Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Return to the Ruins of Adventure - Session 29: Dead Man's Party
After resting overnight at the temple ruins, the party sets forth across the swamp. As they approach the ancient keep the swamp quiets down. A single tower looms in the darkness, broken off twenty feet above the ground. The rest of the keep is in similar shape, ground down over the centuries by weather and war. A once-gated arch hangs open, inviting the adventurers in.
They enter and see a barren courtyard surrounded by broken and partially collapsed walls with a single inner gate in the opposite corner. As they look around, the ruined forms of might once have been men begin to emerge from the ground. With squelching and clanking noises the undead things move forward, evil intent in their eyes.
The experienced champions stand unshaken - they have fought the undead before. Kordan and Uthal charge the largest concentration as the arcane members of the party unleash various blasts and bolts, dropping several enemies in their tracks. One of the undead issues a wail that stops the fighting man and the barbarian in their tracks, allowing some of the lesser undead to sweep past them. Mikal is the focus of their efforts and the warlock moves backward as rapidly as he can while keeping up a steady fire on his attackers.
Enraged, Uthal explodes in fury raining blows all around him and stopping the general encirclement of the party. The other heroes also step up and deal out devastation in their own way. Despite effort this a pair of fast ghouls weave through the lines and assault the wizard and the bard back near the gate. As the rest of the creatures succumb, the party converges near the gate to finish off these last few opponents, ending a nasty little fight where every member of the party was hit and injured in some way.
Pausing for breath inside the gate they attempt to recover, then a booming crash echoes through the ruin as dust cascades down over the inner gate. As heads turn to see what new terror awaits inside, Uthal's trained senses notice frost creeping down the stones at the top of the ruined tower, and it is in no way cold enough to be a natural event. Just then another boom crashes out and the heroes gather themselves up for another fight.
DM Notes: This session was shorter than some but we still managed to get the party to the keep, only to find out it was not exactly the dreamhouse they had been hoping for. The main part of the session was an 8 round fight against a variety of ghouls some of which I pulled from the 4E Open Grave - still handy despite being one of the earlier books in the 4E run. Several daily powers and action points were burned as the quality of quantity proved to be somewhat effective against the group on a relatively open battlefield. It was a good fight and brought in some more of the lore about the keep, its origins, and its ancient inhabitants the Knights of the Silver Star. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion in Session 30...