood behind the Schloss. The Count offered to pay for an expedition to track them down and stop them from harming others. We agreed.

So we rested overnight at the main house of the Schloss, the Count more than happy to host us. He also clued us in on his experiments and what he was trying to do here. Also we promised Adam that when this was done we would stop to see him again. On our way back to Lepistadt to the bank (the Count gave us a writ for funding) we found where the angry mob stopped before returning. Apparently angry hillbilly idiots don't like getting rained on and gave up when the weather got really bad. We're happy they were on foot and not horseback like we were. At the bank in town we recieved a total of 300 platinum pieces that we used to by supplies and prep for our journey after the agents of the Whispering Way. Afterall, payment or not, we were tracking down those bastards for what they did to our friend Professor Lorrimar.

And when we got onto the trail past the Schloss I called it for the night as we finished book two of the Carrion Crown AP. The next book, Broken Moon, we'll begin in January as family obligations and other stuff interfere with gaming. All in all it was another good game and we all had fun. My players can correct me if I'm wrong.