Saturday, 19 October 2019

9-10/7/1491 DR Session 10 Attack on the Sacred Stone Monastery XP 60+8=68+1=69 Lvl 8>9

Image result for buletteThurl and most of the Feathergale knights attack the main entrance, while Dagny leads her comrades in through a Stoneshaped back door. Brutal fighting kills dozens of Black Earth Monks, 1 Bulette, 4 Duergar, 4 Black Earth Guards and a priest, though the Abbess escapes to the lower levels. Dagny Revivifies the knight Sabra Belabantra, killed by a Shatter from the Abbess. PCs and knights descend to the lower level; Dagny calms an Umber Hulk.

Alani’s account of the raid on the Sacred Stone monastery
We agreed to raid the monastery at night, so I spent the late afternoon with Ralph, my Barbarian brother in arms, preparing the weapons, sharpening the blades and the arrow tips, and fixing our worn armours. The rush of anticipation from the impending battle running already through our veins, it was useless to get some rest. A few hours ago, we had discussed our attack plan with all the members of the group and agreed on sending the Feathergale knights making a diversion at the main entrance while we would fly over to the target site. Dagny would then create a magic opening in the monastery’s wall to sneak inside and find the prisoners, extract them and at the same time, hopefully killing as many cultists as we could.
When the time came, we suited up with our magical flying costumes, some others rode Edna, a majestic Hippogrif, and Rhennya the druidess excused herself for a minute in the nearby woodland, only to reappear a minute later as a fearsome eagle. We were ready and flew in the sunset towards our next and exciting rescue-and-extract mission.
Upon arrival, everything went like a precisely choreographed dance: Stealthful landing, silent intrusion of enemy lines while the clamour of the diversion could be heard on the other side of the edifice, room-per-room neutralisation of threats. Sheratu was doing a great job with his fireballs, roasting every room to a crisp before the knives would go in and detach the meat from the bones… All along, I was daydreaming about BBQ pork ribs, I have no idea why…
The irony was that with all these fireballs, the residents thought to be attacked by fire cultists, and we didn’t crushed that belief at any point: heat metal spells, flaming sphere, wall of fire, Tinderstrike dagger... it was edging on cultural appropriation! :-) until much later in the last room, Rhennya will finally cast an ice knife into the last cultists we met on that day.
But no plan is ever perfect and we hit our first snag when that bulette decided to jump on Sheratu and Seraphus (who, to be fair, gave him a serious beating beforehand). I could hear the bones of the poor and brave Seraphus cracking under the weight of that large crustacean monster as he landed heavily upon him. Ouch…
Fortunately, I was just behind the dragonborn delegation and as such, became the first in line to make that creature regret its very foolish but instinctive impulse. Time was running out if I wanted to avoid our friends suffocating under the load. So I used my newly-trained tactical move and feinted an attack at the monster who didn’t know better: my precious Tinderstrike went right between two chitinous plates and ripped in the flesh, my second attack was just as devastating, a final blow went from somebody behind me but I was too blind-sided by the ferocity of the fight, that I don’t remember who gave the coup-de-grace. We quickly tipped over that enormous bug and Dagny promptly healed our scaly friends.
By then, the tempo of the mission was dangerously quickening, some more enemies erupted in the corridors and from the rooms we opened: Duegars, Black Earth guards and their spiritual leader came to stop us but a combination of magic, prayers and good ol’ swashbuckling kept us well away from harm or worse: retreat.
We progressed some more until we reached the main hall of the monastery: a vast nave with an Altar that turned out upon closer inspection to have been built for the glory of Moradin and later desecrated to accommodate the rituals of the Black Earth cult. In the middle of the nave, a stony staircase descend into the underground and almost certainly leads to the prisoners we need to extract. Dagny lights up her magic orb and we follow up the suddenly warmed-up trail of the investigation that was one of the main raison-d’etre of our adventuring party.
Passing a caged Umber Hulk was another reason to believe that that place was a large jail and our prisoners were somewhere in there...

