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Great Wyrm
 
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:27 am
Posts: 1183
Location: Bristol, UK
 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:35 pm 
Zombies and Skeletons
After taking a well earned rest at Winterhaven, the five adventurers stock up on sun rods and head out for the Keep. Once again, a crowd of villagers gathers to show their appreciation and cheer them on their way.

They arrive at the Keep's dungeon and find it deathly quiet, the bodies of the dead goblins still lay where they fell. Heading south they soon arrive at the large stone door. After a short discussion they open it. The slight equalling of air pressure brings with it an overpowering odour of damp rot. Slowly and stealthily the adventurers edge their way down a discoloured stairway into darkness. The light from their sun rods reveal stone corridors branching off in all directions.

Scouting ahead, Happy Angel peers round a corner and sees a room to the south, filled with zombies. The zombies are still and unmoving. Searching down the other corridors they find their way blocked by strange markings on the floor. Unwilling to pass them, they ask Moonscale to inspect. He declares them to be rune traps, designed to trigger some kind of dark magic should anyone step too close.

Assuming that the rune traps are there to summon the zombies, the adventurers choose to tackle them on their own terms had head back to the room. The undead haven't moved and don't react until the party enter the crypt and attack. The fighting conditions are cramped but the zombies are soon destroyed with little damage to the living.

Continuing to head south they enter a long chamber, stretching east to west and lined with massive stone sarcophagi, five on each wall. Pontuus and Happy Angel take turns opening a sarcophagi, finding each one empty. Which would be fine if the sound of taps and scratching hadn't come from them moments earlier. To the east, the corridor opens into a larger room, with a silvery light drifting from above. The ceiling depicts a regal dragon flying across the sky, while on the walls knights in plate armour kneel in prayer.

As Happy Angel enters the larger chamber, the sound of concussive bangs ripples down the corridor as the ten sarcophagi open and skeletal warriors claw their way out. The party are separated into groups with Alykacha and Moonscale at one end, Happy Angel at the other, and Haagan and Pontuus in the middle.

The skeletons down the length of the chamber start to fall quickly to the party's onslaught, but the two that have cut Happy Angel off from the rest of the team, seem to be hardier constructions. Pontuus and Haagan fight their way through the skeletons and come to Happy Angel's aid, while she uses her fey magic to regroup and together they destroy the last of the undead guardians.

Silence once more descends upon the room as the group explore the larger chamber. Moonscale translates the Draconic script on the altar and Haagan discovers five silver and platinum dragon statues hidden in a secret compartment. As Pontuus and Happy Angel argue loudly over whether or not to take the statues, a second wave of explosions announces the arrival of another ten skeletons. As the skeletons advance, Happy Angel kneels down in the centre of the room and repeats the prayer written on the altar. The skeletons keep coming. Pontuus kneels down in front of the altar and repeats the prayer and thankfully the undead are dispelled.

Gathering themselves together the explorers open two large doors on the eastern wall. The room beyond the doors reveal steps to a large stone coffin, carved in the shape of a knight. This must surely be the final resting place of Sir Keegan, the Paladin so cruelly driven mad by the Shadowfell? Happy Angel loudly disparages the knight, berating him for failing in his duty and together with Pontuus she attempts to move the coffin's lid. The lid explodes in a shower of dust and light and the two transgressors are pushed back down the steps. Slowly a skeleton, armoured in plate, rises out of the coffin. Its breastplate is emblazoned with the symbols of Bahamut and in its hand it raises a longsword. In a powerful and angry voice it declares, "The rift must never be reopened! State your intentions, or prepare to die!"

XP
Zombie Rotters: 5x38=190
Zombie Walkers: 2x125=250
Decrepit Skeletons: 8x25=200
Skeleton Warriors: 2x150=300
Total=940


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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:45 pm 
Great recap and a lovely cliffhanger. Kudos.


