Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
The Favorites of Selune - Gardmore Abbey - Session 4

In the previous session the Favorites of Selune had cleared two more rooms of the catacombs of undead. Only two more doors remained unexplored in that part of the dungeon, and by the layout they appeared to lead into the same room. So I was expecting the players to do that final encounter of that dungeon next. But I was wrong. The session starts with the players looting the room they just cleared, finding the Bowl of Bahamut's Blood, one of three sacred vessels they were asked to find by Sir Oakley. They also find a lot of murals depicting the various battle campaigns of the Templars, against orcs and yuan-ti.

Then they open one of the doors leading to the final room of the dungeon, and find a sinister looking human surrounded by undead. And for some reason that scares them so much that they close the door again and run away, in spite of them being able to sense that the human holds cards from the Deck of Many Things. [I'm afraid there was a bit of meta-gaming involved in that decision: The players are close to the next level, and that encounter appeared to be some sort of boss fight, so they preferred to do it at a later point.]

Outside the dungeon, feeling safe from the undead in the light of day, the heroes then remember the quest they have: Scout the orcs living in the village on the slope of the hill. As they are on top of the hill, they just need to find a good spot to look down upon that village, which should give them a pretty good idea. The hilltop is surrounded by a wall, which has one archway leading to the side of the hill overgrown by forest, and a big gate building leading towards the village. So they decide to go to the gate building. The iron gate is completely rusted away, and they enter the building and spot a drake in the second room. Combat commences.

The drake turns out to be not alone. Two gargoyles descend from the roof, and two rust monsters were hiding around the corner in the second room. But the players either don't know what a rust monster is, or don't recognize it, and engage them in melee combat. They even continue to do so after their arms and armor starts rusting. That ends by them learning the hard way why other players fear rust monsters: The warrior's magic armor and the rogue's magic dagger are destroyed. A series of low attack rolls keeping the rust monsters alive didn't help there. The wizard keeps the drake at bay by blocking the doorway with a conjured sphere of flame, the heroes kill the rust monsters and gargoyle, and then manage to kill the drake who was starting to run away towards the orc village. Although the monsters were rather low level, the players end up more scared than in the dungeon full of undead, fearing an attack from the rival adventurers which are still around somewhere. So they fulfill their quest by using their bitterly gained vantage point, counting around 15 camp fires in the village with apparently about 10 orcs around each. They also have a quick look at the forest side of the hill, finding that the forest there is unnaturally dense and wild compared to other vegetation of the region, suggesting a somewhat magical origin from the Feywild. With that information they leave Gardmore Abbey and return to Winterhaven.

They report their findings to Lord Padraig, but as they consider him somewhat of a rival towards their other goal of finding the cards of the Deck of Many Things, they don't mention the second card they found, nor the rival adventurers and "necromancer" they identified as holding cards. Lord Padraig is intrigued by the Feygrove they found, and asks them to look for potential allies there. They replace their lost armor and weapons: Using the updated rules on common, uncommon, and rare magic items they can't just buy magic items with daily powers like the ones they lost, but they can buy regular +1 scale mail and a +1 dagger, so at least their combat bonuses are restored to the previous values. While the warrior would have liked to stay a few days in Winterhaven, the other outvote him and they go back to Gardmore Abbey at dawn the next day.

The adventurers decide to go to the Feygrove next. They have two options here: Go in from below through a big hole in the outer wall, or come down from above from the hilltop. They decide to go through the archway from the top, with the two elves in front, hoping for a friendlier reception that way. On entering the forest and following a winding path they detect some movement ahead of them, and catch a glimpse of an elvish figure moving away from them through the forest. They stop to indicate their non-hostile intentions, hoping that somebody will be sent towards them, but nobody comes. So they continue along the winding path towards a belltower they saw from above. Here we stop the session.

Ahhh rust monsters. Fun little bastards. :D With all this detouring I hope that the other NPCs like the necro and the other party aren't just "waiting" in their designated rooms but moving about.
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