Eyes in the Dark

EIghth Session

Eighth Session: Crab Battle, Totally Insignificant Zombie, and Crispy-Fried Goblin

Where was I? Oh yes, Carcass Crab. It started off by hurling a poison barb at the binder and missing. The artificer spent the entire time sitting on the cart and flinging arrows at it, to no avail. The swordsage had to use a mace they found earlier because the crab does damage to people to attack it unarmed.

It was a sadly-uneventful fight; the PCs had no difficulty until the crab managed to hit the swordsage with a 6-point power attack, leaving her at 2 HP from unconsciousness. The rogue and binder finished it off but everyone except the artificer was pretty seriously wounded. They tried to heal, completely forgetting that the Mournland prohibits ALL healing, including natural. Luckily, the artificer proved to be crazy prepared by having a CL 8 scroll of Rope Trick on hand. They used that to heal, as it’s explicitly an extradimensional space and NOT the Mournland, and finished up with some potions they had.

Finally, they managed to reach the mine that concealed the entrance to Whitehearth. As they were determining their marching order, a vulture zombie swooped down to delay them. They killed it in one hit, of course. They entered the mine, with the rogue and binder leading using their darkvision.

They came across a hatch on the ground and the rogue tried and failed to search for traps. Of course, there WAS one and the session ended with him getting hit with 3d6 electricity damage.

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Seventh Session

Seventh Session: Zombies, zombies, and MORE zombies, improvisations, and a giant enemy crab.

After their killing spree, the PCs took some time to look around. The first thing they noticed was they weren’t alone: strange, glass-covered zombies were digging up a graveyard behind a reasonably-intact church. They prepared for another fight but the zombies completely ignored them. The artificer (correctly) figured that their creator forgot to give them instructions for intruders. They went inside the church and found a chalice encased under the glass. Back outside, they “borrowed” a pickaxe from one of the zombies (which kept right on mining without it) and dug up the chalice, which turned out to be a Sovereign Host relic none of them could use.

The next intact building was an old Cannith refinery and the zombies here DID have orders to attack. They weren’t particularly difficult to kill but the noise brought another Emerald Claw soldier and the commander of the whole mission out. This fight was tough mainly because she kept using 5-point Combat Expertise which, combined with her shield, made it nearly impossible to actually hit her. The swordsage suggested they stabilize the dying commander and tie her up for interrogation later. Of course, none of them had even a single rank in heal so it took a lucky 19 from the artificer. They shackled the commander to a wall (this comes back to bite them later) and entered the next room.

Puzzle time! The floor of the next room was a giant map of Khorvaire surrounded by various statues (that look like giant chess pieces). It didn’t take them long to check the back of the statues, where they found cryptic messages mentioning various locations including their goal of Whitehearth. They seemed to be stumped until the swordsage figured out the statues were telling them to walk on the map (apparently, she’s studying coordinate planes that work the same way). Whitehearth, the secret Cannith research facility they were looking for, was revealed to be in a mine in southern Cyre, now firmly in the Mournland.

Garrow, the vampiric leader of the Emerald Claw expedition, ambushed them and summoned around twenty zombies. They wisely chose to run, and were picked-up by Failin and his land cart.

They made it to the Dead-Gray Mist of the Mournland without incident and, much to the chagrin of the rogue (who was sick of undead at this point), insisted on stopping at every remotely interesting site in the Mournland. First, they were ambushed by hideously-mutated wolf skeletons while stripping dead bodies of valuables. They found perhaps the most useless magic item in the module: an intelligent Valenar double scimitar that only likes elves and only works while mounted. The next site held something far worse, though: a mound of bodies and discarded weaponry rose up to from the ground, revealing a carcass crab hiding beneath it!

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Sixth Session

Sixth Session: In which the PCs realize they are not heroes and break the adventure.

This session started off simply enough, with looting the bugbear (nothing good). The merchant paid them all for saving the caravan and the rest of the trip to Darguun continued without incident. They ended up in Rhukaan Draal, the capital of Darguun, a few days later and headed to the oh-so-lovely Bloody Market. The letter they had said the person who could help them was a human named Failin so they asked around the Market, getting nowhere until the binder rolled a 19 on an intimidate check against some poor goblin merchant.

The merchant pointed them towards the Clenched Fist Tavern where they found Failin sitting in a corner. He told them a little about Rose Quarry, mainly that it was formerly a House Cannith mining town and was right on the border of the Mournland, but ultimately agreed to take them there. Outside, they were ambushed by by a group of bugbears who were after Failin for cheating them. It was a fairly uneventful fight up until the end; the rogue pulled out his sap and knocked one of the bugbears out and the swordsage finished the other (who was running away) with an attack of opportunity. They used the unconscious bugbear as leverage against Failin, threatening to wake him up if he didn’t agree to cut the fee for transportation. It’s around this point where the PCs half-jokingly realized that even the best among them is neutral and one of them is actively evil (Rogue: “So the party consists of a psychopath, a sociopath, a kleptomaniac, and a farm girl?”).

