The Emerald Enchanter- Part 2
As always anything written here contains major spoilers of the above adventure so read ahead at your own risk. This is the second part of a session took place right before Halloween, I am slowly continuing to get the through write up we finished the module at this point an are on Haitus thru the Holidays reconvening in January..not sure if The Butchers Dozen’s adventure with the Emerald Enchanter will go all the way to 5 parts, but it will surely be 4.
Continuing part 1, the PC’s number 10 with One Henchman, They are:
Lothar, Acoylte of Gorhan-
Xavos the Sage,
Elazar of the Five
Amarath the Evoker
Sloan Nine Lives
Orioc of Hirot- (henchman)
Smashing down the double doors from the mosaic tiled hall where one of their newest companions was just liquefied by some horrid creation of the green wizard. The players are in no mood for the first run in with their host. Brunehilde and Dogface have no trouble smashing thru the solid double doors, they barge into the 30 x 40 room looking for a fight…I allow all the players to assemble and wander around the room and explain the room in detail with its strange 20 foot slab emerald table when the flying skulls appear, abruptly followed by Mr. Green himself. No one makes the DC20 Luck Check to be standing right next to the Wizard. Initatives are rolled I roll a 19 +4 for 23 for the EE. The Party is all but Surprised, however our new Wizard – Amarath (run by player Reinhart) rolls a natural “20” on his initative. Since everyone elses rolls were so poor, I was just going to have him cast his fancy green arrow magic missile and disappear back into the table. But I decide I will give Amarath one action since his roll was a good as he can get.
Not knowing yet the parties individual strengths, I have EE just randomly pick a PC, I roll a “2” which turns out to be Xavos! Or Xavos you poor unluckly bastard., Luck is almost on Xavos side as I roll a “6” for the spellcheck but EE is a 5th level Wizard with fancy toys and +10 to cast that spell…The resulting 8 point green arrow puts Xavos down to -2 hp and he is quickly dying. "Damn it" player Lothar yells. Kill that SOB!!, I cant believe were only getting one shot at him before he goes gets to go again." Amarath has 2 offensive spells, Sleep and Magic Missile, he thinks for a moment and realizes even spellburning he probably is not going to do much to him, then he asks me about the table saying he popped up from it, say “yes” and can we see underneath it?, I say “yes” I then realize where he is going with this that he also has the spell WARD PORTAL from our parties encounter with my home brew “Vistants”, almost simultaneously my players blurt out. "Ward Portal" the table so he can't get away!!!,
"Very wel"l I say, Amarath goes for broke Spellburning 10 points of Ability Scores his spellcheck is +2..for +12 but he only rolls a “7” mission accomplished. They have cut off his escape route for 40 hours!
Now we have a fight on our hands.
Picking up the initiative Order . Mr Green gets another round to act. where he was going to via his emerald portal he now moves toward the door leading to hallway (area 1-6) hoping to bring the Emerald Statue guarding the hallway into the fight. Both Sloan, Elazar and Orioc are all within easy distance to the door, but not blocking it. Yet. Their initiatives are “10”, “15” and “5” . The flying skulls "18" and "12". Our Wizard Elazar is next up in the initiative order right after the flying skulls. As the EE is moving I decide this is a bad, situation for him and another magic missle isn’t going to cut it, so I have him cast “invoke patron” for his Patron “Azi Dahaka” As Elazar is next he’s somewhat familiar with this situation and declares “I am going to counterspell” “I slice my hand open and invoke my patron “ Obitu-Que”.
So here we have our second Wizard Duel of the Campaign we have the Emerald Enchanter asking his Demon Prince for aid, while Elazar ask his “Pit Fiend”… as the lawful PC’s soil themselves Dice are rolled.
