Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
 
Zeitgeist: The Island at the Axis of the World - Session 07

In the previous session the musketeers of the Royal Homeland Constabulary captured Axis Island from the duchess's forces in their mission to give it back to Danor and prevent a war. But on one of the ships a high-level eladrin warrior had hidden, who had his own plans for the duchess. Having chased that eladrin, Asrabey Varal, to the hedge maze around the central tower, this session began with an encounter with Gillie Dhu, the guardian of the hedge maze.

As their first attempt to persuade Gillie Dhu to let them pass failed, the group engaged in combat. That was complicated by the hedge, through which Gillie Dhu could pass freely, but the players needed to push through, climb over, or go around. That made the fight a bit more interesting, because otherwise fighting with six players against a single opponent would have been far too easy. The different players chose different ways to deal with the hedge, with the sorceress using area attack fire spells to set it aflame, seeing how that distracted their opponent. And then in one round several players landed critical hits, and the fight was suddenly over.

So the constables reached the central tower, decided against trying to climb it, and instead found that the door had already been kicked open by Asrabey. At the top of the tower they came to a door which was slightly open and were able to overhear the discussion of Asrabey with the duchess and Nathan Jierre after Asrabey had beaten the duchess in combat. It turned out that Asrabey had been sent by the Unseen Court, the government of the faerie, in order to send a strong signal on which side in this civil war they were by killing the duchess. They also discovered that Nathan Jierre, which they were supposed to bring back to his cousin Lya Jierre, minister of outsiders for Danor, was in fact a traitor to Danor. Nathan had discovered that Danor was constructing industry and weapons on Axis Island, and had contacted the duchess because he thought that could prevent a war between Danor and Risur. It was Nathan who had provided the duchess with the key to the teleportation ring, although he mentioned that it has been Kasravina Varal who had constructed it; Nathan asked Asrabey whether that was a relation of his, but didn't get a clear answer. Persuaded that Nathan had valuable information, Asrabey then checked his escape route and found the group.

From the previous events it was rather clear that Asrabey was very high level, although he was obviously seriously wounded by now. Nevertheless the players didn't want to fight him, but rather negotiated. Asrabey wanted them to tell the king that the Unseen Court had sent him as a sign of support. He demanded a ship with an unarmed crew. He offered to go with the group to that ship and there leave the duchess to them, while keeping Nathan with him. After some discussion the group agreed, although they could sense that the eladrin wasn't entirely honest. They decided to foil his plan by closing the sea gate, but that didn't work out. On the way to the port Asrabey suddenly attacked the duchess (who was already at 0 hit points and thus unable to resist) and decapitated her with his flaming sword. Apart from the sorceress who summoned the spirit of the duchess to unsuccessfully attack Asrabey, the other players still didn't want to mess with that high-level character. So he grabbed Nathan, and escaped towards the teleportation circle (which the players could have guessed because they had seen him make preparations there in the previous session).

So the constables were left with just the corpse of the duchess, which they returned to the king. But first they formally handed Axis Island over to Lya Jierre, claiming that they hadn't found her cousin while conquering the island. As this meant their main mission was a success they reached level 2, and the end of this adventure.

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Comments:
Aww now I'm curious, would the team have managed to down the scary guy at the end if they went all out? They did still have an extra soldier each at that point right so... twelve gunshots as opening move would have been good. :P
 
Basically two ways to down the scary guy: Roll natural 20s or use powers that still deal some damage on a miss (some daily powers do that). The extra soldiers would have been useful as cannon fodder. ;)
 
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