Thursday, March 22, 2012

Carrion Crown: VS The Army of Darkness in Feldgrau

So the party has arrived in Feldgrau to confront The Whispering Way cult and see if they can put a stop to this madness and get justice for their fallen friend. Do they survive? Do they become chew toys to the Demon Wolves also hiding in town? Does the dwarf do dumb stuff again???

The Players

- Thredorik Trapspringer (male dwarven rogue 9 / uncouth/ got swindled by Nisha)
Jess  -  Nisha  (female tiefling fighter(weapon master kit) 9 / combat monster....literally/ shrewd negotiator)
Charles - Zuri (male aasimar wizard 9 / varisian wanderer/ harrow reader / finally whipped out his fireball)
Charles - Dragos ( Zuri's raven familiar / smart ass / maybe scared of Nisha)
Me - Julian Du Marc ( male human cleric of Pharasma 9 / NPC/PC / stoic / festrog chow)
Me again - DM (DM / rules dude / story mover-along-er/ keeper of the plush tentacles)

So the Scooby Gang reach the ruined town of Feldgrau to see that the site of a large tragedy has become a manufacturing site for an undead army thanks to the cult of The Whispering Way. The Princes Wolves and the heroes create their battle plan while still at the farmhouse on the outskirts of town. The heroes will advance from the northwest while the Wolves will make strikes along the southeast border to provide a distraction for the heroes to slip into town.

After the Wolves head out to begin the ruckus Julian asks Zuri to assist him with something while the other two get the horses situated in the barn. In the farm house Julian has Zuri assist him in donning his formal clerical garments. When finished Julian was looking just like he did back at the funeral for their friend in Ravengrow. When asked why the change in clothes Julian says that Feldgrau is a graveyard and by his calling needs to be a formal representative of The Lady of the Graves, Pharasma. Also he wants to send a message to The Whispering Way that their behavior is not tolerated and the day of reckoning is at hand.

And now the heroes sneak into Feldgrau and a whole shit storm of trouble breaks out around them. From meeting packs of Menadoran Festrogs (undead beasties that run on all fours and try to eat your face....ask Julian about that), Whispering Way cultists and curates (higher level priests), a haunt trying to burn Thredorik alive in a ruined candle shop, meeting a suicidal ghost of a townie and talking him out of offing himself again....and getting his help for later (you'll find out soon), meeting the Demon Wolves in the grainery and dispatching them and their pack leader, meeting the trapped Prince's Wolves in town and joining forces with them, having a brief encounter with some wights (i.e. opened door, cleric made knowledge: religion roll and they closed door & had rogue break lock so it won't open again), watched Zuri finally bring his fireball online to assist the Prince's Wolves who were trying to buy us time to get into the tower in town where the Whispering Way honcho was (big honking explosion that wiped out 12+ skeletons and damn near roasted the Cultists controlling them), watching Zuri pummel some skeleton archers on top the tower with an Ice Storm and finally we bust into the tower and bring the fight right to Auren Vrood the Whispering Way leader (human necromancer) who we've been chasing ever since he murdered Professor Lorrimar back in Ravengrow!

Needless to say he was waiting for us and was ready to cause some pain to us. Vrood also had the aid of two giant crawling hands that were more of a nuisance than anything. Nisha and Thredorik beat those things down while Zuri kept slinging spells and Julian healed. Eventually the fight was right in Vrood's face and after tasting Nisha's great axe a few times he decided to fly away (with a fly spell cast on him before the party reached him). And for a while it looked like he was going to fly away.....until Jess played a plot twist card which had an ally appear suddenly to give aid. Well the biggest ally they had was the leader of the Prince's Wolves.....who as Vrood was flying up through the hole in the ceiling to the second floor of the tower came running from the second floor (he climbed up the tower in hybrid werewolf form) and he leaped at Vrood! One successful Combat Maneuver roll and he grappled Vrood. And when 500+ pounds of werewolf grapples you in the air it breaks your concentration and causes you to drop out of the air like a stone.

This gave the heroes the opening they needed to put an end to Vrood once and for all! While pinned they hacked into him (the Prince's Wolves leader told them to take him out and don't mind his safety....he'll heal).
Nisha separated Vrood's hips and legs from his torso and Vrood died in enormous pain. And then a curious thing Julian was going to cast 'Speak with Dead' and question Vrood's spirit Vrood's lower jaw began to foam and fizz and dissolved off his face! Julian was aghast and so were the others. Well it was time them to hack off Vrood's head and take it to the no longer suicidal ghost.

You're thinking 'What the HELL.....WHY?!?!' Simple. The ghost told the heroes that it could rip Vroods memories right from his mind in case regular interrogations fail. The ghost then began to remove the memories of Vrood and the heroes saw them as if they were looking through Vrood's own eyes. We saw Vrood writing correspondence to his superior, who is orchestrating all these events, detailing how he is building an undead army in Feldgrau. Another vision showing cultists scurrying around Feldgrau raising the deceased townsfolk. Another vision showing Vrood placing some objects in a box (an iron & glass vial containing a swirling grey mist, a large section of a bloody heart in a glass jar, and a fragile looking skull composed of hundreds of bone fragments). Into a second box was placed strange statuette of murky green stone depicting a horrid tentacled creature. Another vision showed each chest being given to a rider on horseback. Vrood tells the one rider to 'Ride to Thrushmoor. You will exchange the effigy for the relic we need!' and all the visions end.

After that the spirit finally was put to rest. The Prince's Wolves wanted to head back to The Shudderwood ASAP but when Julian began working to properly bury the people of Feldgrau (and consecrate the land on top of it) the Wolves offered to help out digging proper graves instead of the large mass grave they were all thrown into. Aw hell....who am I kidding, one of the players made a great diplomacy roll and convinced them to stay. Even with their help it took over three days for all the work to be finished. During this time Nisha brought up to Thredorik the promise he made to her to do 'anything she wanted' when he was getting mauled by the Demon Wolves in the grainery. She wants her weapon and armor enchanted for free. Thredorik looked.....out played. Zuri was impressed. Julian was indifferent as he was preforming burial rites for 16 hours a day.

We also agreed that we will head to Thrushmoor after we return to Ascanor Lodge with the Wolves to check on our friend and bring Estovian to justice for all the hinky deals he made with the other wolf packs. But that will happen next session.

All in all it was a hell of a fun night and a good conclusion to book three of this AP. I was quite proud of all the players on how focused they were with the combats, I was proud that even with minimal role playing due to a combat HEAVY section they still never broke character and I was proud of myself for keeping it together and keeping it fun (minor hiccups aside).

Great job gang!
***Also sorry for giving you the short short version. If I detailed every combat encounter in earnest I could easily write three or four posts on it! The party worked their butts off that night. ***