D&D Encounters: Legacy of the Crystal Shard (Week 10)

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on January 30, 2014

legacy-of-the-crystal-shard-coverAfter missing all the action at the Easthaven docks, the PCs decided to follow the tracks of two large Crag Cats who had brazenly attacked and killed some of the local townsfolk who wandered off the city’s beaten paths. Although the PCs didn’t actually run into the Crag Cats last session they were ambushed by some crafty Goblins guarding a cavernous lair in the mountains. The heroes battled two small groups of Goblins before deciding to take a short rest as they prepared to explore more rooms within the Verbeeg Lair.

We were down to only three tables this week at Harry T North in Toronto. One group who all travel to the store in one vehicle was unable to come this week. But the other three tables were all full – six players at each of the two D&D Next tables and I had my five regulars at the 4e table. The party now consists of the following PCs: Gnoll Barbarian, Tiefling Paladin, Dragonborn Cavalier, Halfling Rogue, and Tiefling Warlock.

We took a quick poll of our players over the previous few sessions regarding preferences for next season and it looks like we’ll have four new DMs next season running two tables of D&D Next and two running 4e. Both Craig and I have DMed many season in a row so it will be a nice change if we get to hand over the reigns to fresh DMs next season.

The Verbeeg Lair

We picked things back up in the Barracks. There was a closed door on the south side of the room and a winding passage to the west. During the fight last week one of the Goblins fled down the passage. The party decided to rest before moving onward.

They discussed opening the door to see what was inside, but in the end they figured it was more important to track down the Goblin who fled, so the door remained closed. The party decided to try and proceed cautiously but with the Cavalier’s summoned steed, Clipity-Clop leading the way stealth was all but impossible.

The Main Hall and Storage Rooms

As the party made their way down the main passage they noticed a door on the north side, and then a little farther down a door on the south side. The doors continued down the hallway, on opposite sides.

The Rogue decided to examine the first door. He searched for traps and finding none checked if the door was locked – which it wasn’t. The PCs readied actions as the Paladin stepped up beside the Rogue and opened the door. The old door opened noisily and revealed a small, dark room. Inside were the remains of damaged furniture and other rubble. There was nothing valuable inside, nor were their any living occupants so the party moved on.

The Cultist’s Room

The Barbarian was not impressed with all the careful planning and set up the party did for a room that presented no treasure and no danger so he impatiently charged the next door and smashed it down before the party could suggest any other course of action. This room was occupied.

Startled by the door smashing off its hinges, but not completely unaware that something was approaching, five Humans inside the room were ready for combat. All were wearing apparel that denoted them as followers of Auril, the Frost Maiden. Four men were brandishing swords and crossbows while the fifth was an arcane spell caster wielding a rod.

The Barbarian leaped in between the Thugs in order to reach the Adept. Despite taking a lot of damage from an opportunity attack, he gave as good as he got and bloodied him in one shot. Unfortunately the Thugs acted next and managed to drop the Barbarian with a coordinated attack.

The rest of the PCs moved in to help. The Paladin locked down the Adept and drew his wrath. The Warlock shot the Thugs from the hallway trying to avoided taking any damage. The Rogue managed to get in the room and took a nasty crossbow bolt in the first round. The Cavalier dismissed Clipity-Clop and rushed into the room where he managed to heal the Barbarian just before his turn in the initiative came up again.

The Barbarian managed to inflict massive damage to one of the Thugs, but not enough to drop him. Meanwhile the Thugs easily dropped the Barbarian a second time. Unbeknownst to the party, the Thugs got serious bonuses to their damage rolls when other Thugs were nearby. So until the first one fell all the Thugs were incredibly dangerous. By the third round two of the Thugs were down and the party realized the fight was getting significantly easier.

The Barbarian was again healed so he could act on his turn but was again knocked out by the closest Thug. Focused fire by the heroes and some decent rolls allowed them to drop all the bad guys without suffering any other serious hardships. They took a short rest as they searched the room and listened for any approaching guards.

The Goblin’s Room

Once rested up the party decided that taking the time to go slow and check each door like they did the first one was worth the wait. The next room was empty except for debris where one of the walls had started eroding and crumbling down.

At the door to the fourth room the Rogue found no traps but heard sounds of movement within. The Cavalier and Barbarian rushed in to find four Goblins all waiting with crossbows aimed at the door. As chaos erupted one of the Goblins fired his crossbow and then ran to the corner where a gong was set up. He banged the gong and screamed that the PCs were here until the Rogue moved into the room and made him stop.