Despite Elazar burning 5 points of ability scores on some spellburn, he is easily overwhelmed by EE’s roll (16+ 9 Spellcheck) and Elazars spell is cancelled and EE’s goes off. Since something immediate is whats needed for the EE , not a room full of snakes in the next 1-3 rounds..I choose the lesser result of the Sandstorm that blinds everyone in the whole room. During his action the EE gets to the door and gets the spell cast…but that’s it. Sloan takes a wild stab in the dark and misses…The flying skulls as allies can see perfectly fine so they Tie up Brunehilde and Dogface. Lothar , who just wants to charge in Combat so bad…can’t as he’s on the other side of the room, cannot see and if he does lay hands on Xavos right now he will die . He "lays hands" rolls a “17” and Xavos awakens with 1 hp…another really close call for Xavos.
The remaining PCs stumble around blind trying to attack. When I inform them they may hit each they stop and try to come up with a better plan. On the EE's next turn he bolts out the door down the hall the Sandstorm following him as he goes. The hallways guardian, an Emerald Eidolon with raised axe in hand comes out of the sand toward the PC's as the Green Wizard pass by moving to the foyer. The Emerald Skulls are quickly dispatched, As Well as the Guard in the next rouds Orioc with an high AC and good blow followed by Sloan with a ranged attacked kill the Emerald Eidolon who reverts to human and whispers. “ask Thesdipedes to save my wife” as it dies.
With 15 point of Spellburn between the two usefull wizards the other wizard with 1 hp, they decide to not to pursue the fleeing Emerald Enchanter right now. They regroup, no one took any damage here but Xavos but this could have easily went very bad, I give everyone 3 xp for the fight, except all three wizards get 4 for various actions..Sloan and her man Orioc pick up and extra 2 for the the fight with the hallway guardian.So ended the groups first encounter with the Emerald Enchanter.
Following the path used by the Emerald Enchanter to escape , The players soon end up in the Library
Much time is spent here talking about its contents, as each player is now running a wizard it goes pretty smoothly but eventually as they get to Thesdipedes Book and the Emeralds Enchanters Blueprints
The conversation comes up to how much game time do the Characters what to devote here?
The wizards overall being is sad shape decide to stay here in the library ( looking over the Blueprints
And struggling with use of the “speak with dead” spell. ) while the rest of group goes off to explore nearby, I give them look of “breaking the party is never a good idea” but I think everyone feels
A bit of recklessness is part of game, and in reality is what would probably go down.
With the Wizard secure ( Lothar again lays hands on Xavos for good measure but he still only up to 4 hp) The rest of group leave.
They find and ransack the lounge and bedroom, finding the only the easy to find treasure. Not wanting to dawdle, the head out only semi cautious down the long hallway.
In DCC finding secret doors isn’t really a thieving skill so despite my thieves checking , I am chalking it up to dumb luck without some sort of magical assistance. They don’t find the secret door the Emerald Enchanter uses to bypass his trapped hallway. But they do find the trap, when both Reinhart and Vermillion, who are on point trigger it…there was no trap searching at this point for some reason. Reinhart makes the tough DC 18 ref save but our newer thief Vermillion fails and takes nose dive into the spiked pit, getting extremely luckly and only taking 3 hp of damage.
Coming to the end of the hallway they enter through the door to the end of the “hall of anguish” the peepholes are found giving away the idea there is hall on the other side so they are searching for a secret door, with a little more to go on, Sloan finds the door quite easily, but then I have Ebon Spirits reach out and attack the characters standing around in the hallway
I have the first one come out of the secret door right in Sloans face, Dogface won the initiative and he pummels one with a critical with the sword that slew the Hound the Hirot killing it and per his mighty deed shattering a portion of the secret door in the process. Not know what they are up against in tight quarters they all bolt thru the door Orioc taking a couple points damage from one the Ebon Spirts as the last man running in. They leave the hallway (leaving 5 spirits still there) and run straight into the guard station.