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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:21 pm 
We managed quite a long session this time. We usually squeeze in two combats but this time we had the skill challenge as well, which takes up almost as long. The final combat also featured the longest time, so far, that one character has been one hit away from making Death Saves ;)

Sir Keegan
"The rift must never be reopened! State your intentions, or prepare to die!" Standing in front of the party, looms the impressive figure of the long dead Sir Keegan. Entombed in his plate armour and adorned with symbols of Bahamut, the undead knight brandishes a long, silver sword. Happy Angel, full of anger, quickly retorts, "We are here to close the rift and complete the job you failed." The creature is taken aback as the Drow Hexblade continues to berate him (Intimidate). "You are right, I failed my duty. I allowed the malign influence of the rift to corrupt me. But who are you to succeed where I failed?" Happy Angel again berates the Knight (Intimidate) and Pontuus challenges him to give up his weapons(Intimidate). The ancient skeleton is not cowed, but begins to consider the party's worth. Pontuus asks what can be done to close the rift and the creature replies, "Seek Bahamut's boon at the altars outside." They show the statues they have already taken and the Knight identifies them as Bahamut's Boon. They ask Sir Keegan the location of the rift, "Can you not feel it?" he challenges the Warpriest. Haagan closes his eyes and it takes but a moment for his senses to be repelled by the rip in reality, not far below his feet. "Yes I can sense it", he replies (Religion). The undead knight begins to grow impatient, "How could you, close the rift?" he sneers. Moonscale tells how he unmade Kalarel's ritual in the cemetery and how his knowledge of the planes could undo Kalarel's magics here (Arcana). As Sir Keegan pauses, Pontuus asks the knight to assist them in closing the rift (Diplomacy). "I cannot leave this place", it intones and stabs its sword into the stone above the steps, "but take this sword and with it clear this Keep of those who would open the rift. Then maybe it can be redeemed where I cannot." And with that, the cursed warrior returns to his tomb.

XP
Sir Keegan: 875


Zombies
Taking the sword with them, the party heads back to the rune protected corridors. Happy Angel deliberately walks over the first trap and with a loud shriek, dark magic attacks everyone nearby. Those affected find themselves overwhelmed with a sudden desire to run south. Slowly the effect wears off and the party regroups, but as they do, more zombies appear from the north. Even though they are attacked from all sides, the zombies are quickly destroyed and the adventurers can advance once more.

As she moves forward Happy Angel briefly catches the sound of more zombie groaning, but it passes and no more attackers appear. The corridors soon meet in a small bare room, no doubt where the second group of zombies waited. The room is empty except for a stairway leading down. Light can be seen at the bottom.

XP
Zombie Rotters: 5x38=190
Zombie Walkers: 2x125=250


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Hobgoblins
Stealthily the two Drow creep towards the lantern light. Unnoticed by their enemies, they spy Hobgoblin soldiers and guards and pass the details back to the others. The group prepare and launch a surprise attack, Alykacha charging to the nearest Hobgoblin, followed swiftly by Pontuus, Haagan and Happy Angel. The first two Hobgoblins are swiftly surrounded and flanked. Pontuus attempts to shove them into pit, but they stubbornly resist.

As the first two hobgoblin soldiers fall, more pour in from the east and the west, while guards at the back begin unlocking a cage containing a strange creature.

The five adventurers divide themselves into two groups, Alykacha, Haagan and Pontuus meet the attackers coming from the west while Moonscale and Happy Angel meet the attackers from the east. Alykacha envelops two hobgoblins in her cloud of darkness. One retreats back into their barrack room, while the other stumbles the wrong way and is immediately cut down. On the other side of the room, a hobgoblin is obliterated by one of Happy Angel's eldritch blasts, but the other advances on, unslowed by either Happy Angel or Moonscale's magic.

The guards by the cage, release its occupant. A spider the size of man, darts forward and onto the walls. As Happy Angel exchanges blows with a hobgoblin soldier, the aptly named Deathjump Spider leaps out beside her. It sinks its poisonous fangs into her side, the deadly venom burning as it flows through her veins. Happy Angel's legs begin to stiffen and sensing an opportunity, the cage guards charge the slowing Drow. As they approach, Moonscale lashes forth with a sphere of shocking electricity. It burns the spider and annihilates the foolish guards.

Alykacha darts across the room, allowing her and Happy Angel to attack the spider from both sides. As they begin to press their advantage, the Deathjump Spider leaps over their heads and escapes.

