Friday, November 19, 2010

Pet Pig (11/14/2010)

All members were in attendance this week as the party has started moving through the Well of Demons. We left off last week in mid-combat as part of the party was facing a pack of hyenas while the other half was facing a group of Gnolls Huntmasters. After a brief recounting of last weeks story to get everyone caught up - including reminding everyone of the presence of a caged and panicked dire boar in the north end of the room - and we were off and running.

Several of the hyenas had died previously but the remaining three hyenas still had Krstic, Akta, and Jenneth pinned at their end of the room. Eldred was able to cast some ranged spells, and their combined strength looked to have the last group of hyenas in dire straits. Suddenly the four Gnoll Huntmasters at the south end of the room broke away from their combat to support their four legged comrades. Because they were placed behind the cage ranged attacks from Oester, Miave, Renny, and Bogar could only take place after careful placement which allowed the huntmasters to get in extra blows before the overall strength of the party was finally able to overwhelm the gnolls and hyenas.

As the party looked around they saw:

6 Hyenas

4 Gnolls Huntmasters, each wearing leather armor, wielding a hand axe and a longbow, and carrying 30 arrows

The party found no further secrets of magic, and the gnolls carried no GP. Each member of the party earned 220 XP for the encounter.

The party also saw a hippo-sized "pig" which Jenneth had identified as the pet pig that Uthland had asked him to look for. Jenneth reassured the party all they had to do was free the "pig" and he would gladly run home on his own. Of course the dire boar was still injured and angry after having been tortured by the gnolls and the hyenas. The dire boar was chained to a floor peg in the middle of the cage, the only thing that kept him from likely being able to tear the cage apart.

Jenneth deduced that he could use a ritual that allowed him to communicate with animals to reach the dire boar and (hopefully) calm him. Jenneth then initiated a skill challenge using his Nature ability, a series of success or fail dice rolls to see if he succeeded in calming the crazed beast. Krstic also made an attempt, betting his Heal ability might soothe the animal. Successes allowed the two to calm the animal down, but now what to do?

The party members hid behind the row of hay bales in the middle of the room while Jenneth used his magic hand to open the cage - no problem. Unfortunately the heavy chain buried in the skin and bristly hair of the dire boar's neck was too much for the magic hand, so Jenneth stepped into the cage and removed the chain, and once freed the dire boar quickly ran out of the cage and out of the room, and the party assumed that the dire boar also ran out of the Well of Demons and then back home.

DM Note: We have done skill checks throughout the two adventures so far, but this was the first time we had taken on a skill challenge. I went with the challenge as written in the book to use it as an introduction for all the group members. We will see more of these as we move further into the adventure.

With the quiet having returned to the room the party took a five minute respite and discussed where to go next. It looked like the party could choose to go west or east from their current location, and east was chosen. From here the party came to a cross walkway that lead back north to the main entrance, but the party moved south and then further west. The hallway turned south again and led into some sort of foyer or anteroom that seemed to be an entrance area that contained several doors.

A crimson trail of blood led across the floor of the room. The room itself had an unusually chilly feel to it and as the party adjusted to the cold with a shiver three ghostly apparitions appeared in front of them. They took no offensive actions, instead raising their hands in greetings.

Ghost #1 (Valdrog the Brute) - A male human with a thick black beard. He wore a set of chain mail, but the chain mail had been rent in two

Ghost #2 (Sir Terris) - A Dwarf Paladin wearing plate armor and a matching helm. The faceplate on his helm remained closed.

Ghost #3 (Mendara the Mystic) - An Elf Wizardess wearing a green robe and carrying a staff. Her sickly pallor made her quite pale, but she maintained an upright haughty appearance.

The three guardians greeted the party and told they had failed in their attempt to conquer the Well of Demons. As they engaged the party members in conversations they rewarded the party with clues and hints as to what lay ahead, although if they offered insults to party members for questions they felt unworthy.

The net result of the skill challenge was that the party learned the following things:

1) Besides identifying themselves, the party learned they three guardians had all been killed by the guardian of the inner chamber.

2) The Well of Demons included a proving ground for worshipers of the Demon Lord Baphomet. The party must find four items - a knife, a mask, a bell, and a book - and simultaneously place one them on one of the four runed circles located near the proving ground.

3) The first three items were located in chambers that were built to test the character of the worshiper. These rooms were located to the north, west, and south.

4) The book was located on a small shrine in a room to the east.

5) To the east of the proving grounds was the inner sanctum. The door to the inner sanctum would open when the proper ceremony was completed. The four magic items would return to their former location upon completion of the ceremony, as well as if they should try to be taken out of the Well of Demons.

At the end of the skill challenge the three guardians wished the party well and faded into the darkness. The reward to the party was the information provided by the guardians.

DM Note: Each party member was given the chance to select an appropriate ability to choose from and choose to whom they wish to direct their question. This was the first large scale skill challenge for the group and while there was some hit-and-miss as we worked our way through it.

Two small storage rooms in the anteroom were found to be empty, so when we meet next Sunday the party will determine which door to take next.

Score Card: With the completion of this encounter the party had accumulated an additional 64 GP and 0 GP in gems. With the 220 XP earned during this encounter the party had accumulated 8070 XP (10000 needed to reach Level 7). Including this encounter Renny was sitting at 5190 XP (5500 needed to reach Level 5).

Game Night - We will be at Leo's next week.

1 comment: