Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Zeitgeist: The Island at the Axis of the World - Session 05

In the previous session infiltrated the fortress on Axis Island with a mission to open the sea gate and signal their fleet to invade. This session started with them close to the lighthouse in which the mechanism to open the sea gate is located. They got there with the help of a water breathing ritual, one of a bunch of ritual scrolls they had been provided with. Now frequently in role-playing games players hesitate to use one-shot consumable items, because you never know whether there isn't a better occasion to use them just ahead. But as in this case they had been told to return unused scrolls to the Royal Homeland Constabulary armory after the mission, this session was all about the use of ritual scrolls.

Approaching the lighthouse under water the constables were able to scout the defenses there, which consisted of 12 rebel enemies (4 different enemies of their level, 8 minions, but they didn't know that). Usually this group has a tendency to go for "Plan A", the frontal assault. But this time they decided that it would be better to open the sea gate first, and deal with the enemies later. In spite of this being a group with more social skills than physical skills, they managed to climb up from the water to the roof of the side building of the lighthouse. Not a small feat considering the climb consisted of 3 climbing checks and several group members had negative skill modifiers. But they used a silence ritual scroll to muffle the sound of people falling back into the water, and so climbing up from the water turned out to be an advantage. On the roof they used a passwall ritual scroll to get through the stone roof and jumped into the building where the sea gate mechanism was.

Now the fortress had been constructed by Danor, old enemy of Risur and relying on technology instead of magic. So the sea gate mechanism was operated by steam. Aria, the spirit medium, talked to the spirit of her dad, who knew about technology, because nobody else in the group does. So they figured out how to open the sea gate. But apart from being aware that brute force might well release the steam and shut the gate again, they couldn't find a way to sabotage the mechanism in the open position. And the opening sea gate made quite some noise, alerting the troops in and around the lighthouse.

Now the group was in a good position to defend the gate mechanism. But they somewhat complicated the situation by asking their main healer, Artus, to smash the window and cast the pyrotechnics ritual scroll in order to alert the fleet and start the invasion. Rituals aren't made to be cast in combat, even the simplest pyrotechnics ritual takes a minute, 10 combat rounds, to cast. This resulted in the healer being out for the fight, which made combat somewhat more exciting than expected.

The rebel patrolmen minions weren't much of a problem and dropped like flies. But the rebel mage got a storm cloud spell off that followed Eldion around. And the mage's pet drake turned invisible in the first round and then managed to bite Aria in the neck, poisoning her for 5 points of ongoing damage. Normally that isn't that bad, but Aria managed to fail 5 saving throws in a row. Even with Malicia the paladin healing her with laying on hands, Aria ended down to 1 hitpoint before she managed to succeed the saving throw. Meanwhile James Boffin, the tank, held the lower door of the building against the rebel soldier and investigator without taking a scratch. Only one encounter power of the investigator which didn't require an attack roll or allowed a saving throw forced James once to attack Eldion, bringing him down to 2 hitpoints. In the end the party managed to kill all enemies but without a main healer the fight had been tough.

As the fight had taken only 5 rounds, Artus completed the pyrotechnics ritual 30 seconds later and alerted their fleet. But also the rest of the rebel troops in the fortress, who came rushing along the sea wall towards the lighthouse to close the gate. The group will have to defend the sea gate mechanism for 10 minutes, but that will be for the next session.


When's the next Zeitgeist post, Tobold?

It's been more than a month now.
Real life intervened, but I hope we can continue this week.
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