The PCs began this week’s encounter wet, dirty and in a very foul mood. Last week they faced off against members of the Dead Rats and the fight ended when the only surviving member of the gang managed to open a floodgate which flushed everyone through a series of underground sewer pipes.
The PCs finally got spit out in an underground cavern alongside the unconscious Dead Rat and the loot from the hideout. They tied up their unconscious prisoner and prepared to interrogate him. After all, they needed his help to navigate back to the surface because as it stood they were completely lost in the depths beneath Neverwinter.
Because encounters 9 and 10 were so short we ran them back to back last week. This meant that the party was unchanged between the two encounters. Our table consisted of a Human Wizard, Eladrin Cleric (Valenae pre-gen), Tiefling Bard, Tiefling Battlemind and Tiefling Warlock.
When the Dead Rat awoke he showed genuine fear of the party. He was outnumbered and out matched. He immediately agreed to cooperate in exchange for his life.
The Warlock and Bard were angry and bloodthirsty, and they wanted to kill him. The Warlock suspended the Dead Rat over the pit and threatened to drop him if he didn’t cooperate, even though he’d already agreed to spill his guts. The rest of the party remained silent.
The Bard then asked a lot of very general and broad questions like “Tell us everything you know,” which produced no meaningful answers. The Dead Rat eventually told the party information that they did find helpful. The Lost Heir approached the Dead Rats and the Sons of Alagondar separately and asked them to work together for the common goal of ousting Lord Neverember from power. The Lost Heir promised the Dead Rats the power of blue fire if they helped him.
At first the PCs didn’t believe the Dead Rat. They felt this was too preposterous to be true. However, they reflected back on the fight against the White Dragon and remembered the Lost Heir displaying power over the spellscarred wyrm. The heroes concluded that the Lost Heir was controlling the dragon all along and that the fight was orchestrated so that he could gain instant support from the grateful townsfolk.
The neutrality that the party had maintained until that point quickly fell away. The party felt played and betrayed by the Lost Heir. They wanted a confrontation where they could battle him. Unfortunately they were still lost.
When the PCs asked about where they were and how to get out the Dead Rat didn’t have much useful information. He confirmed that they were in a reservoir but the only way he knew would definitely lead out was down the shaft. He confessed that some opening were too small for normal people to squeeze through. However, in his rat form he knew he could get out.
He said that the Sons of Alagondar operate out of these tunnels and if the party just started wandering around the Sons would find them.
Realizing that the Dead Rat had no further useful information to share the Bard and Warlock decided to kill him. The Dead Rat figured this was going to happen so as soon as he had an opportunity to do so he transformed into his rat form, slipped out of his bonds, and then jumped down the shaft in an attempt to escape with his life. The Bard was exceptionally angry that he escaped.
The PCs took a minute to figure out how to proceed. While they mulled about the room, tentacles shot out from the nearby pools of water and attacked the PCs.
The Warlock guessed that these tentacles couldn’t be too powerful so he suggested the party allow him to act first. Before his turn came up three tentacles reached for the party and attacked. The Battlemind and Wizards were both grabbed and pulled towards the water.
On the Warlock’s turn he moved to a strategically ideal location and used his Hellfire and Brimstone power from his Devil’s Pawn theme. All creatures (or in this case, tentacles) in a burst 2 took 5 damage. This destroyed all but one tentacle which the Wizard managed to destroy.
Before the party could better assess the situation, two slimes dropped from the ceiling and attacked the Warlock and the Bard. While engulfed they took ongoing acid damage.
The engulfed PCs learned the hard way that while grabbed any damage dealt to a slime was split between the slime and the grabbed character. This made breaking the grab with forced movement a lot more difficult because almost all of the powers the party had that could push, pull or slide dealt damage. The only exception was the Wizard’s At-will. It could slide a monster but inflicted no damage.
PCs that tried to escape on their own had a lot of trouble doing so successfully. Between the damage from friendly fire and the ongoing acid, grabbed PCs lost a lot of hit points really fast. The party’s healers could barely trigger healing surges fast enough to keep the heroes conscious.
I didn’t expect the party to have so much trouble fighting the two slimes, but they did. Once grabbed, few PCs escaped on their next turn. The ongoing damage really started to add up fast. The PCs came up with some good tactics and managed to keep the slimes separated. The Warlock took on one slime all by himself while the rest of the party focused on the other.
The group working together kept pushing the slime away and moving back which kept them from getting engulfed. Until they found themselves backed against a wall. Suddenly the slime was close enough to grab the Battlemind. He selflessly allowed the group to attack the slime knowing he’d take half of the damage. It was a close call, but the slime fell before the hero.
The Warlock managed to lure the other slime away from the party by running in the other direction. While avoiding its attacks, he searched one of the bodies on the ground. He confirmed that the corpse was killed from a tentacle attack. On the body was a medallion that had a Kraken on it.
The slime finally caught up to the Warlock and engulfed him. He was unable to escape and nearly fell unconscious before the rest of the party came to his aid. By the time the party defeated the final slime they were at the end of their resources. Although no one died this week, a few of the PCs came very close. If they’d not focused fire and killed the first slime so quickly I think they could have all been killed.
As the battle ended the PCs heard the sounds of booted feet heading in their direction. Eight armed men rounded the corner – none had blades drawn. The leader stepped forward and introduced himself as Arlon Bladeshaper, leader of the Sons of Alagondar. He recognized the PCs as the heroes who fought alongside the Lost Heir in the battle against the White Dragon.
He invited the PCs to come with him and said he could give them a safe place to rest and recover from their recent battles. With two men injured and the rest of the party still badly wounded, they happily agreed to accept the invitation.
The heroes were led to the rebel base from where the Sons of Alagondar operate. Arlon offered the PCs food and a private room where they could sleep. Before he left them to rest he asked for their assistance. He knew they were looking for the Lost Heir and he offered to help them do just that.
The Sons of Alagondar were at first completely on the Lost Heir’s side and fully supported him. However, his push for a bloody confrontation and his use of ruthless tactics has made them reconsider their position. Arlon wants to meet with the Lost Heir and try to talk some sense into him. He doesn’t believe that such violence is necessary. There has to be more peaceful ways to facilitate change in Neverwinter.
He’s going to meet with the Lost Heir tomorrow and asked the PCs to accompany him. The Lost Heir is planning to attack the Protector’s Enclave. The Sons of Alagondar will not participate. They will try to talk the Lost Heir out of this poor course of action. If he refuses they will try to stop him and the attack. He asks the PCs if they will join them in stopping the Heir through dialogue or blades. The PCs agreed to help without a moment of consideration.
So ends Chapter 3 of the Lost Crown of Neverwinter. The final chapter begins when the PCs awaken from their extended rest. There are still four deadly encounters remaining before the PCs reach the adventure’s conclusion. By now most of the PCs are level 2 and level 3 so the encounters are going to be more difficult.
The final chapter looks to have a good mix of role-playing opportunities and combat. One of the upcoming encounters is designed as two back-to-back mini combat encounters which should be interesting. Players who have been with the adventure since the chapter 1 or even the Game Day adventure should find the final chapter satisfying.
As an added bonus this season we’re recording our D&D Encounters experiences and making them available to you as downloadable podcasts. Listen to the Week 10 Encounter. Bear in mind that these recordings are made in a loud, crowded game store so at time it may be difficult to hear everyone.
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