They also leveled up to 3 at this point. The swordsage took Shadow Blade, allowing her to add her Dexterity modifier to damage rolls. The binder took Expel Vestige, expelled Dahlver-Nar, and immediately bound Ahazu, a Dragon Magazine vestige, but made a bad pact and so became obsessed with stealing things. The artificer took Item Familiar, but didn’t bind to any yet (as she doesn’t HAVE any magic items) as well as gaining the ability to craft wondrous items from artificer levels. And the rogue took Open Minded for more skill points.

After renegotiating their deal with Failin, they hopped on his bound elemental and cart and made for Rose Quarry. The immediately noticed two things: that the town was almost completely destroyed and that someone else beat them there. They counted sixteen horses and various humanoid figures standing around a fire; what they didn’t see was skeletons and even more soldiers, as well as a necromancer, in the tents. They heard a man chanting off a bit to the north, so the rogue and artificer went to scout.

Now, this is where they did something stupid: they attacked. This whole camp was an effective level 8 encounter, with the book giving multiple warnings about how direct combat would be suicide and they should sneak around. They ignored all my increasingly-less-subtle warnings and sketched a plan of attack. The artificer (after infusing her bow with Human Bane) and the rogue dropped the chanting man (a 2nd-level cleric of Vol) in one round, not even giving him time to scream. When the rest of the soldiers noticed he wasn’t chanting anymore they sent a scouting party: three soldiers and two skeletons. The party dropped them easily enough but made enough noise that the rest of the camp had time to don their armor and and attack. This fight was six soldiers, two skeletons, and a 2nd-level necromancer. They didn’t have a chance. The artificer’s Human Bane bow dropped the necromancer in two shots. The binder banished one of the soldiers to the Void with Ahazu’s power while the rogue tumbled around and flanked them. One of the soldiers attacked the swordsage and rolled a crit, but she used Fiery Riposte (an immediate action Counter) and exploded him instantly. The swordsage’s fists and binder’s morningstar smashed through the skeletons’ damage reduction and the rogue became the first and only player I’ve ever seen to use a Full-Round Withdrawal, setting up yet more sneak attacks.

It was a long fight, and the soldiers got pretty lucky and rolled quite a few crits, but they ultimately fell to the party. Much experience and loot was had by all. We stopped there for the night while I scrambled to put the adventure back together.

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Fifth Session

Fifth Session: Lightning Trains, Wagon Trains, and Bugbears

The players needed to find a way to get to Darguun, preferably ahead of the people who tried to kill them. They quickly figured out the best ways would be by airship, lightning rail, or galleon. Leery of airship pirates, as official Lyrandar airships didn’t make the trip, they went with the lightning rail. The letter of credit from Elaydren covered first class tickets for everyone, so the three-day trip was luxurious but uneventful.

Arriving in Sterngate, the closest lightning rail station to Darguun, the players signed on as caravan guards with a merchant headed through the Marguul Pass. To their credit, they were smart enough to both be suspicious of the merchant and make sure the cargo wasn’t valuable enough to be worth stealing. Unfortunately for them, they failed every spot check for seven days straight and everyone except the binder was surprised when three goblins and a bugbear attacked.

All four of the enemies hurled their javelins at the party in the surprise round, with only the artificer getting hit. The artificer stayed on the wagon and shot arrows at the bugbear while the rest of the party charged in to melee. The binder, currently bound to Dahlver-Nar, unleashed a Maddening Moan and dazed all the enemies except one goblin. The rest of the party made quick work of the goblins and the rogue finished the bugbear by leaping back and shooting a point blank critical arrow into him.

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Session 1

Fourth Session: Faces new and old, gelatinous cubes, and bar fights.

OK, first session with the new group. It began in the same tavern, with the artificer and the swordsage interviewing the rogue and the binder (Artificer: “Don’t mention the gelatinous cube…”). They ended up hiring them and heading to the House Sivis message station to see if Lady Elaydren had left them any messages. They found the door ajar and the station ransacked; investigation revealed it was a group of kobolds led by a warforged. On their way out, a giant owl dropped off a letter from Elaydren telling them to come to the Broken Anvil immediately.

There, she gave them a Handy Haversack full of items and ducked under the table as the warforged and his minions attacked. The kobolds dropped like flies but the warforged was tough, nearly killing the swordsage and binder. The swordsage snapped his neck and the artificer harvested him for possible grafting. The haversack was full of stuff, including a letter from Elaydren telling the party to find a secret Cannith research base in the Mournland and take the next piece of the schema from it. To find the hidden base, they had to journey to Rose Quarry in the goblinoid nation of Darguun. They sold the warforged’s +1 longsword (artificer used Mercantile Background) and decided to look for transportation.

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