Where they are quickly charged by an Emerald Eidolon on guard duty. Using the same initiative from a few seconds ago I roll for the Emerald Warrior coming up with an “18” +2 for “20”. Dogface also a “20” is first through the door after bashing the one Ebon Spirit to smithereens. No Surprise check here…The Emerald Warrior has a high base initiative so I let it go first followed by Dogface, Reinhart, Brunehilde, Lothar, Vermillion, Grym, Sloan then Orioc. Dogfaces AC is low at 13 and he is easily hit and wounded for7 damage half his total Hp of 14…he responds with a “3” on his deed die, he’s +6 to hit and roll of “10” just hits the carved man
But his 13 points of damage cleaves it in two.. This one as well reverts to a man and mutters
“tell Thesdipedes, I tried” as it dies. Dogface is feeling quite proud of himself when I add 5 more Emerald Eidolons come charging into the fray.
The Guard Station
There is enough of an momentum shift here with new combatants so we all roll for initiative, negating any surprise due to the close quarters of the 10 foot hallway.
We get Reinhart , Dogface and Vermillion all going first with Initiatives over 20, Followed by two Emerald Guards, then Lothar , Orioc, Sloan, the Remain 3 guards, ending with Grym and Brunehilde. Reinhart gets a “3” on his deed die, talk about trying to disarm the guard but rolls a “1” himself we roll on the fumble chart and he get “Incompent blow” -I don’t recall him using a sword in a awhile ,make sense someone quips. Dogface is riled up for his next kill and gets it with a 3 on the deed die for +3 to hit rolling an “11” to hit (+6 for 17 vs AC 16) then “8”+6 for 14 damage…shattering it…this guard “death throes” in emeralds…”Oh good”-the thieves quip. Vermillion , behind the two of them fires a sling bullet an the next advancing on misses. The next guard charges into the melee targeting the wounded Dogface..he hits with an “11” +2 which is a hit on his AC 13, 8 damage puts the Mighty Dogface down to -1 and dying., Lothar curses…”ill never get to fight if I have to keep healing you fools”
Lothar is up next and wants to lay hands but the Emerald Guard is standing over a crumpled Dogface..Lothar holds his turn to let Orioc go…Orioc bullcharges the Emerald Guard , Sword in hand try to knock him away from his wounded comrade. he rolls a Three for his deed die and then an 18 to hit. well done I say!. The resulting charged doesn’t kill the Emerald man doing 5 of its 10hp in Damage and both Orioc and it and knocked down and prone in between the wounded Dogface and the three oncoming guards..
Sloan is next…I tell her all 3 guards and bearing down on her prone henchman, and she’s does something totally out of character..directly engaging one of the guards to pull it off the prone Orioc.
Her weak melee attack at +1 misses by two shes asks to burn 2 points of luck to hit it , I say sure…
She hits and rolls a “5” for damage from her Serpent Blade…so it seems worth it…
Orioc is a pretty well armored up Viking with a suit of chainmail and the Lion Shield (from DotSK) with his agility bonus cancelled due to being prone and the bonus +2 to hit he still solid at an AC 18 , even with the Bonus only 1 Guard’s blow gets thru for 5 Damage ( of his remaining 12). The other guard swings at Sloan her AC isn’t great (14) but the guard misses by 1 with 7.
Lothar now steps up to layhands and Dogface rolls a 1HD heal- good enough, with an 8 and Dogface is up with 7 hp next round.
Brunehilde Charges in with the Wolf Spear and kills the prone Eidolon near Orioc which also explodes in a shower of gems.…Grym fires a Crossbow bolt at the Guard engaging Sloan , Sloan gives him “the look” for firing into melee..but Grym’s crap luck doesn’t seem to apply to his crossbow skills and he hits with a “17”..then rolls a 5 to put the thing Guard. which reverts to man Back to the top of the order, Reinhart and Dogface take down another guard easily, Vermillion moves to flank..allow Lothar to charge into the last guard with his mace ranting about Gorhan’s vengence and miss with a “2” his Armor saves him when he is attacked…Sloan wounds it slightly with a dagger thrust from the flank, allowing Brunehilde with the Spear again to Impale the Guard causing another Shower of Gems….5 guards down minimal damage..I was impressed thinking this would be a lot worse however the players dice were solid..I award them all 3 XP here….for the Guard Station throwing Dogface 4XP for the extra kills and the ebon spirit.. Both Grym and Brunehilde are just 2 points away from level 2.