This room was clearly some kind of storage room. There were crates, boxes, barrels and other miscellaneous goods stacked in one corner. As the PCs entered the room one of the players said “I’ll bet there are Goblins hiding in the barrels.” However, on his turn he didn’t take any sort of action to prove or disprove this thought. The party merely focused on the four Goblins in front of them. No one commented that the previous two Goblin units were made up of six while this group only had four.

The fight continued for a few rounds with the PCs and Goblins exchanging blows. The Goblins inflicted additional damage if they had combat advantage and maneuvered around the room to get flanking bonuses almost every round. The PCs wisely grouped themselves together with their backs to the barrels limiting flanking positions. Of course, this was when the two Goblins hiding in the barrels jumped out and gave their opponents opposite the heroes the flanking bonuses they wanted.

By the fourth round two of the original Goblins were down and the other two who were in plain sight all along were both bloodied. However, this was when seven more Goblins arrived in the hallway and now pinned the heroes between two forces. (The seventh Goblin was the one who fled from last week’s fight.)

The party had to pull out the big guns and use action points and daily powers to get out of this one. None of them fell unconscious as the mowed through all the Goblins, but they did expend a lot of resources. In the end the PCs were victorious but that one quick Goblin who fled last week managed to flee again.

The Crag Cats

The party desperately needed another short rest. They wanted to rest in the room where they’d just faced all those Goblins, but the door was demolished during the combat. They decided to go back one room and rest in there with the door securely shut.

After five minutes they exited cautiously, not knowing if another contingent of Goblins were waiting for them out in the main hall. The coast was clear so they move fast and quietly down the passage towards unfamiliar territory. They didn’t get far before they spotted a huge Crag Cat blocking the passage ahead. When they looked back another one blocked the passage behind them. They were trapped.

The Barbarian and Paladin turned and charged the Crag Cat behind them. The Cavalier and Rogue faced the one directly ahead. The Warlock skulked down a side passage and into the room where the party faced the Goblins.

In order to make the Crag Cats more challenging I gave them reach 1, cold resistance, and a cold breath weapon like dragon breath. These changes were unexpected when they became known to the party and made the combat a lot more interesting. They faced regular Crag Cats before so they thought they knew what was in store; they were wrong.

When the Crag Cat ahead was bloodied, a Human made his presence known from farther down the passage. He rushed up to the Crag Cat, whispered soothing words into his ear, and did a Heal check to trigger the monster’s Second Wind. The PCs were not impressed. (I love having intelligent monsters heal one another this way.)

The heroes were taking a pounding from the Cats and things looked grim. When the Warrior (Rycher) squeezed past the Crag Cat and joined the melee it looked like some of the PC might not make it through.

It should be noted that my DM dice were red hot. I rolled at least eight natural 20s on my main black die and at least five 19s on my secondary pink die. All night I was hitting and hitting hard. Meanwhile the players were rolling terribly. The Paladin only rolled a few hits all night. The Halfling Rogue used his Second Chance when I rolled a 16 only to have the next roll come up 20. Later he had me reroll a 20 which came up 19 and then I rolled maximum damage.

But as the night neared its end my dice cooled down a bit and the players’ dice warmed up when they needed it most. They dropped both Cats while the creatures had PCs held in their grasp. In both cases if the monster had lived one more round the grabbed PC would have fallen unconscious. Fortunately this did not happen.

The Cavalier managed to keep the Warrior occupied, but he gladly took the automatic damage and the -2 to attack to target the softer PCs after missing the defender a few times in a row. With only one opponent remaining the Rogue easily maneuvered to get a flanking bonus and finally got to show how awesome he is when he gets his sneak dice. The heroes defeated the Warrior and then took a short rest.

Thoughts

We didn’t really advance the story forward much this week but we had a thrilling 3-hour, non-stop combat session that everyone loved. It was a lot of fun and a really let the players showcase the combat side of their PCs. Sometimes people forget how big a part of D&D the combat is.

As the DM I had to adjust the monsters enough to make it challenging without overwhelming the PCs. They did a good job of holding their own and not expending too many resources unnecessarily. By my count they’ve now completed 6 combat encounters with only four short rests. They’re running on empty now and have at least one more challenging encounter ahead of them before they’ll get an extended rest. It will be tough but I think they’ll have a lot of fun.

Next week I’m going to level the party after they finish in the Verbeeg Lair. This will mark the end of Act 2 and the transition into Act 3. I have no doubt that the party will complete Act 3 and the adventure in the two remaining weeks.