Haagan and Pontuus have hobgoblin soldiers trapped in their quarters, using the narrow doorway and the reach of their weapons to slow the hobgoblins escape. A blugeoning Flail knocks Haagan to the ground but the Warpriest returns to his feet, crushing the hobgoblin as he stands. By now Happy Angel is in dire need of healing, so Haagan attempts to run to her aid. But as he turns, the Deathjump Spider drops beside. The spider's bite slips through Haagan's defences. The venom causes his legs to stiffen and he cannot get within range of the injured Drow.

Pontuus turns his attention to the spider and runs it through with his Longspear. The deadly exchange between Happy Angel and the surviving hobgoblin soldier becomes tense as the spider's poison continues to burn the Drow from within. She breaks off from the soldier, and strikes down a distant grunt, allowing her fey magic to transport her closer to Haagan. Now within range, the priest casts his healing blessing, partially restoring the Drow. Only one enemy remains. The last hobgoblin soldier stands his ground, but his resilience doesn't last and he is quickly defeated.

XP
Deathjump Spider: 175
Hobgoblin Grunts: 5x38=190
Hobgoblin Soldiers: 4x150=600


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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:15 pm 
One and a half encounters completed this time. We wouldn't normally stop halfway, but time constraints forced us. That and work in the morning! :evil: Still, we had some interesting combats although they don't make for that exciting reading.

I've only included the first battle map this time, as I don't want to accidentally give anything way to my players :)
If you look at the map you may also notice the strange square lighting effects from DnD4 candles!

Hobgoblin Warcaster
Clearly Kalarel doesn't pay his lackeys enough, as scavenging through the belongings of the dead Hobgoblins the adventurers find only a paltry 10 gp and 27 sp. They quickly move to the east, not even pausing to allow Pontuus to add to his teeth collection. They move along a corridor until they come to a sturdy wooden door. Alykacha presses her ear to the door and hearing nothing, opens it quickly. A short distance ahead stands another hobgoblin soldier, who she charges and stabs with her sword. The soldier lets out a warning cry and as her team mates rush to join her, other hobgoblins begin to pour out of the adjacent rooms.

The hobgoblins seem better trained than previous encounters (or else the DM is paying more attention) and they constantly use their phalanx training to adjust their formations, doing their best to avoid being flanked and to maintain maximum defence. A hobgoblin Warcaster burst in from a side door, accompanied by more grunts and soldiers. Using his staff to channel arcane energies at Alykacha, he throws a blast of lightning in her direction. Fortunately for the Drow, he misses and merely identifies himself as a new threat. The party rounds on the enemy spell caster and within moments the Warcaster is annihilated.

As the party begin to dismantle the hobgoblin warriors, an archer takes pot-shots at them from the side. However he makes the mistake of getting too close and Happy Angel uses her fey abilities to teleport within melee distance and runs him through with her Blade of Winter's Mourning.

Fighting in the narrow confines of a tiny corridor, Haagan calls down the forces of the storm. It batters one hobgoblin soldier to the floor and the other against the wall. Alykacha jumps in between the two surviving enemies, sliding her blade past the plates of the hobgoblin's armour and reduces their number to just one.

The last of the hobgoblin soldiers has been knocked to the floor and is surrounded. He strikes at his attackers from the ground, managing to inflict no small amount of damage. But his situation is dire and he doesn't last long. After his death, the party scour the barrack rooms finding 20gp and 34sp. Confirming their opinion that Kalarel does not pay his guards well. However Moonscale finds a prize better than gold when he discovers the Warcaster was using powerful rune covered staff (Staff of the War Mage +2). It takes but moments for the staff to feel comfortable in his grasp. Clearly such a weapon is happier in the hands of a proper Mage.

XP
Hobgoblin Grunts: 5x38=190
Hobgoblin Soldiers: 2x150=300
Hobgoblin Archer: 150
Hobgoblin Warcaster: 150
Total: 790


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Portcullis
Despite some of the party having no healing surges left, they decide to press ahead. To the south of barrack rooms, a short corridor opens up to reveal a room containing a large table and many chairs. Happy Angel gets the party to cover all their illumination and stealthily creeps forward. She gets no more than a few steps, when a portcullis rattles down in front of her. Within moments a hobgoblin peers round the corner.

With their way ahead blocked, the party is reduced to taking shots at the hobgoblin guard as he peeks round the corner. Only Moonscale manages to strike him, resorting to the ever reliable Magic Missile.

