Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Emerald Enchanter (part 1) ~ 02.16.14

Bjorn Berber: Dwarf/3
Wilber Wifflelinks: Halfling/3
"Captain" James: Warrior/3
Garrett: Halfling/3
Eridan: Wizard/2 (+ Pyralspite, pseudo-dragon familiar)
Terezi: Thief/2
Growlen: Thief/2
Allric Moon-Weaver: Elven Sage/0
Oak: Woodcutter/0
Toad: Thief/2
Red#2: Wizard/1
Bash the Mighty: Warrior/2
Buckers McMoney: Warrior/1

They keep getting magically transported to other realms to fix stuff. It's grating a bit, so they're enjoying keeping their feet on the same bit of ground for a while, and generally kicking around Great Bell (aka Bell City - but more on that later): The fighter-types hang out in the barracks with the militia, most needing to practice with newly-acquired weaponry. Bjorn is, predictably, at all the pubs, creating demand for more ale from "their" Dead Goblin Brewery. Eridan, who'd stayed behind on the last adventure, shows off his new familiar, a fiercely protective pseudo-dragon he calls Pyralspite. Toad, an escaped slave, sticks close to the Thieves' Guild, taking advantage of safety in numbers (and probably learning a few new tricks). Ashir, the Elven Falconer, decides to retire from adventuring, despite having summoned his own familiar in the previous week (a tiny steam elemental with a cranky temperament). Remus, the overburdened cleric, having been smote numerous times in the recent past for healing party members of his polar opposite alignment, does some serious research and discovers that his preferred deity, Aristemis, is actually a Neutral entity. So Remus does a little alignment-shifting himself.  He also constructs a couple of shrines on board Paragon, the sentient dragon-prowed ship that also serves as a home base with a free nightly accommodations. The shrines are dedicated to Aristemis and the Three Fates, respectively, which will also help out Red#1. Magmar the Lucky (NPC) makes an appearance and babbles off something about this thing that might need looked into. Eridan, Growlen, and Toad pay another visit to Nod, the alchemist at the Black Cat Mercantile, and try to wheel & deal with some heretofore unknown components they've found along the way [from an important critter in the most recent hush-hush playtest]. Nod figures he can probably work with the smithy to create a potent weapon out of a large fang, provided he also has "a couple pounds of emeralds" to work with. He throws out an insane cost, but says he'll exchange the work for the other components. He also offers information on who to talk to about getting a ton of emeralds, "cheap". Greedily, Growlen heads over to the Guild to see if any of the thieves would be interested in this acidic material, and takes Magmar's counteroffer. When it finally comes together that the emeralds can be obtained from the same source as an evil wizard that keeps kidnapping locals for his nefarious experiments, the group bands together for their various reasons - avarice for some, heroism for other - and heads for a rough two-hour walk south, where the coast is lined with cliffs.

The squat, two-storied citadel set in the black rock looks gloomy but not threatening, even with its posted guards...but then the party sees the guards are fully green in hue, and Buckers charges in. Emerald-colored and textured as gems, even their swords, the two guards don't stand much of a chance against the seasoned dwarf and warriors. Bash and Buckers do in the one on the far end, and as he is killed, the emerald soldier transforms into severed flesh, whispering that about someone with an unintelligible name "knows the word" and dropping a sword that's now plain metal. Bjorn takes down the one who's closed with the rest of the group, and an incredibly mighty swing of his battleaxe shatters the guard -- literally. Millions of tiny green shards shower the stones at their feet. The sword has disintegrated as well. Bjorn and others begin scooping up the emerald dust and packing it into pouches, as every bit helps with the necessary weight.

The solid pewter doors before them hold no challenge, despite being locked. Growlen looks sideways at the keyhole and it slips. "Too easy." They enter into a long, wide hallway, completely tiled with colorful mosaics depicting a green-skinned, green-robed sorcerer in many scenes of study and battle. The party continues in, watchful, and are surprised when tiles begin flying off the walls to create a being in the hallway, barring their path! Although terrifying to some of the newer explorers, the toughs move up into defensive positions and stand their ground while taking turns to bash the tile golem into a porcelain mess. An expulsion of blue tiles hits James, who takes it in stride. At the beginning of the second round, Buckers scores a critically sound hit and the whirl of former art falls shapelessly to the floor.* Shreds of cement remain on the walls where the tiles were magically ripped off, but nobody seems interested in inspecting much, and the party clamors over a pile of debris to get to set of doors ahead.

*[Judge note: This is geared toward a 2nd-lvl party, but this session proved that most warriors with well-trained dice can demolish this thing in less than two rounds, thanks to the additional damage bonus on successful precision shot Mighty Deeds.] 

Though identical to the exterior doors, these are not locked, and the group emerges into a decently lush reception area with comfortable seating areas, decorative rugs, a huge green stone table, and colorful fabrics hanging on the walls. Wilber (with Vinnie, a non-sentient skull wearing the crown from Sezrekan's tomb) tries out a chair. There are two doors, one on either side, 25 feet ahead. The party decides to try the right, so Growlen spikes the door on the left. As they start for the right door, the top of the massive slab of emerald begins to glow, and two small (6-inch) winged skulls fly up from its surface. They are followed by a man with green skin, wearing green robes, who steps from the surface to the floor in one fluid movement. Toad, the closest person to him, is left to blink as the green wizard scowls, points to him and the rest of the party, mutters a word, and steps back onto the tabletop and disappears. The adventurers are a bit flummoxed, but the skulls seem to keep their distance after a couple arrows shoot up, and the right door is opened.

In the hallway ahead, a remarkably lifelike soldier of emerald - down to the curly hair and pockmarked skin - turns at the intrusion, hefts his emerald axe, and meets the party head-on.  Eridan, in a fit of unprepared fury, casts Feather Fall on him. The fighters once again make short work of him, Bash landing a blow with his "new" flail that sends him flying down the passage. This soldier, too, turns to flesh as he is killed, and his battleaxe is comprised of the expected metal. In his death throes, the man croaks out, "Ask Thesdipedes to save my wife..." and, thanks to the spell, he is dead long before he finally touches the floor at the far end of the hall.

About twenty feet in, the door to the left opens to a library - but instead of shelves, there are eight bookstands. Two of them hold massive, metal-bound tomes. Of course the thieves and wizard beeline for the occupied stands, but they are left empty-handed when the books disappear in front of them, reappearing on other stands. The entire party jumps in to surround the stands, resulting in a constant flickering, solved by the impatient knocking over of each in turn.

More searching... Growlen decides that a mattress is the perfect thing to place on top of a pit trap filled with traps, to assist the weaker party members over. Until next time...

The Emerald Enchanter - Joseph Goodman / Goodman Games

Post-adventure math
Bjorn: +8 XP
Wilber: +8 XP
James: +8 XP
Garrett: +8 XP
Eridan: +8 XP
Terezi: +8 XP
Growlen: +8 XP
Allric: +8 XP
Oak: +8 XP
Toad: +8 XP
Red#2: +8 XP
Bash: +8 XP
Buckers: +8 XP

PARTY LOOT: golden dragon head bust / 30 SP / 10 short swords / various emerald pieces and shards / autobiography of Thesdipedes / scroll: speak with the dead / set of blueprints 

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