How is the adventure going with your group? Have you completed Act 2? If not do you think you’ll be able to finish the adventure in the time remaining? What level is everyone at this point? Any suggestions for beefing up the confrontation in Act 3 if it looks like my players might get through it faster than I expect?

Recounting Encounters Podcast

Recounting Encounters is a weekly podcast I record with fellow Toronto DM, Crag Sutherland, and Marc Talbot (Alton) from 20ft Radius in which we recount that week’s experiences with D&D Encounters. We share the highlights from our respective FLGS and we talk about what worked, what didn’t and what we might have done differently. Find all episodes of Recounting Encounters on iTunes.

Note: New episodes of Recounting Encounters will be available in our D&D Encounters Archive and on iTunes on Wednesdays moving forward. Now DMs can listen before they play.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joe January 30, 2014 at 9:53 am

I had SO much fun this week. We had 3 tables of 4-7 at Modern Myths in Northampton, MA. We all ran 4e.

This week my table was populated by 2 families: a mom/son(17)/daughter(14) who’ve been coming for a while, and a father/son(10ish) who were both brand new to roleplaying. The dad played a pregen assassin, and the son played a pregen warlord. As a DM, I have to say, this was everything you hope for with a new player session (or any session, actually).

This week the party was tracking down Ackar Kessel (who did NOT flee in a departure known as the Kessel Run). After some general ice hazard stuff in the tunnels beneath the Dwarven Valley (everyone had successes & failures), the party had to deal with the “evil” influence of all the black ice. The only character with a Will defense great enough to withstand the attacks was the new boy, and he felt really empowered as he tried to convince the other players that they were not trapped, that they did not have to kill one another, etc. We ran it all dramatically, but everyone played along perfectly, and it just worked.

Once they reached the main chamber, they saw Kessel creating a new black ice tower, and the fight was on. He summoned some zombies to help him out. The zombies were only level 1, but not minions, so the newer players had an easier time hitting them, but also had all the cool dramatic effects of those monsters (auto-kill on a crit, chance that when they “die” they’re not really dead). I also used my favorite NEXT zombie mechanic, using d12s for zombie initiative. They worked exactly as zombies are supposed to work: good fodder, but not enough of a threat to overwhelm players. Still, everyone got to feel effective while still taking the d12 slam/grab hits from the zombies, so it worked out nicely.

Kessel himself was a modified mage wight, with a healing-surge draining touch and a horrific visage fear blast power. The party took out all the zombies before going after him, so it didn’t take too much pig-piling before he was done with. We then ran a dramatic “run to escape the collapsing cavern” scene, which everyone also enjoyed greatly.

The Dwarves were happy to take the party in after their victory, giving them an extended rest in their halls. We’ve got 2 more big fights after this, “The Dragon’s Lair” and “The Ice Witch”, which should fill out the last two weeks of this season nicely. Such a great time.
Joe´s last blog post ..What The Average Joe Thinks… D&D: Legacy of the Crystal Shard

2 Vobekhan January 30, 2014 at 12:44 pm

My players this week managed to avoid waht could have been a bloody and possibly fatal battle by using the silver tongue of the bard to convince the barbarian king to ritual single combat.

I really love it when the players surprise me like that as the bard player is normally so quiet and happily sits back strumming his lute to give his allies a damage bonus, but this week he totally took charge of the situation both as a player and a character.
Vobekhan´s last blog post ..D&DEnc 16 – Legacy of the Crystal Shard – Session 10

3 Brian Criswell January 31, 2014 at 2:01 am

This week the party finished investigating the pirates. After convincing Creedon, the ferryman, to take them to Easthaven, they approached the docks at the start of the pirate raid. It took quite a bit of convincing to get Creedon to dock the ferry instead of getting out of there, because he did not want to be seen by the pirates. The party took a while to deal with the pirates at the docks, and then the boys who work at the docks popped out and led the party to Rurdan’s Armory, where Derrick and the rest of the pirates had taken down RUrdan. The party burst in and let loose a fireball which caught the racks and counter on fire. I gave Rurdan death saving throws so the party could try to save him. He rolled a 20. So Rurdan popped up with 1hp. Unfortunately, he had been lying on the counter, so he popped up, took damage and went straight back to 0hp.

After saving Rurdan and clearing out the pirates, the party revived Derrick, the pirate captain, twice. They had revived him, but the barbarian was still in a rage and happened to knock Derrick down to 0hp again. They asked Derrick to lead them to the cove. They rented a boat and were off.