All at once the portcullis rises and three hobgoblins charge down the corridor. Blows are exchanged between the hobgoblins and the intruders but little progress is made by either side. Just as suddenly the soldiers withdraw, taking cover out of sight. Should the party rush after them into a possible trap? Or withdraw and regroup?


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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:11 pm 
Portcullis (Cont)
The Hobgoblin guards withdraw to cover, leaving an obvious trap for the unwary, and like all good heroes, the party charge straight in. With no prospect of healing and no head count for the opposition, Happy Angel charges round the corner and engages a Hobgoblin soldier in fierce melee. Close on her heels follow Moonscale, Haagan, Pontuus and Alykacha, firing crossbow bolts and lightning at their enemies. As the last of the party races into the room, the portcullis rattles to the floor, blocking off any chance of escape.

There are two guards near the entrance and one off to the side operating the portcullis. Alykacha users her Cloud of Darkness to isolate the trap operator, and in the unnatural fog, stabs a blade at his side. The hobgoblin grunts and smashes back at her with his military flail.

Happy Angel, Pontuus, Haagan and Moonscale exchange blows with the other two soldiers. The first one collapses and Happy Angel teleports to the other side of the room. Almost immediately after she reappears, the large double doors burst open and into the room march 4 hobgoblin grunts. They are escorted by much larger hobgoblin with a steel eye-patch bolted to his skull over his left eye. In his hands he clutches a vicious and bloodstained Longspear and with an over confident laugh he shouts, "Lets kill the weakest first!" and brutally stabs Moonscale.

The Hobgoblins use their formidable military skills to maximise their defences, making them a difficult enemy to defeat. Alykacha's dual with one of the soldiers proves too close to call, but with the aid of Haagan's healing skills she is victorious. Recognising the way the hobgoblins use overlapping defence, the adventures pick off the grunts. Moonscale covers the room in arcane flame and lightning, until only the Warchief is left.

Pontuus engages the Warchief in a deadly exchange of clashing spears. It appears the hobgoblin has some kind of powerful enchanted weapon, and Pontuus wants it for himself. As powerful as he is, the Warchief is no match for the five adventurers and the Longspear is soon on Pontuus' hands (+1 Vicious Longspear).

XP
The Warchief: 200
Hobgoblin Soldiers: 3x150
Hobgoblin Grunts: 4x38
Total: 802

With the hobgoblins defeated, the adventurers search the area. Littered across the table are the Warchief's grandiose plans for domination, starting with him leading an undead army against Winterhaven, Fallcrest and then the rest of the Vale. His plans were as grandiose as was his confidence.

There are two adjacent rooms. One a small barracks for the soldiers. The other the Warchief's well appointed personal room, containing floor rugs, a large bed and a small treasure chest (380gp). With the portcullis lowered, the party take a well earned rest, the two Drow taking turns at guard duty.


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Chamber of Statues
Fully recovered and with Haagan's finely attuned senses telling them they need to head deeper yet, the party continues to explore. The spaces they encounter are unlit, cold and still. They turn round at the end of a long corridor and door barred with a simple sign reading "Closed" and return to a more "interesting" set of double doors. As the doors smoothly open, the light from their sun rods reveals a large, high ceilinged room. Dominating the centre, stands a twenty foot high statue of a human soldier, clad in armour and raising an outstretched sword. Off to the east, against the corners of the room, two dragon statues sit, watching the warrior with unblinking stares.

Pontuus puts away his lovely new Longspear and holds aloft Sir Keegan's sword Aecris, "We are the representatives of Sir Keegan and are here to close the rift", he announces loudly to the statues. They don't respond until Happy Angel advances into the room when with a grinding shudder of stone grating against stone, the giant warrior swings its sword in a large arc across the room. Happy Angel is knocked off her feet and lands uncomfortably on the floor.

Alykacha launches herself at the giant warrior and jumps onto its base, while Pontuus approaches the dragon statues. Haagan chooses to rush across the room, and Moonscale hangs back and observes. Once Pontuus nears the dragons they wake and belch out arcane force, lifting him off the ground and dropping him at the feet of the giant. It judders into life, striking everyone within range.