Image result for black earth cultist
Priest, Guard & Bulette Rider

Saturday, 21 September 2019

21/6-7/7/1491 DR session 9 Defeat of Efreet XP 53+7=60 Lvl 7>8

21/6: Meet Oscar the Azer. Dagny discovers many secrets in Ignan, left among Vanifer's notes. Late night bluff/escape from the Fire Temple at Tyar-Besil with Tinderstrike.
28/6: Rainy weather. An angry Efreet & 2 Salamanders attack Swinging Sword Inn, seeking Tinderstrike. Salamanders are killed and the Efreet Sharmazam is forced to flee back to the City of Brass and resume his position as a street tough & drinking buddy of Lord Shieldbiter.
29/6+: With their Prophet Vanifer dead and Tinderstrike lost, the Fire Cult collapses. Most of those recruited from the Cult of Tiamat either rejoin Tiamat, or flee. Sharatu gains a sidekick.
Hallomak Stromm is the new Open Lord of Waterdeep.
5/7: Visit Feathergale Spire, Dagny & Kasumi join the Feathergale Knights; Rhenya is offered an advisory position by Thurl Merosska.
7/7: Dagny & Kasumi bond with their new Hippogriff mounts in the Sighing Valley. Sir Elian tries to kiss Dagny, but only gets a cheek-peck. With the Feathergale Knights now back at full strength (12, including Dagny & Kasumi); Thurl plans an attack on the Black Earth Cult in an attempt to rescue any survivors among the Mirabar delegation.

Likely attack group: 14 total.
9 knights - Thurl Merosska, Dagny Glintshield,  Elian, Sabra Belantra, & 5 other knights, carrying 5 more - Rhenya Alani Ralf Sharatu & Seraphus. Total: 14, with 9 mounts.
3 knights - Kasumi, 2 more knights, & their mounts - will remain to protect Feathergale.

Postscript: While Dagny Glintshield is engaged in her nightly study of Vanifer's notes, this time in her bunk at the Feathergale Spire, she comes across reference to something called a 'Devastation Orb', harvesting Primordial Fire. Apparently Vanifer was planning to test it within the current month of Flamerule by destroying a local village - most likely Red Larch.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

20-21/M6 1491 DR session 8 Lvl 6 Fall of the Fire Prophet XP 44+9=53 Lvl 6>7

Joined by a wandering Fighter, the group attacks and kills Elizar Dryflagon, then descends the tunnel from Scarlet Moon Hall for over a mile to the ancient dwarven halls of Tyar-Besil. Fooling Fire Cult guards that they are fellow cultists, they are escorted by a hobgoblin captain through the foundry to reach the Tiefling Fire Prophet Vanifer, and kill her in a fierce battle.

Friday, 28 June 2019

20/M6 1491 DR session 7 Scarlet Moon Hall 2 XP 37+7=44 Lvl 5>6

Scarlet Moon Hall

On Midsummer's Eve, the PCs joined by Gariena the elf druid & a mysterious Shadar-Kai strike against Scarlet Moon Hall once more; this time things go much better as many priests and flame guardians are slain, although the sprite Flix is killed. Under cover of a wall of fire Elizar Dryflagon retreats to his quarters for a final stand.

Enemies killed:
Flame Priests 3
Flame Guardians 7
Fire Elemental 1
Hell hounds 2
Azer 1
Magmin 5

Sunday, 16 June 2019

T2/M6 1491 DR session 6 Orc Assault on Delmon Manor XP 31+6=37 Lvl 5

Over 40 Ice Shield Orcs attack Delmon Manor, but Sharatu uses his new Fireball power and the orcs are wiped out except for 5 boar riders who flee. Dagny raises the patriarch's eldest son, and buries two fallen dwarf blacksmith-tinker brothers, the only losses among the defenders.
At dawn the Elves arrive led by Galias, Knight Banneret of King Cirallon Swancloak, and chase the orcs back to the High Forest. Party long rests at the manor - the weather is very hot. In Beliard a week later they meet a beautiful half-elven druidess & her sprite familiar heading to Scarlet Moon Hall for the Midsummer Festival of the Wicker Giant in two day's time, Ralf is keen to accompany her...