I was actually quite proud of my players for thinking ahead on the coming battle. The druid cast water breathing on the party, and one of the mages cast aura of invisibility on the group. They then had Derrick pilot the boat in so it looked like he was alone. The pirate watchmen called to the others that a boat was coming in to the cove. The Howling Fiend was ready with Pyrse and 4 pirates. The party expected to sneak in, but Pyrse decided this was a good opportunity to knock off Derrick and take control of the pirates. The party had neve healed Derrick past 1hp, so Derrick took a hit, slumped at the wheel and turned the boat into the path of the howling fiend.

We play Next, but regularly use a battle mat. I borrowed two wooden boats from my daughter’s Saturday Home Depot projects and attached a black post to one to simulate the black ice ram of the Howling Fiend. The pirate ship rammed the party’s boat, and several players fell prone, but luckily none fell overboard. The party sank the Howling Fiend and turned the boat to shore as they had seen some people among the rocks.

I had told the players that once per round one player could forgo his action to move the boat 30 ft. The second mage decided to get to shore faster. He used Gust of Wind to push the boat toward shore. The boat was within 50 feet of shore, so it rammed the shore and some people fell over again.

I had been having trouble this entire season with finding monsters that were of an appropriate level to fight the party which was always 3-4 levels above what the module’s monsters were designed for. I have been doing a lot of reskinning. The yetis were carnivorous apes; the Bear Tribe Champion was a reskinned orc chieftain; the wererats were reskinned werewolves. I happened to dig through the “old adventures” section of the playtest download and found the Slave Lords bestiary. Inside I found LVL4 fighters and a LVL7 mage.

Unfortunately for the party, I decided that Vaelish Gant, now a LVL7 mage, had come to the cove to check on operations. He popped up from behind a rock and let loose Cone of Cold on the party. The pirates on the beach consisted of Vaelish Gant, 4 lvl4 fighters and 4 tough thugs. For a little bit we flirted with a TPK as the fighters used expertise dice, the tough thugs got advantage with their crossbows on any party member who had a fighter next to him, and Vaelish Gant dropped a lvl 4 fireball on them. Two of five PCs were down and the rest were hurting. They just managed to take Gant down before he dropped a second lvl 4 fireball. After that they got everyone back up and mopped up the rest of the pirates.

One of our PCs is a dwarf mage who has what is essentially an elf retainer who he calls Granddaughter. She searches for information when it needs to be found and adds a little bit to the game as a whole. I got permission from the dwarf’s player to kidnap her in game. So the party returned to Easthaven to find that she was nowhere to be seen. The cult of Auril has kidnapped her and other townspeople to feed them to the young Remorhaz. This will become the hook that gets the party to the Verbeeg Lair and from there to the end.

4 Hutchimus February 4, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Does this mean no weekly reports after this season?

5 ellisd February 5, 2014 at 8:27 am

How do you record your Actual Play Podcasts? For a room full of nerds, the clarity is great.

6 John H February 8, 2014 at 12:05 am

I apologize for the lateness of this post. I was under the weather, and now I am trying to play catch up. My group will really need to do the same next week! Last week I ran my second session after taking things over from the previous DM. I had the same group as usual, although a couple of players (Elven Ranger and Dwarven Cleric) were absent due to an illness for one and car trouble for the other. So that left:

Human Fighter/Hobo
Halfling Bard
Human Barbarian
Human Cleric (Chosen of Amaunator)

In the place of my missing regulars though I had two new players: an Elven Mage and a Half-Elven Druid. The player with the Mage actually runs his own 4th edition game weekly and had never done Encounters before, but he was able to jump right in. All of the characters are still level 2, and we are using Next rules at Wild West Comics and Games in Arlington, Texas.

I had my players travel to the barbarian camp and take on a Simulacrum of the Ice Witch and Icingdeath since we never got the chance to do so with the previous DM. I altered the story a bit with the outcome that the Bear Tribe had slaughtered quite a few members of the Elk Tribe in the battle the players missed, but they had kept the survivors as prisoners who had to work in the caverns beneath Evermelt to find the bones of Icingdeath so the Simulacrum could raise them. Since a large portion of the Elk Tribe had come to Bryn Shander for refuge, Duvessa asked the players to save as many survivors as possible to improve relations between Ten Towns and the Elk Tribe. For saving her and the town of Bryn Shander a few times by this point she gave the characters horses to expedite their travel. She told them that she would travel on to Easthaven to try to discover what Gant was up to there and to figure out what was going on with the pirate situation, and she urged them to meet her there when they finished helping the barbarians (planning ahead here!).

