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Monday, February 1, 2016

Dead Gods - The Battle of the Great Gate

Tonight's game was a bit fetch-questy. That's something I try to avoid as it feels too much like a video game, but tonight I made an exception. This chapter is heavy on setting material but almost completely devoid of actual plot specifics. 

We had a pile of twizzler bites, which is a superior D&D food in my humble opinion. I told a story about how french bread pizza tore up the roof of my mouth that made Jessie laugh so much she almost died. Later, I tried to do a British accent for a slave NPC but I couldn't get it right. Jessie then did one for me, which kills me every time.

It looks like we are going to skip the next chapter of this book, which is optional. The heroes found a map of a place called "Pelion" in Tcian Sumere. If they investigate it, they end up in this weird flashback adventure that requires the heroes to actually make different characters to go through. I had thought about changing it, but I think we are just going to skip it.

The Party

(Jessie) Bidam - Platinum-Scaled Dragonborn Fighter
(George) Theran - Drow Wizard

The Goblins

Last time, the heroes had traveled to a drow city in the Greyhawk setting to find a drow named Erehe whose memory had been erased. Tonight we finished it and are about to head into the endgame of the adventure.

The heroes had killed two drow in the city and took their cloaks. They fled to the secret tunnel where the goblins were hiding out. The group had also hidden two slaves there that they had rescued.

I had detailed the goblins a bit. I decided they looked similar to the goblins in Labyrinth, and that they mispronounced words. I got this idea from a reddit thread. Here's some examples:
  • Library = "Lyeberry"
  • Supposedly = "Supposably"
  • Especially = "Eckspecially"
So the wounded heroes go in the goblin tunnel and I proceed to try to roleplay the goblins, loading up their sentences with mispronunciations. I burned through them so fast that I actually ran out in no time at all. Their names included "Warsh," "Moot," "Excedra" and "Boss Ungyun."

The goblins all sleep in a pile in the tunnel. I was wondering if the heroes would be grossed out by this or what. The heroes just climbed right into the sweaty pile and went to sleep.

The next day, Bidam noticed that his Orcusword was cracked. A goblin showed him to a weapon smith shop that could help. While there, some kuo toa showed up and demanded that the smith stop everything and repair a kuo toa whip's pincer staff, which had an ornate carving of Blibdoolpoolp on it.

A fight broke out, and the heroes killed the kuo toa. They took the pincer staff, thinking it was cool.

Assassinating A Kilsek Guard

Bidam had to use his backup sword while the Orcusword was at the shop. The group had a task to complete - they had to kill the captain of the Kilsek guard. They were going through the city killing anyone sympathetic to House Tormtor.

The group found her at a "torture shop". I really don't want graphic torture scenes in my games, so I had previously wracked my brain to think of a type torture shop that was almost pleasant. What I came up with was a slave-grooming shop. In this place:
  • A bugbear slave was having his fur shaved.
  • A dwarf slave was having his beard braided.
  • A human slave was getting tattoos.
Nieriv, the captain of the guard, was watching the groomers shave her bugbear.

The heroes cooked up a plan. They bought some drow poison and coated Bidam's blade with it. Then they waited for Nieriv to leave the shop. The heroes pretended to get in a fight with each other. They both made deception rolls and pulled it off.

Then they set it up so that Bidam would make like he was trying to stab Theran, but Theran would move and the blade would strike Nieriv.

This worked! But... Nieriv made her save against the poison! She flexed her magic adamantine arm and threw Theran 15 feet! Then she grabbed Bidam by the throat with her magic arm. Fingertip claws popped out and injected Bidam with drow poison!

The heroes rallied, killed Nieriv and fled the scene.

They met up with Terrigen, the scarred rebel drow. He held up his end of the bargain, and told the group they could find Erehe outside the city walls. He was on a hill watching a huge battle...

The Battle of the Great Gate

There's two paragraphs of flavor text describing this scene. Drow armies are doing battle as fireballs explode and demons are summoned.

Erehe is on a hill with Verdaeth, the leader of Tormtor, along with three more drow and six displacer beasts. Verdaeth is riding a nightmare (an evil horse with flaming hooves).

Bidam really wanted the nightmare. I kept mum on this, because I had anticipated that and had planned accordingly.

Another fetch-quest deal was cut. Verdaeth knew what the heroes wanted to know (while Erehe's memory had been wiped, Verdaeth knew more than anyone suspected). She'd tell them if they would go assassinate Liminis, who was guarding the wall to the Great Gate.

And so we had a big battle on a 30 foot high wall. 4 drow archers opened fire on the heroes. As the heroes tore into them, Liminis pulled out a black wand (a wand of darkness - a magic item I think I got from the 2e Drow of the Underdark book). He used the wand to summon a nightmare. He climbed on it, and flew above the wall, ready to drop spells on the heroes.

Theran used a thunderwave spell to send the archers flying over the side of the wall. Then he and Bidam starting shooting chromatic orb spells up at Liminis.

Liminis responded by casting cloudkill on them, which I had to look up, as I wasn't sure if it blocks line of sight (it doesn't).

The heroes reeled from the spell. Theran got out of the cloud and cast Tasha's hideous laughter, which is quite a nasty spell. Liminis rolled a 2 on his save, and laughed so hard he fell prone. He plummeted off of his mount and down to the battlefield below.

As fate would have it, his wand of darkness flew from his hand and landed right at the feet of the heroes.

The Wand of Darkness has some cool properties:
  • It does 1d2 damage to good creatures who touch it.
  • It can cast darkness.
  • It can summon a nightmare who "..knows and serves the wielder."
The group made their way back to Verdaeth and she held up her end of the deal. She explained that Erehe and Kestod had been tasked by their god, Kiaransalee, to hide the Wand of Orcus. They stashed it on the 4th layer of Pandemonium.

Orcus was on the trail of the wand. If he got the wand, he would assume his demon lord form once more! The heroes realized they needed to get to the wand before Orcus did.

Next time, the group will head to the city of Greyhawk and then go back to Sigil to begin the final chapter of Dead Gods.

Click here to proceed to the next chapter of Dead Gods.

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