Searching the guards quarters is unproductive and the group continues on to the nearby hallways. Examining the dead end hallway and carefully sneaking a peek down the zig zag hallway to the Menagerie, the rough mapping my players are doing makes it clear its looks like something is hidden there.The three thieves coincidentally start at the far end of the hall, after making them throw a bunch of dice, Grym comes up with high score and the experience point for finding the secret entrance.
Checking out the bizarre scene in the Consultorium, and the seeing the nameplate on the corpse of Thisdipedes, The guys are like “whoa this is the guy” guess that’s what the speak with dead spell is for Let's go get the wizards!!. Someone says. Since they have already cleared the way, They send Grym and Brunehilde back to gather the wizards..(Grym for the pit trap and Brunehilde in case the need to fight off any more Ebon Spirits in the hall)
In the meantime, Lothar, Sloan, Reinhart, Dogface, Vermillion and Orioc head down the hall to check out Menagerie .
The Trip leading the wizards back isn’t quite the walk in the park they expect ( is it ever?) Grym safely triggers the pit trap, and has an idea he’s going to jam it open with several climbing spikes he has then it dawns on them that the wizard wouldn’t bother with this everytime he came down this hall. He starts searching for a secret door and eventually finds burning some luck on close roll. For some hard work and ingenuity I award Grym the 2 xp he needs for level 2..since he made a couple tough rolls based on some great ideas, they gather the Wizards and lead them back from the Library and of course get assaulted by the Ebon spirits on the way thru the "Hall of Anguish"..Brunehilde takes some damage but again kills one with the Wolfspear., Poor Xavos, cant get a break and gets hurt again! on his way thru and is running around with 1 hp. Amarath gets off a good Magic Missile in the hallway (18 with his +2 to spellcheck) and 3 Magic Missles kill another Spirits (3 of 6 down) I give them all another pair of XP here which levels Brunehilde to level 2
Much time is spent in the Consultorium. First the Wizards play rock/ paper / scissors 2 out of 3 to who will make the blood sacrifice and pay homage to “the Hidden Lord”, Amarath who has no patron yet is the obvious choice however he is playing things steadfastly lawful, and feels compromised enough consorting with this Motley crew of characters with revolving motives known as the “butchers dozen” . Eventually Elazar ( player Sloan, of course) says.” My spellburn is shedding my own blood, so what’s a little scarification??” I'll do it!! So Elazar casts the spell carving a symbol of the god of secrets into his flesh, coughing up 2 points of Spellburn in the process….he follows up with a nice touch by sacrificing another 2 points to his patron Obitu-Que as payment for his action…(somewhere Obitu-Que is pleased). His total spellcheck to is +9 with the bonus, his blood sacrifice and normal spellcheck. Elazar rolls an “18” for 27 hitting the lottery on speaking with the dead here. (we note the guys dice tonight are so above average..they better get ready for when luck swings the other way) We also note at this point however Both Amarath and Elazar are pretty heavy spellburned (giving up 10 and 9 points of ability scores) relatively early in the adventure. With Xavos limping around half dead, The wizards are somewhat the roleplaying focus of things at this point as they cant do all hell of a lot else.
Elazar speaks to all three of dead wizards asking about The Emerald Enchanter, his experiments, his magic. He learns the secret of returning the transmuted Eidolons back to flesh (although the 1 point of spellburn at this point might as well be 10…) and the learn of the strange creature called the Moon –Devil, supposed imprisoned somewhere in the Citadel. He has some conversation with, “Istrobian” the Brain, but I play up Istrobian as disdainful, bickering and not helpful.