After a good night’s rest the heroes departed early and after a couple of hours encountered Stokely and Helda Silverstream leading a band of dwarves south to Easthaven (I made Rurdan, the Dwarven blacksmith, a relative of Stokely to connect things here). I had them relate the trouble in the mines with the black ice and the zombies before the heroes moved on. The players were getting a strong hint that Easthaven was important.

A few hours later as they skirted the Dwarven Valley before turning north they were attacked by eight Dwarven Zombies. The Chosen got rid of most of them with a use of Turn Undead. The remaining players made short work of the rest of the zombies, which they then searched. They had a few gold and silver on them, and one had a pickax on his back (to indicate to players that these zombies were once miners), which one player amusingly refused to believe was not magical. He decided to take it with him even after another player had determined there was nothing special about it.

Another hour later and the players were heading north and were caught in a winter squall with strong winds and snows making it difficult for them to see or even move. I had players roll a Constitution check here to see if they would take cold damage (1d3 for fails), and half the party failed. I gave the Barbarian a big bonus to his check because he is used to the cold, and the Chosen has immunity to the cold as one of his latent powers, which left the Druid as the only remaining party member not to take any cold damage. The party rested here for a bit until the storm passed.

I told them that it was night time by now, but that the remainder of the Elk Tribe camp was only a few hours away. They decided to push on rather than risk more cold damage. An hour away from the camp though they were surprised by two Winter Wolves. I had characters make Perception checks with disadvantage because of the wolves blending in with the falling snow, but surprisingly almost every character made their checks (my Chosen failed horribly though). The Mage had the best initiative and used a Burning Hands spell to blast both wolves, although they both saved for half damage. The Hobo came in and did decent damage on one wolf, while The Barbarian did serious damage on the other. The Bard did her Call to Battle, and then the wolves both unleashed their breath weapons. Between the two of them they were able to hit five out of six party members. The Druid fired an arrow at one wolf but missed, and he moved far away from the wolves. Finally the Chosen cast Bless on the party to give them a bonus to their attacks. The Mage cast Ray of Frost at a wolf not knowing that they have immunity to cold, so it did nothing. The Hobo hit one wolf for some damage, while the Barbarian killed the other one. The Bard shot at the remaining wolf but missed. The wolf attacked the Hobo and I got a 20, so he took massive damage but was not down yet. The Chosen used Cure Wounds on the Hobo, and the Mage finished off the wolf with another Burning Hands spell.

Shortly thereafter the players arrived at the Elk camp, which now was filled with those who were too old or too stubborn to have traveled with the rest of the tribe to Bryn Shander. The Barbarian decided to approach one of the huts with smoke coming out of it so the people inside would not be afraid, as he knew tribal customs more than the other characters. I had him roll a Diplomacy check, which he passed. He explained who the heroes were and why they had come. They offered the players “fire drink” to warm their insides, which the Mage, Bard, and Hobo all drank right away without any questions. The Druid was wary though and asked if he could try to identify it. I told him he would not have to because those who drank had to make a Constitution check, which only the Hobo made. The others suffered 1d4 heat damage from the powerful concoction. The Barbarian drank some too, but since he had grown up on the stuff, it did him no harm. The older men apologized and said they had forgotten that outsiders were affected this way by the draft. One of their number introduced himself as Hedrun’s father and told them that he had pleaded for her to release the prisoners and cease her attacks on the Elk Tribe, but she had sent him back to the tribe to warn them that she intended to destroy them all. He gave them directions to Evermelt from the camp.

The heroes rested for the night, and then set out for Evermelt the next morning. For the sake of saving time I told them they arrived there after five hours without incident. They scouted the camp and saw dozens of warriors around it. They tried to sneak around the camp to make their way to the ice caves, but four of out of six failed their Dexterity checks, so they were definitely spotted. The Mage cast Ghost Image of Elk warriors attacking, but when the swords of the Bear tribe went through them the illusion was easily discovered. The Bear tribe was now running towards them. At this point I gave the barbarian a piece of paper telling him that he could initiate a Warrior’s Challenge, a one on battle with the tribe’s greatest warrior to save them. He told the rest of the players this, and then yelled out to the Bear tribe warriors that he wished to institute this challenge. The tribe escorted them to the middle of the camp, where out of the main tent a man almost 7 feet tall emerged with two gleaming swords. It was the war chief who had fled the assault on Bryn Shander the week before! The Barbarian had to fight him alone. The War Chief got two attacks to the Barbarian’s one, so it was not a guaranteed victory. The Bard offered to do Call of Battle, but I said that any magic would be seen as cheating and cause the battle to be forfeited. She could risk doing it stealthily, but if that did not work they would automatically lose. She decided against it. The War Chief hit on his first attack, taking almost ten points of damage off the Barbarian. The players looked really worried at this point, and the Druid turned into a bird and flew away. After this though I rolled terribly and only had one hit on the Barbarian the rest of the battle. The Barbarian meanwhile hit every turn but the first, and soon he was holding the War Chief’s severed head in his hands. I had him do an Intimidate roll here, and he got a 20. The Bear Tribe warriors laid down their weapons and agreed to leave Evermelt for good. The players questioned them and found out that just the day before the prisoners had found the remains of Icingdeath and were now being sacrificed to show devotion to Auril.

