Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Shrine to Baphomet (12/12/2010)

We started this session with Mark still out on his SE Asia trip, although as of this writing he is home safe and sound and we look forward to catching up with him on Sunday. We also started this session without the maps, so there was a slight delay as that was rectified. The party had completed a long rest and was determining which of the two eastward facing doors was the first to be investigated.

The party had collected three of the four objects they were looking for (the mask, blade, and bell) and were looking for a book. The items had been carefully placed behind traps and monsters that tested the players abilities and so far they had overcome everything that had been thrown at them.

The decision was made to double-back a bit and investigate the area back where the dire boar had been freed. The door there was unlocked, and once opened revealed a small hallway made of carved black rock. The floor tiles each had blood red minotaurs carved into them. A single door and a double door could be seen, and at the end of the hallway there appeared to be some sort of open room. The party crept forward carefully and Krstic reached out and yanked open the single door. Inside were two smaller gnolls wearing leather armor, a small shield, and a spear and a larger gnoll wearing hide armor and wielding a flail. The latter also had some sort of priestly vestment made out of bones as part of his armor. 

Both sides were equally shocked to see the other and the battle quickly ensued. Upon having been interrupted the larger gnoll roared out, angered at the interruption, but poor initiative rolls by the DM gave the party a quick advantage. One of the gnoll guards was killed before he could make an attack, although the other gnolls proved to be a little more resilient.

It was then the party identified what the gnoll priest might have yelled. From behind the set of double doors a sound like the crack of a large whip could be heard and the smell of sulfur filled the hallway. With half the group engaged with the gnolls the others considered entering the second room but instead the set of double doors was blown off its hinges and out strode a barlgura, a large demon the party had fought in our previous session.

Two smaller creatures also flew out and created their own level of mischief. A stirge and an imp flew past the barlgura and set to attacking the party, with the imp having the added ability to hit and then disappear.

The battle was fast and furious. The remaining gnolls proved to be tough to kill, the huge barlgura was also tough, and the small flying creatures proved to be a nuisance as well. The tide finally began to shift towards the party though, and as the larger creatures began to go down the flying ones flew away and were not seen again.

DM Note: This combat didn't go that well from the DM's perspective. My monsters were pretty well bottled up to begin with, and the gnolls weren't really able to take advantage of their bonus for being in a pack. However, half of the party was bloodied, so maybe it wasn't that bad after all. The party has reached a point of group and individual strength, and while I try to adjust the monsters accordingly it is a crap shoot sometimes.

With the imp and the stirge gone the party looked around and they saw:

2 Gnoll Cultist Enforcers, each wearing leather armor, a light shield, and wielding a spear

A Gnoll Demonic Scourge, wearing hide armor and wielding a flail

A Barlgura

The party also found two tieflings quivering underneath a table in the room at the end of the hallway. Oester had discovered them initially and had ordered them to come join in the fight but they had instead remained in this hiding place. Their story was that they were treasure seekers and had stumbled across the Well of Demons. They had been negotiating with the gnolls and were hoping to be given information on treasure that lay within this area. They certainly were scared, and their story seemed at least mostly believable. The party felt the gnolls were more likely discussing how to kill the tieflings, and there was some sentiment that the tieflings might have been likely to jump in the fight against the party if things had gone better for the gnolls.

The decision was made to let them leave, and they gladly took advantage of the offer, After they left the remaining rooms were inspected. The Scourge carried a key that opened a small chest and inside lay a 500 GP gold necklace inlaid with diamonds and rubies, and jade bracelet worth 200 GP, and 100 GP. Also inside the chest lay a set of bracers and a pair of old boots..

In the other room a pair a large candle holders each holding a black candle stood in front of an altar made of humanoid bones. A book, the Book of Wrath Unveiled, lay on top of the altar. Each member of the party earned 250 XP for the encounter.

While taking a short rest the party discussed their options. They now had the four items, and they knew where the four runed circles were, but they were not sure what would happen after that. There was still one door remaining to be investigated.

Did the tieflings really leave? What about the stirge and the imp? So many questions.

Score Card: With the completion of this encounter the party had accumulated an additional 164 GP and 700 GP in gems. With the 250 XP earned during this encounter the party had accumulated 9070 XP (10000 needed to reach Level 7). Including this encounter Renny was sitting at 6190 XP (7500 needed to reach Level 6).

1 comment:

  1. When we took the break, Jenneth would have tried to ID the bracers. Any information?

    P.S. Jenneth already has bracers.