Hilarity ensues when Elazar decides to “Take” Istrobian along as his new “Familiar” much too Istobians protest. After talking about it- I loved the idea so much of Elazar In his vain and diabolical (we picture him as a young Vincent Price) Carrying around the Brain of another old dead wizard as a companion/ Trophy…(although he’ll have to cast speak with dead to talk to it, and get ready to spellburn as I place him at dead 100 years) Since he made the Sacrifice, I give him the option of learning the “speak with dead” spell which he gladly accepts..
The other wizards feel somewhat slighted here given Elazars supposed good fortune…but I mention just keeping this in mind when it comes to the Emerald Enchanter…
While the Consultorium action is taking place simultaneously 6 PC stumble into the Menagerie.
I am playing the Cats as extremely aggressive, the Snake as indifferent as long as it is not bothered
And the Alien frustratingly trying to communicate as it says in the text, The spend a few moments examining each…I have one of the cats reach out and try to strike Vermillion and it barely misses, they search but cant find anyway to open the cages. Talk of Reinhart shooting the creatures down in their cages comes up but reverting back to his "Hunter "origins and basic lawful nature…He says “ I don’t shoot caged beasts” Dogface having no such ethics volunteers to do so with his Crossbow. I have the Alien distract them by trying to communicate. They spend some with it, carefully avoiding being touched by it tendrils…not knowing what to make of it..and having just played the other “consultorium” with the other characters..They mistakenly assume this is the “Moon Devil” that the Wizard Gobur spoke of. Lothar wanders off and finds the captures villagers just about the same time While Sloan ( of course) opens the door at the end of the hall (1-15) opening all the cages and all hell breaks loose.
Lothar and Sloan are on opposite ends of the combat its Reinhart, Dogface, Vermillion and Orioc who are closest to the Ruby Cats whom charge out of their cells looking for a meal. We roll initiative: .
Cat, Reinhart, Sloan, Orioc, Vermillion, Dogface. Cat. Lothar
These cats are nasty with a ranged then melee attack, but given the once high roll (the other roll a 1 which became a “3”) I say the 4 guys in the main hall are surprised so they suffer the full wrath of the cat twice. Randomly picking a target, Orioc is the victim that Cat bear down..his AC is high 19 but the cat starts off rolling a “19” for 5 points of damage with ruby beam attack it then barrels into him he dodges (it rolls a 5) and it follows up with 2 melee attacks.. a bite which misses and a claw that hits him doing 3…Orioc was previously wounded and this puts him down dying at -1. Reinhart is up he is 20 feet away so raises his bow using his mighty deed to try to shoot two arrows. He gets the “3” on the deed die which goes to +4 due to his Agility he rolls a 12 +4 = 16 to hit, just enough…I give him two arrows hitting the Ruby Cat., with his Hawkeye birth augur..he rolls a pair of ‘3”’s on 2d6 become 8 damage..the Cat has 9hp its still alive!. Sloan puts an end to that Throwing on of her daggers rolling a 14 +3 for 17 killing the one cat…Sloan calls for Lothar!...who grimaces about doing Sloan any favors..but not being stupid about Orioc’s usefulness and says “on my turn”!.. Vermillion fires a Sling bullet at the other more pensive cat..and misses, Dogface pulls his two hander and charges the The second cat. (forgetting he is also wounded I think) It doesn’t matter…Dogface is kicking ass and taking names in this adventure he hits and cuts the big cat down. Lothar is just in range to get to the fallen Orioc before he bleeds out Rolls a 12 +3 or 15 with the spellcheck getting up a D10 or 6 for 5 hp and mobile. The Fat Snake is camped out in its cage and not moving but the Alien is out of its cage in the hallway advancing (trying to communicate) with the PC’s. Not knowing what to do with Alien..retreat back toward the Consultorium..however Lothar says..there are caged villagers over there!!. They decide to regroup, with everyone lick their wounds and try to go rescue the villagers.
To be continued............