LAST SESSION IN BELSWICKIn the middle of winter, the party returned to clear out the last areas of the Tomb of the Serpent Kings, only to find that a bunch of bandits had taken up residence. The highwayman Brent, spared by the party before, had apparantly found the fungal cloning device in the dungeon and used it to make many, many moronic copies of himself...
(Yes, previous decisions by the party matter - and they can even fuel a restock of a mostly explored dungeon! Oh, the joy on my players' faces. Or was that deep resentment? Secure your sites kids, you don't want squatters moving in after you worked hard to clear a dungeon.)
THIS SESSION:Shams the Dwarf fighter and Guy the
Too bad that I didn't get to collapse that trapped tunnel on the party myself, but so it goes.
Lomin the Elf rogue scouts ahead with Shams' imp familiar Ricky (who has been furiously taking notes and muttering "outsider! outsider!" at Guy's sudden psionic displays). It turns out the Dwarf/Man-made earth tremor knocked out the roof to a large underground chamber; a new exit to the tomb! (Area 11, if you have this excellent free module)
Taking the main entrance on top of the hill, the group is surprised by a viscous black ooze dropping from a slamming ceiling trap and a vicious skeleton with a dreadful axe. (Area 5, with the black pudding and from areas 13 and 14: they were accidentally freed by the Brents and set up an ambush here.)
Close callLomin's brilliant longsword, the Torch of Saint Kurelda, speaks in his head: it is eager to vanquish the undead menace! The elf immediately starts pounding the horror. Morti the artificer cleaves into the black pudding, but sadly it doesn't make a dent - in fact, it causes the pudding to split into four! Morti and Shams valliantly fight the oozing monstrosities, but the thing's acid seeps into their armor and brings Shams to the brink of death. Her shield is ruined, she sports horrifying acid burns and just resists being blinded.
I love me that Death & Dismemberment table.
Tilly the priest/bard/warlock is making himself useful by throwing bolts of divine radiance and spell-sounding death's bell for the skeleton, as Guy holes up in a side tunnel and takes pot shots. When both enemies are down, the party picks up the berserk skeleton's axe...to have it hum with pleasure at such carnage. Say high to Meatcleaver!
Meatcleaver: cruel semi-sentient greataxe +1, attunement necessary. On a crit, Meatcleaver inflicts a wound from the Death & Dismemberment table (use damage -10 to find the wound).
Counterattackll this noise has attracted the attention of the Brent bandit group. As the party tends to Shams' and Morti's wounds, Tilly sneaks out, magically disguises himself as a Brent and links up with a pair of the bandits that was outside hunting when the attack began.
Other Brents are climbing out of the new exit/entrance over area 11, and Tilly finds himself being interrogated by a smarter and stronger version of the baseline copies. He almost gives away the game when he gives an answer in perfect grammar, but his Deception skill holds. As the band sneaks to the main entrance, the leader-Brent instructs Tilly to go get reinforcements. No such thing happens of course.
Parlay?The Brents try to parlay and ask what it would take the party to leave them alone, but Lomin claims first dibs on the entire site and wants them out. He follows up with killer arrow shots, as Tilly-disguised-as-Brent takes out hidden Brents with Toll the Dead-cantrips and superpowered Inflict Wounds spells. The leader-Brent takes a couple of hefty sneak attacks and overclocked spells to put down, but in the end all of the bandits lay in the snow, reverting to their fungal origins.
The party makes camp in rooms 3 and 4 and sets a watch. Tilly sneaks back to the collapse over area 11. A couple of brents, a leader-type Brent and an even-huger BRENT watch on as the silvetongued asshole soothingly talks at them - and matter-of-factly pulls up the rope down into the room. Just then the moonlight hits him, his disguise spell fades, and a chorus of impotent rage sounds from the earth.
Gods, next session is going to be cathartic. Whether for the Brents or for the players I don't know, but I expect people to cathartic their guts all over the place :D