Alykacha clambers onto the giant statue, clinging on so it cannot strike her. She notices a panel at its base and together with Happy Angel, starts opening it in the hope of disabling the mechanism. Pontuus casts the sword aside, grabs his new Longspear and begins attacking the warrior statue. Huge chunks of masonry are gouged away, but yet again it swings at heroes. Pontuus successfully dodges but Happy Angel and Alykacha aren't quick enough and are smashed to the ground before they can climb up the statue once more. Abandoning all attempts at subtlety, all five adventures round on the giant statue, blasting it was magic and hacking at it with weapons. It begins move again, but abruptly halts as Pontuus smashes its inner mechanisms with his spear.

With the giant statue dead, the party turn their attention to the dragons. Most are content to stand at a distance and chip away at them with arrow or spell, but Pontuus charges at them, soon hacking them to rubble. Finally, the only statues left in the room are four small cherubic figures by an exit to the south. The adventures decide the traces of water on the floor and the vases the cherubs hold above their heads are entirely too suspicious and so destroy them from a safe distance.

XP
Giant Warrior Statue: 175
Dragon Statues: 300
Cherub Statues: 175
Total: 650


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[EDIT] Updated with second encounter.


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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:14 pm 
Ghoul Warren
With the cherubs destroyed, the party tentatively make their way to the double doors the statues once guarded. To everyone's relief, no traps are sprung. Happy Angel presses her ear to the door, she hears no sound but is almost overwhelmed by the stench of rotting flesh. There can be no doubt that more undead wait in the next room.

The five adventurers gather near the door, weapons ready while Alykacha drops her Cloud of Darkness and opens the door. A zombie lurks by the door, another stands a short distance away. The Drow Rouge fires an arrow into its brain and it collapses to the floor. None of the others can see through the cloud, but Pontuus charges through anyway. Unfortunately he becomes slightly disorientated and although he exits in the desired spot, he doesn't have time to attack before the zombies are upon him as they stream in from all sides.

Moonscale successfully crosses the darkness and covers the area in fire. He manages to destroy 3 zombies and damages more, all while hardly touching Pontuus!

Next to attempt the cloud of darkness is the priest Haagan, who expertly navigates his way across the battlefield. But as he engages more zombies, he identifies a more sinister enemy lying in wait! Crouching in the shadows, a ghoul is waiting for an opportunity to pounce. But before Haagan can change targets, more zombies surround him.

Happy Angel and Alykacha finsih off the zombies by the entrance and Pontuus charges towards the ghoul. Moonscale comes to Haagan's aid, wiping out many of the undead with a sphere of arcane lightning. Yet again destroying the enemy without hurting a comrade.

Pontuus and the ghoul exchange blows while Happy Angel joins Haagan. The Warpriest and the Hexblade encounter a strange little creature, seemingly animated out of clay. Happy Angel tries to strike it down with her eldritch blade, but the homunculus clouds her mind and she strikes Haagan instead.

The ghoul's claws begin to have a paralysing effect on Pontuus and while Moonscale blasts it with freezing ice, it sinks its teeth into the warrior. Happy Angel races over to help but as she turns her back on the clay creature, it stings her with its sharp little teeth. Fortunately Haagan proves to be all but immune to the homunculus' mind tricks and smashes it to a pulp with his warhammer. With nowhere for the ghoul to escape, it is quickly cut down and by the time Pontuus recovers from its poisonous effects the combat is over.

Exploring the chamber Alykacha discovers a narrow tunnel that leads to what must only be the ghoul's burrow, the half-eaten remains of goblins, hobgoblins, humans and other creatures are splayed about the room. Lying discarded amongst the offal, Haagan discovers a legendary magical artefact: a Bag of Holding. The bag contains 176gp but is worth far more itself.

To the east of the room stand two large double doors, but rather than open them, the party decide to return to the blocked off corridor.

XP
Ghoul: 200
Zombie Rotters: 12x38
Zombies Walkers: 2x125
Total: 906


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Gelatinous Cube
The party gather by the barred door. A plank of wood has been nailed across the entrance but Pontuus easily plies it away. Stealthily, Happy Angel scouts ahead. The corridor splits left and right. She takes the left, finds two alcoves and quickly reaches a dead end. Unfortunately the Drow fails to notice that the first alcove is the home of a near invisible Gelatinous Cube, which lunges at her as she passes. The cube narrowly misses, but Happy Angel finds herself trapped between the cube and the dead end, with nowhere to go!

