Wednesday, July 5, 2017

DM Report: Skull Mountain, Level Three Continued

Part one here, part two here.

The party rested, rememorized, and returned, pausing in The Study on level two where they found - a cookie jar with a note that said 'take one'.
Many did. Ginger snaps. Delicious and fresh.


On level three they returned tot he Garden section to go down a lone corridor they had not explored. They ended up killing a stun jelly and fighting a wolf that had become an olive slime creature. They carefully checked for olive slime infestation after (dousing one of the henchmen with bleach solution and one of the paladin's Cure Disease effects when some was found!) and heading back to vegepygmy hall.

While Octavious and Baldric (the big henchmen) held the main hall the front line of the party assaulted through the first doors as the remainder of the party covered both groups. Fighting in the first doors area was heavy and the boss there winded a horn to alert the complex. After about 5 rounds of tough melee Octavious and Baldric saw a group of thornies and boss-types, including an obvious chief, coming along the main corridor. A Continual Light  held them back for a few rounds.
In the meantime a wave of 40-60 tiny vegepygmies was swarming the front line and starting to wear them down through sheer numbers.
The party negotiated a line wheel in battle, no small feat, and were able to combine the front line and the henchmen at the main doors, facing the multiple thornies and bosses along a single front - the swarm of small vegepygmies slammed shut the first doors and were holding them.
The fight turned into an epic meatgrinder as the well-armored mid-level melee specialists fought large numbers of tough foes. The chief had a club that Numbed targets as it struck, but the spell casters negated it. As the casualties mounted for the mold men they made morale check after morale check, holding fast and fighting hard even as every leader other than the chief fell the mooks kept fighting.
Then Octavious beheaded the chief and the survivors totally blew their morale check. After 22 rounds of continuous fighting the surviving vegepygmies surrendered.

Within 20 minutes the druid Seamus had struck a deal - the vegepygmies would give the party tribute and perpetual safe passage for anyone wearing the company symbol. They also worried about 'the enemies' at the other end of the corridor and how they could stop them now that their warriors were gone. At the edge of vegepygmy territory (their barricade) was 60' of no-man's-land until a goblin barricade. The two tribes had been trapped and at war for at least 40 years.

The party sent a team to level one and actually brought a squad of spearmen, a healer, and a cook to the vegepygmy warrens and the group rested and rememorized there. The next day the NPCs watched the vegepygmies as the party assaulted the goblins. Seamus cast Obscurement and the party crept up under concealment then Starfalcon, an elven ranger in silenced armor, surprised a group of goblins, followed quickly by the party.

Ever see a 6th level ranger fighting goblins? How about backed up by 5th and 6th level fighters, all getting vermin attacks? The guard force was reduced to 2 mooks paralyzed with terror in 6 seconds. The party yanked them over the barricade, trussed them, and interrogated them. They got a fair layout of the goblin warrens and learned that further down the main corridor were 'the fields' and tunnels full of troglodytes. The non-leader goblins were divided into septs of about 40 troops, their mates, and their children with local bosses in charge while the higher ranking goblins lived on the opposite side of the main corridor with luxuries like individual rooms
The party;s first order was wiping out the other shift of barricade guards, so they sent Starfalcon ahead, the party hot on his heels.
Starfalcon got 3 segments of surprise! The relief force was wiped out extremely fast. The party moved onto the mini-complex of the first sept. The party didn't get surprise, and that didn't matter - the local bosses were slaughtered in a round. The sept, in their quarters, numbered almost 100 goblins, the majority of them non-combatant women and children. The warriors were not in armor and their weapons were in racks. They hear a clash of arms and seconds later the party strides in displaying the head of their sept boss and calling on them to surrender.
They did.
So the party grabbed their NPCs and ferried the entire lot of them to the cells on level one! A few tried to escape along the way but Akio took care of them.

They learned that the Count of Ekull had sent a full patrol to the mountain to check on them
[I roll for encounters, of course, and got the very rare result of patrol on the road in the high briars. For once, it makes sense! I rolled this before the session].
Realizing they are in fighting trim and still have plenty of spells, they confirmed that the patrol will take the prisoners to Esber then returned to level three hoping to take another sept that can be sent back!

We broke for dinner and hope to continue Thursday.

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Great session all around. The party is (so far) relieved since they were paranoid that level three was going to be much tougher than level two. Instead, it is very, very different.