The heroes decided to immediately go save the remaining prisoners and made their way down to the waterfall cavern. I had players roll a Dexterity check to see if they made a graceful landing. All but one player did (poor Hobo), and the Bard got a natural 20 so I decided she did a double flip and then landed perfectly upright. At this point I had players do a Perception check to see if they noticed the Bear Tribe Furies, and half of them did (the Mage, Bard, and Druid). They got to act the same round as the Furies. The Mage cast a Magic Missile spell at one Fury, the Bard did her Call to Battle, one Fury missed while the other hit the Druid for a bit of damage, and the Druid attacked back but missed. Then the Hobo came up to hit the already damaged Fury, and he got a 20, so I said he actually sliced in her half across the waist. At this point the Shaman entered the fray and cast Inflict Wounds on the Hobo, doing massive damage to him, although he was still barely alive. The Mage cast Magic Missile again, this time at the Shaman, and the Barbarian killed the other Fury with a massive blow. The Chosen cast Cure Wounds on the Hobo, and the Bard and Druid finished off the Shaman.

The players made their way to the next chamber, where they saw a pool of water with what looked like bodies inside, the bones of a massive dragon lying nearby, and the Simulacrum standing in almost a state of trance. When they got close enough so that light was cast on the Simulacrum, she woke up and said “You again? You are beginning to test my patience. You may have overcome my forces at Bryn Shander, but let’s see how you do against this!” She then made a few gestures in the air, at which the bones of the massive dragon shuddered to life. The players decided to call out to each other in character and agreed to attack the Simulacrum, smartly figuring out that if she were destroyed the dragon would also return to death. The Chosen immediately cast Bless on the party, and the Ice Witch cast Ice Spear on the Hobo, hitting him for about half his hit points. He then attacked her, causing her moderate damage as well. The Bard then attempted to shoot an arrow at the Simulacrum but missed. The Druid did the same thing, but also missed. The Mage cast his last Magic Missile spell at the Simulacrum. Then it was the Dragon’s turn. The players got nervous here, and as it turned out they had a right to be. I got a natural 20 hitting the Bard with its bite, and it did enough damage to knock her below 0. However, when I rolled for the tail attack aimed at the Chosen I got a 1 so the dragon hit his tail against a wall and gave himself 3 damage instead. Then it was the Barbarian’s turn – he charged at the Simulacrum and did massive damage, destroying her ice shield. The Chosen ran to the Bard and cast Cure Wounds on her. The Hobo finished the Simulacrum off with his next attack, which made it shatter into a thousand pieces. Immediately they could hear her voice in the air, saying “You may have defeated me twice, but I can promise you that was the last time. You will feel the wrath of my mistress before this winter ends!”

Our store was almost closing, so I had players search for treasure, and they found a Ring of Protection + 1, a Battle Axe + 1, a Long Sword + 1, and spell scrolls of Cure Wounds and Magic Missile. I also said they found a few prisoners tied up in a nearby cave, with Hengar being one of them.

We had to end things here, but I think next time I will start the characters off in Easthaven, saying it is an uneventful two days later. I feel like we got a ton accomplished though in a little over two hours, with the Mage’s player saying he was amazed at the fast pacing of my game. I will have to pull off another miracle like this twice next week though to get us to the finish line. Because of my being sick I was unable to make it to Encounters this week, which means we are even more behind. Next week I will take them through the pirates and the beginning of the Verbeeg Lair, with the rest of the lair and Act 3 done from 11 to 1 or so on Launch Weekend, since my players have been wanting to meet then anyway (although we can’t this Saturday naturally). I will let you know how that goes (and if we finish everything in time) in the next blog.

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