Hearing the sounds of fighting, the rest of the party charge towards Happy Angel. As they round the corner they see her blasting the near invisible object. Having trouble seeing it herself, she fails to damage it with her arcane blasts but scores a direct hit with her darkfire! The magic surrounds the cube in a purple halo. Suddenly the creature is outlined for all to see, just as it engulfs Happy Angel, pulling the unlucky Drow into itself.

Haagan responds quickly, blasting the cube with the power of the storm. The divinely summoned winds force the monstrous jelly back down the corridor and rips Happy Angel from its grasp. Burnt and dazed the Drow takes a moment to recover as the others attack. Pontuus and Moonscale both move in front of Happy Angel and attack the cube. Pontuus stabbing it with his spear and Moonscale blasting it with a spell of fire.

The cube retaliates and tries to engulf the two nearest creatures. Pontuus manages to escape but Moonscale is dragged into its acid body! Not sure how long the Dragonborn Mage can survive, Haagan casts a Healing Word, granting Moonscale a momentary respite. As the others attack, Moonscale struggles to escape. He manages to overcome the noxious fluids (Daze) but the cube's grip on him is too strong. Marshalling all his strength (action point) he rips himself from its grasp, gasping for air as the acid burns his skin. Despite his ordeal the Mage recovers quickly and joins the others as they move in for the kill, destroying the unnatural monstrosity in a volley of attacks.

The party follow the corridor round in the other direction, and it soon opens out into a long room. At one end there is a small door, and at the other, stand four sarcophagi. Having seen their like before the party wisely assume a trap. They stand a good distance away, and with ranged weapons targeting the stone coffins, they open the door. They correctly guessed the trigger and two putrid zombies burst into the room. The animated corpse hurl globules of black, necrotic filth at the party but are soon destroyed, exploding in a spray of rotted corruption.

Exploring beyond the small door they find a chest containing items and clothing from Sir Keegan's children. Along with a small gold medallion (250 gp) baring the name "Drystan" and a thin platinum bracelet (200 gp) with the name "Ceinwein" on the back. They also find a mother of pearl hairbrush (5 gp), and a Safewing amulet +1 (680gp).

XP
Gelatinous Cube: 400
Corruption Corpses: 2x175
Total: 750


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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:11 am 
We are nearing the end of the campaign. Which is both exciting and means I will have more work to do soon :( The encounter map used during this session diverges somewhat from the official map, which I didn't like and looked too much like it was made to fit the size of paper they had.

Cathedral of Shadow
Returning to the Ghoul den, the party descend a wide stairway to a large set of double doors. As they approach, the sound of mumbled prayers becomes gradually louder. They cautiously open the doors, only to see a second set some 40 feet straight in front of them. They are sure the source of the prayers is beyond those doors. To the left and to the right they see shadowy cloisters. The right cloister is full of rubble, possibly the roof has collapsed. The left contains a number of stone sarcophagi, so the party turn left.

Within a few steps they spy and attractive but shallow skinned woman, the blood round her mouth and the claws on her fingers leave little doubt this is another member of the undead. Alykacha darts forward, plunging her sword into its cold ribcage. It screeches as its collapses and more vampires rush round the corner.

As Alykacha, Happy Angel and Moonscale face off against the bloodthirsty vampires, the double doors are kicked open by a bare-chested man. Holding a greataxe high above his head, he charges straight towards Haagan. The Warpriest meets him halfway and a duel between axe and hammer ensues. Haagan uses his divine storm powers to control the battlefield, trapping the axe wielding barbarian between himself and Pontuus. Pontuus uses the opportunity and critically wounds his foe but the severity of the wound seems to enrage the berserker.

As the vampires begin to fall, the berserker's twin charges Alykacha. Not only is the madman strong, but he is fast and catches Alykacha with a nasty blow. Happy Angel flanks the barbarian and the two Drow press their advantage. But as Moonscale destroys the last three vampires with lightning and arcane force, a small dark creature rushes out of the shadows, stabs Happy Angel in the back, then turns his attention to the Dragonborn mage.

Rushing across the battlefield, the evil Priest of Orcus charges Haagan and Pontuus. Uttering a strange curse or spell, he heals the berserker and increase his battle fury. The Underpriest swings his flail at Pontuus while Haagan counters with prayers of his own, bringing down a blast of divine radiance, searing Orcus' minions while shielding himself and Pontuus.