NPCs in Beliard - Watchful Knight Inn
Neshor Fleurdin, Innkeeper, spoke with Mirabar delegation, they were heading south to Summit Hall.
Senya, Watchful Knight barmaid, saw a golden masked monk watching the delegation.
Eann, a cattle drover, saw Feathergale Knights flying south in same direction as the delegation some hours later.
Gariena, half-elf Druidess & her sprite companion Flix - travelling to midsummer festival at Scarlet Moon Hall.

Druids discuss tactics pre-battle

The shadow of death looms over the battlefield

Attack on the gatehouse

Dagny & Ralf at the rear gate

Battle on the battlements

Orcs swarm the gatehouse

Shooting orcs

Last boar rider attacks Seraphus

Pork dinner after fight

Sunday, 19 May 2019

T1/M6 1491 DR session 5 Feathergale Spire XP 25+6=31 Lvl 4>5

Feathergale Hall
PCS go to deliver 4 Believers to Feathergale Spire, defeat attack by 3 wind cultists, meet the Feathergale Knights and their commander Thurl Merroska. Hunt in the canyon - bag 2 manticores 4 gnolls 4 hyenas. Kasumi gets it on with Thurl.
Manticore hunts hunters
A week later Rhenya gets a message from elf king Cirallon warning of orc raids on the eastern farms. Party kills 5 orc raiders and readies to defend a farmstead vs approaching horde...

The Feathergale Knights
Lord Commander Thurl Merosska, human male - lover of Kasumi (PC), Handsome, muscular, blond hair, cleanshaven, age 52.
Sir Elian, half-elf male - friendly with Dagny Glintshield, age 40.
Lady Savra Belabranta, human female - gate guard, age 25.

Founded in Waterdeep by Sir Thurl Merosska, formerly of the City's Griffin Knights, in 1481 DR. In 1489 they began refurbishing the Haunted Keep now known as Feathergale Spire, in the southern Sumber Hills. At full strength the Feathergale Knights number a dozen Knights, having 12 stalls for flying mounts, plus around 10 Initiates, who act as servants and may aspire one day to join the Knights. There are typically around 8 Knights present at the Spire, including the Lord Commander.

Image result for feathergale knight
Feathergale Knight

Delmon Ranch
Apart from the 7 PCs, the ranch has some 15 defenders, plus 12 barely combatant Commoners and 16 Noncombatants (children, sick, wounded & elderly).
The 15 defenders comprise:

Kerbin, the Delmon Patriarch
Perd Delmon, his elder son
Marka, Perd's wife, human female
Dreena, Kerbin's daughter, a Druidess
Fyndrick, Kerbin's impulsive younger son
Flameram Verminbane, a Halfling Scout
Sir Erned Stoutblade, a veteran Knight of Samular
Stowal & Brannikan, dwarven blacksmiths
4 warriors, human male
2 hunters/scouts, human male

Assessing the defenders: Marka Delmon, the halfling Flameram Verminbane, and the two local hunters are all handy archers, while Dreena can cast Thunderwave & Entangle (4 slots total). By far the best warrior though is the doughty Sir Erned Stoutblade, the only one who looks like he could go hand to hand with an Orc horde.

Assessing the fortified Delmon manor, the main gatehouse by the smithy has two doors, a murder port and grilled sally gate to the smithy - it would be a deathtrap for attackers. But there is one possible weak point - the rear wall is less fortified, with no parapet, and has a small single gate. Any intelligent adversary scouting the manor is likely to seize on this... Another possible weak point is the dry thatched roof on the stable block.

Delmon Manor, gatehouse to top (N), rear gate bottom left.

Gnolls & Hyenas vs Feathergale Knights

Rescuing the Farmer's Wife