For the final chapter we had a party of 7 – a Dwarven Fighter (male), a Dwarven Fighter (female), an Eladrin Avenger, a Human Druid (with bear companion), a Tiefling Ardent, a Tiefling Warlock and a Tiefling Wizard (Necromancer).
After defeating Vontarin in the previous encounter, his soul took refuge in the magic orb. The PCs examined the object, but were unsure what to do next. They looked around the library and through Vontarin’s notes. They hoped that he had something written down about how to reverse Evard’s curse. But the search proved futile and no new details were discovered. It seemed that the PCs would need to return to Duponde and consult someone more knowledgeable.
The search was not completely in vain as it did turn up treasure in the form of coins and magic. The Avenger claimed a fine suit of +2 armor. A +1 rod implement was no use to anyone in the party so they decided they’d sell it at a future juncture. The Druid and Ardent maximized healing as the party rested for the better part of half an hour.
Before leaving the monastery, the Druid volunteered to carry the orb. As soon as he touched it a face appeared in the sphere and spoke. It offered the Druid great power if he released Vontarin’s soul. This was the nudge the party needed to confirm that the orb was dangerous, evil and must be destroyed. They needed to get back to Duponde quickly and consult an expert.
The Druid secretly considered the offer of power and during the trip back quietly whispered to Vontarin that he’d help him. Vontarin exerted his control and influence over the Druid promising him power when they reached town. The party suspected nothing.
When the PCs returned to Duponde they proceeded to the Chapel of Peace to meet with Brother Zelan. When they entered the church, the Druid immediately regained control of his faculties. A permanent blessing on the church broke the link. He realized that it was stupid to accept Vontarin’s offer.
Upon hearing what had happened at the monastery, and after examining the orb, Brother Zelan told the party he knew just what to do. He produced a ritual scroll from the pages of a very old book. He explained that enacting the ritual would free Vontarin’s soul from the orb. The soul would be drawn to its once mortal (and very much deceased) body. This would instantly kill Vontarin once and for all.
Armed with knowledge, the PCs set forth to the graveyard to perform the ritual. The Avenger and Necromancer in an unlikely role reversal manipulated the necrotic energies (using Arcana) and recited the prayers of protection (using Religion) respectively. The male Fighter coached by the Ardent, carefully held and moved the orb (using Thievery) as the ritual casters instructed. The Druid and Warlock repeated what they heard (using Bluff) even though neither understood the words themselves. The female Fighter paid close attention to everything pointing out mistakes (using Insight).
As the ritual finished the orb shattered and Vontarin’s soul was sucked back into his body. His scream was horrific and deafening. All was going as planned until a blast of energy shot away from Vontarin’s soul, animating as a Ghostly form of the Wizard. The effect also animated two corpses from the graveyard into Zombies and animated three plants into twisted violent attackers.
Before the heroes realized what was happening the two Zombies charged them. The male Fighter and the Ardent were both hit. The Druid and his bear moved towards the closest plant and tried to destroy it. The Warlock cursed the same plant and joined the attack.
The female Fighter moved towards the Zombie that was attacking the Ardent, striking and marking it. The plants began flailing out and grabbing the heroes. The Ardent was entangled and then injected with poison, bloodying him in the first round. The Druid’s bear was also entangled and poisoned. The third plant grabbed the Avenger and got him with the poison barbs too.
The Avenger used his Fey Step to teleport out of the plant’s grasp and get closer to Vontarin’s Ghost. He designated him as his Oath of Enmity and unloaded on him. The Necromancer, managing to avoid the swarm of Zombies and plants, moved away from the melee and closer to Vontarin before attacking him.
The Avenger and the Necromancer were the only two PCs that could attack Vontarin while the rest of the party fought the vines and the Zombies. The Avenger, rolling two attack dice ever round, hit consistently. The Necromancer also got hot dice and scored multiple hits on Vontarin, including a devastating daily attack.
The Ardent and the Female Fighter both got entangled in the vines and were unable to escape. The Fighter focused on the Zombie while the Ardent, too far away to reach the Zombie, focused on the vines.
The Male Fighter managed to get around the other Zombie in order to get combat advantage from flanking with the Druid and started chipping away the Zombie’s hit points. The Zombie moved away, not getting tagged by the Fighter or Druid during the opportunity attacks, and then charged back towards the Fighter inflicting massive damage. The Fighter returned the favour the next round.
Still entangled with the vines, the bear and the Druid coordinated their attacks against the vines, but it was the Warlock who finally managed to finish off the plant and free the bear. On the next round the bear and Druid again worked together to attack the Zombie now that they were free to flank it. The Druid missed, but the Bear scored a crit, instantly killing the Zombie.
Vontarin realized that if he was going to be victorious he needed to focus fire and drop one of these two immediate threats fast. The Necromancer managed to avoid any damage in the previous encounter so Vontarin decided to focus on him this time.
The Ghost targeted him again and again, finally bloodying the Necromancer. Vontarin, pressed his advantage, used his action point, and attack the wounded Necromancer again. The attack brought the injured Necromancer down to his last few hit points. However, the attack also slid the Necromancer into a nearby open grave and dropped him into the 10-foot deep pit. The Necromancer tried to grab edge but couldn’t. The fall killed him.
The Avenger and the Warlock attacked Vontarin with everything they had in order to avenger their fallen compared. With two successful hit, these heroes brought the Ghost to 0 hit points. The Ghost again cried out as what remained of Vontarin’s soul was sucked back into his body and he was forever destroyed.
When Vontarin fell, the remaining Zombie dropped dead and the animated plants returned to normal. The town of Duponde and everyone in it shifted out of the Shadowfell and back into the normal world. Evard’s curse was broken. The heroes emerged victorious, although the cost was high.
Cheers rose from the Chapel of Peace as the townsfolk sheltered within poured into the streets in celebration. Many ran into the cemetery to congratulate the PCs. It might have only been three days since the town fell victim to Evard’s curse, but it certainly seemed like much longer to the locals. The PCs would forever be remembered as heroes and treated like kings while in Duponde.
So ends season five of D&D Encounters: The Dark Legacy of Evard. Early next week we’ll have our report cad on this season in which we talk about what worked and what didn’t. Next Wednesday we begin season 6 D&D Encounters: The Crown of Neverwinter and will bring you the field report from our FLGS.
What were your thought on the final encounter? Did it live up to expectations? Did anyone else kill some or all of the PCs?
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