Although wounded, Alykacha and Happy Angel finish off their axe wielding barbarian and turn their attention to the small figure that is harrying Moonscale. As the three of them surround the dark creeper and throw down a rain of blows, it explodes in a shower of darkness, blinding them all.

Haagan and Pontuus square off against the axeman and Orcus priest. The axeman's fury increases the more wounded he becomes but he cannot overcome Haagan's warhammer and collapses beneath a series of thundering strikes. The Underpriest tries desperately to defeat Pontuus, even striking out in his dying moments, but the warriors superior reach and skill prove decisive and Pontuus is victorious.

With the battle over (and sight returning) the party look around the underground cathedral. On a raised dais to the east, stands a statue to the demon lord Orcus. In its hands it holds an unholy font, overflowing with blood that trails around the room, eventually draining down a grate in the centre of the floor. Chains attached to the grate seem to allow for a way down, although its a long way down to a dark and distant floor and the chains are slippery with blood.

The party are hurt and exhausted, but can they afford to wait and rest while Kalarel performs a ritual to open a permanent rift to the Shadowfell?

XP
Orcus Underpriest: 200
Orcus Berserker: 2x175
Vampire Fleshripper: 5x50
Dark Creeper: 175
Total: 975


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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:47 pm 
No session last week, due to Halloween. This week we started the final encounter, although time constraints meant it wasn't completed. One player (Happy Angel) has a particular run of bad luck, getting several 1s and only managing to hit a target once :( Hopefully that means luck will go their way next session.

The Shadow Rift
Realising they are exhausted the party of adventurers decide to rest before attempting the decent to the lower level. They retreat to an area behind the large statue. Moonscale conducts an Alarm ritual to warn them of potential intruders while they recuperate.

Once recovered they gather by the blood soaked pit. Chains allow for the climb down, but they are slippery with gore. So they tie ropes through the links and prepare to drop into the gloom. Happy Angel receives new assistance from the world of the Fey in the form of an invisible ally who scouts ahead, sending the drow images of a bloody pool, undead creatures and the pulsing, whispering Rift!

They begin the climb down, first Alykacha, then Pontuus, Happy Angel, Haagan and Moonscale. Blood drips onto the ropes and both Happy Angel and Moonscale slip and fall. Happy Angel is badly injured but Moonscale (now wearing the Safewing amulet) lands on his feet. Around them they see a host of skeletal warriors, armed with longsword and longbow. To the west, reading from a ritual book, stands Kalarel. Although this is the first time they have seen him in the flesh, the adventurers recognise their enemy from the ghostly apparition they encountered at the dragon burial site. To the east they see a creature that must surely have risen recently from a grave, with long claws and a cold hateful stare. But to the north, dominating their attention stands the Rift, a tear in reality and a deadly portal to the realm of the undead, that dimension known as the Shadowfell. The blackness in the rift seems alive, they hear it whispering in their mind as it reaches out and claws at them.

As a volley of arrows flies towards them, Alykacha charges north west, striking down the nearest skeleton. Pontuus sprints towards Kalarel, dodging past the arrows and up a stairway until he is virtually face to face with the evil priest. Only for the villain to teleport away, reappearing in the middle of a magic circle directly in front of the Rift. Happy Angel fires an Eldritch but misses her target, only for the Grave Wight to return fire with immobilising necrotic magic that rooted her to the spot.

Haagan blesses Happy Angel with a Cleansing and Healing Word, strengthening the drow after her fall but unfortunately she is unable to overcome the Wight's poison and remains frozen in place. Moonscale blasts the Wight and a number of skeletons with s Shocking Sphere, the skeletons crumble and collapse but the Wight simply looks angry and charges forward.

The Shadow Rift reaches out to Alykacha, befuddling her mind and making her walk dangerous near, where upon it claws at her with dark raking fingers. Kalarel fires a bolt of darkness at her from his ruby tipped wand, the evil magic seems to sap the strength from her limbs. Rather than move away, Alykacha rushes Kalarel. She drops her cloud of darkness around them and strikes at the priest, narrowly missing. Pontuus is determined not to let him escape and charges into Alykacha's darkness. Kalarel retreats from the cloud, but not before the two heroes strike him with spear and sword. But even wounded, Kalarel fires a ray of necrotic magic at Haagan. Catching him with an enfeebling spell.

