Sunday, September 18, 2011

Paragons of Waterdeep: Session 6

Apologies for the long time between session posts. On a good note, this session was more than a full house! We had Player Wes back from a long stint at a summer gig that kept him away from the table. And GM Rich, the founder of the group, was in town and sat in on my game as a player (he took on the role of one of the NPCs). In addition, Jamie Albrecht of For a Fistful of Coppers fame stopped by to get in on the action! As you can read on his blog, he recently moved into the South Jersey area. I invited him to join our gaming goodness and sure enough he jumped right in with gusto!

I don’t have much time to do a huge recap, but I’ll try to hit all the major points. So, when last we left our merry band, they had found the secret location of the tower of an ancient elven wizard named Kurthrad the Artificer. Not long after their discovery, a being with the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle, and the face of a bearded man stepped out onto the tower’s lowest balcony to confront them.

The wizard Vorath (an NPC, but once the character of a player named Glenn, who unfortunately has had to leave the group) had the temerity to start complaining to the creature, accusing it of trying to intimidate the party. The creature promptly caused the mouthy wizard to vanish. As quickly as Vorath vanished, another man appeared not far from where the wizard once stood. This newcomer was Milo, the rogue created by Jamie from For a Fistful of Coppers. Milo had once been a part of a group of adventurers who had found the tower. All he remembers is that he and his former group had climbed down from the sheer cliffs above the tower to reach it. He has no memory of what occurred after that. So he has no idea what happened to his former companions, and he has no idea how long he’s been in “limbo.”

It turned out that the strange being had been responsible for Milo’s predicament. As the group spoke with the being (which Player Wes’ wizard Keseim identified as a lammasu), they learned that the creature had taken up residence in the tower in order to keep what the lammasu called “the horrors” within the tower. Apparently, Kurthrad the Artificer wasn’t so benevolent, and had created all manner of diabolical constructs. So, the lammasu had made a mission of keeping the contents of the tower from escaping. It has also kept intruders from entering.

After some discussion with the being, during which the lammasu repeatedly told the group that they would not be allowed to enter the tower (for their own safety and, more importantly, sanity), the being agreed to protect the group as best it could until they could leave the small chasm in which the tower stood. As it turns out, the stone portal tablet the group had used to enter the chasm could only be used once a day. The lammasu told them that the evil power inside the tower was so great that it would take all of the enigmatic being’s power to keep the malevolent constructs in the tower overnight. With that, the lammasu returned to the depths of the tower.

Not long after, the massive iron door to the tower began to open with a screech. It was apparent that the lammasu had been unsuccessful in keeping the tower’s evil totally at bay! A metallic, bull-like creature emerged from the darkness within the tower, its hide gleaming gold. During the fight that followed, the rogue Milo attempted to entangle the thing’s legs with a grappling hook connected to a length of chain. He only succeeded in getting the hook stuck in one of the thing’s front legs. But Milo made the best of things, driving a spike through the chain and then into the ground. The group then decided to maneuver the bull construct (which Keseim the wizard identified as an abraxus) around the chasm until there was enough slack in the chain to allow them to finally entangle the thing.

During the battle, the abraxus began to emit a noxious green gas. The group did a decent job of resisting the effects, but one of their centaur NPCs, Quiron, succumbed to the gas and fell to the ground choking (the abraxus also gored the centaur pretty badly).

After a protracted combat that found the group struggling to penetrate the creature’s metallic hide, the group finally managed to trip up the abraxus and cause it to fall over. Once that happened, they made short work of it. Smashing open the thing’s skull, they plundered two large rubies and an even larger diamond from the head. The gems were obviously used in the making of the abraxus, and were apparently part of what focused the magical energies that brought it to life.

After that, the party had no choice but to trust in the promise of the lammasu to protect them overnight. The night was indeed uneventful. In the morning, however, it became apparent that the lammasu could no longer protect them, as the door to the tower once again opened, and out came five animated suits of armor.

Keseim the wizard began chanting the runes on the portal stone while the rest of the group, including their welcome new addition Milo, fought off the latest wave of constructs. The portal opened after three rounds of chanting by Keseim, and the group beat a hasty retreat (they had to drag the still-unconscious body of Quiron the centaur through).

The session ended with the party gratefully once again in the hidden crevasse from which they had teleported the day before. All in all, a good session that was sort of combat-intensive, as opposed to the session before it, which had been very heavy with regard to roleplaying. Most importantly, I was running a table full of the best players I’ve had the pleasure to game with in a long time! The next session is this Wednesday! Can’t wait!

To be continued...

EDIT: I forgot to mention that at one point during the session, Milo the rogue and Kale the ranger climbed up to the balcony on which the lammasu had appeared. Once there, they were struck by a wave of supernatural dread against which they had to fight mentally, lest they go mad! They vacated the balcony not long after that experience, suffice to say...

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