Although immobilised, Happy Angel strikes the Wight with her Darkfire blast. The magic aura illuminating the undead wretch, making it an easy target for Haagan and Moonscale. Haagan smites him with his warhammer while Moonscale strikes the Wight with lightning and hits Kalarel with a bolt of arcane force!


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Great Wyrm
 
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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:57 am 
Slight delay in finishing this due to my internet failing! darn you internet company *waves fist*

Last weekend my group got together for a rare face-to-face gaming session and we played "The Crawling Fane" from the Chaos Scar Encounters adventure path. There's some confusion about whether this is a 3rd or 4th level adventure, it says 3rd but is tougher than many 4th level adventures I've read. But it ran well for my group of players, just about the right amount of stuff to do in one day when combined with chat, beer and a trip out for dinner.

I won't do a write up as we didn't use Maptool. I am not set up for face-to-face Maptool'ing, so I printed out maps from the PDF and printed counters created using TokenTool. Then I ran the adventure manually :( Blimey, you forget how much stuff a good framework manages for you. Manually keeping track of initiatives gave this poor GM a headache. Fun as it was, I look forward to getting back to MapTool. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:57 pm 
My group finally complete their mission. They don't quite succeed in the skill task for closing the ritual, but still manage to close the thing after Kalarel's death. So that's okay then :)

The Death of Kalarel
Kalarel is standing in his magic circle in front of the Shadowfell Rift, the Wight is advancing towards Moonscale and Haagan and all around them, the fallen Skeletons return to the feet and launch a hail of arrows at the party.

Still in her cloud of darkness, Alykacha strikes a vicious wound at Kalarel. The cloud dissipates and Pontuus leaps at the evil priest, raining down a series of powerful blows that all hit home. Angry, Kalarel repositions himself in his circle and retaliates with a blast of necromantic power that immobilises the human warrior.

Haagan ponders the rituals used to craft the rift and begins a prayer to counter the effects. The Grave Wight moves in to attack back the war priest is ready for it, battering it to its knees with his hammer. It tries to pick itself up off the floor but before it can move, Happy Angel and Moonscale blast it with arcane magics and the foul creature crumbles to dust.

While Moonscale masters his craft and begins to pick apart the rituals Kalarel used to construct the rift, Happy Angel starts demolishing the skeletons one by one. However the Rift is not without its defenses and breaks through the walls of Happy Angel's mind and drags her nearer, while feedback from the realm of Shadows burns Moonscale with necrotic energy.

Pontuus fights off the paralysis inflicted on him by Kalarel while Alykacha takes the battle to the priest. With the Wight defeated, the rest of the party join in the fight and Kalarel finds himself surrounded. Haagan uses the power of the Storm to fling the evil priest to the ground, but injured as he is, Kalarel will not leave his magic circle. Shadows reach out from the rift, clawing at the heroes, stealing life force to pass to its servant and so the dark power of the Rift continues to heal Kalarel.

Haagan and Moonscale continue to pick at the spells holding the Rift together, but are both racked by unearthly feedback. Pontuus channels the shamanistic powers of his forebears and pumps his own healing life force into the Rift. Kalarel begins to succumb to his wounds, he cannot slow the heroes down and the Rift cannot heal him fast enough. With nowhere to run, he fights on until the end but eventually falls to a blast of arcane force from the Dragonborn mage.

With their master gone the skeletons are soon destroyed, which allows Haagan, Moonscale and Pontuus to direct their full attention at undoing the Rift. It bucks and roars at the heroes but without Kalarel to sustain it. The anchors that attached it to this realm begin to tear away and it falls back to the Shadowfell. The room falls silent, Kalarel is defeated and the threat to the Nentir Vale has been averted.

The heroes search the cavern and discover a dagger on the alter (+2 magical dagger, value 1800gp) and 981gp hidden underneath. In the dust from the Wight the adventurers find a +2 Elven cloak (value 2600gp) and Kalarel's horned helm appears to be a magical item (+1d6 on charge, value 1800gp).

XP
Kalarel: 700
The Thing in the Pit: 175
Shallowgrave Wight: 175
Skeletons: 8x38
Total: 1354


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