White Rose Abbey
Seemed like a perfect nice place to make wine and enjoy an autumnal sunset. Inside the main doors a vestibule led off on either side to stairwell that opened up to an outside patio with a splendid view. One could easily imagine drink deep from the monk’s wine well into the wee hours of the night up there.
There was also a red curtain covering the entrance into the main hall…of doom!
The scariest fight to date
Inside the abbey, protected by invisibility spells, illusionary terrain, illusionary walls, readied dispel magic spells, and several other abjurations were no fewer than a:
- Geatane, the Wererat Doppleganger Ranger/Assassin follower of Gyronna who thoroughly reviled the Swordlords [CR 18!]
- 20 Elite Pitax Wardens [10th level Fighters]
- 12 Elite Pitax Heralds [10th? level Bards]
- A mercenary wizard a Staff of the Magi! [Level unknown…but high! Plus Staff of the Magi!]
That fight was rough. Is started out with Merrowyn opening the curtain and feeling like someone slit her throat. Once inside the illusions made it appear as though the Abby was empty when it was infact filled with both cover, barricades, and a host of killers. The moment we walked in, out of nowhere (literally) shafts of ice came flying toward us impaling all who were exposed. Soon after a wall of force came up behind us trapping us there, and finally a mob of wardens came rushing toward us to lock us down. [With those arrows doing about 30 points of damage each, and the wardens hitting for a good 20-25 a pop, we were not in a good place]. We were not in a good place!
In that fight both Olivetta and Imogen feel and were dropped within an inch of death’s door and Merrowyn wasn’t close behind. We only, only survived the fight because of Elara casting True Seeing and Spell Resistance, Imogen following up with a couple Greater Dispel Magic spells, a Sleet Storm to drive the assassin closer, a summoned Dire Tiger that swallowed the mage, Olivetta casting a Cone of Cold that insane amounts of healing spells and finally a Glitterdust spell on Geatane. We also got insanely lucky and made our saving throws against all five (FIVE) dominate person spells cast!
Dennis has a plan for a TPK right? I’m sure he’s got a plan for that!
By Gorum’s rusted iron, this was a big haul. Kind of them to be wearing Handy Haversacks for us to carry it all back with!
|Description||Qty||Value||Cash Value||Kept by|
|Dark Leaf Leather Armor +4 (Fire Resistance 10, Shadow +5, Fortification (Light), Glamoured, Poison Resistance)||52460||26230||Sell|
|Belt of Physical Might (+4 Strength/+4 Dexterity)||40000||Miquela|
|Boots of Escape||8000||4000||Sell|
|Chest Piercing, Minor||2200||1100||Sell|
|Cloak of Resistance +4||16000||Elara|
|Head Piercings, Major||6000||3000||Sell|
|Potion of Cure Serious Wounds (CL 10)||10||15000||Divvy|
|Potion of Fly (CL 10)||1500||Divvy|
|Potion of Heroism (CL 10)||1500||Divvy|
|Potion of Magic Fang, Greater (CL 10)||1500||Divvy|
|Potion of Misdirection (CL 10)||1000||Divvy|
|Potion of Pass without Trace (CL 10)||500||Divvy|
|Potion of Protection from Good (CL 10)||500||Divvy|
|Potion of Shield of Faith (CL 10)||500||Divvy|
|Quick Runners Shirt||1000||Imogen|
|Ring of Chameleon Power||12500||Merrowyn|
|Ring of Protection +3||8000||Olivetta|
|Composite Longbow +4 (Pauliewood, Adaptive, Human Bane, Frost, Greater Sniping)||90275||Elara|
|Ring of Protection +2||2||8000||4000||Sell|
|Amulet of Natural Armor +3||8000||Imogen|
|Bouncing Metamagic Rod||11000||Olivetta|
|Cloak of Resistance +3||8000||Imogen|
|Gloves of Elvenkind||7500||Olivetta|
|Headband of Mental Prowess +6 (Intelligence/Wisdom, Skills: Dungeoneering, Spellcraft)||90000||Olivetta|
|Ioun Stone (Amber Spindle, Resonant Power: Evasion)||10000||Divvy|
|Potion of Bear’s Endurance (CL 10)||1000||Divvy|
|Potion of Cat’s Grace (CL 10)||1000||Divvy|
|Potion of Cure Serious Wounds (CL 10)||6||9000||Divvy|
|Potion of Darkvision (CL 10)||1000||Divvy|
|Potion of Displacement (CL 10)||1500||Divvy|
|Potion of Fly (CL 10)||3||4500||Divvy|
|Potion of Gaseous Form (CL 10)||1500||Divvy|
|Potion of Good Hope (CL 10)||2||3000||Divvy|
|Potion of Invisibility (CL 10)||1000||Divvy|
|Potion of Neutralize Poison (CL 10)||1500||Divvy|
|Potion of Owl’s Wisdom (CL 10)||1000||Divvy|
|Potion of Protection from Electricity (CL 10)||1500||Divvy|
|Potion of Protection from Fire (CL 10)||500||Divvy|
|Potion of Protection from Good (CL 10)||500||Divvy|
|Potion of Protection from Evil (CL 10)||500||Divvy|
|Potion of Resistance to Acid (CL 10)||1000||Divvy|
|Ring of Protection +3||8000||Miquela|
|Ring of Wizardry (Type II)||40000||Imogen|
|Staff of the Magi||Artifact||Olivetta|
|Full Plate +1||20||53000||26500||Sell|
|Potion of Cure Serious Wounds (CL 7)||40||42000||24000||Sell|
|Short Bow +1||3||6990||3495||Sell|
|Potion of Invisibility (CL 10)||3||3000||Divvy|
|Potion of Fly (CL 10)||3||4500||Divvy|
|Chain Shirt +1||3||3750||1875|
|10,000 GP owed in IOUs|
We were set up
After all that…it was a setup. No weapons of mass destruction. No Horn of Deathly Fog. Just a setup for yours truly.
Well, much as we didn’t like being tricked…it didn’t work and now we have a Staff of the Magi. Oivetta eventually ended up taking it but I had a delightful time with Merrowyn holding the staff in one hand and Ovinrbaane in the other, while the two artifacts seethed with venomous vitriol for each other.
The staff, which for some reason, neither Olivetta or Imogen though would be good to break and give each of them half of it, once handed over transported both arcane casters to a elven glade where an ancient elf named Vanlanthiriel stood beside a glistening waterfall. She explained that she just wanted to be of some use, that she was dreadfully tired of being wielded by conservative wizards that never wanted to exhaust her energy and that the only way she could find any rest was if strength was utilized [Read…spend all the charges!]. Olivetta agreed to take up this daunting task!
Dead men tell many tales
After surveying the battle, Imogen summoned her familiar Anomander to cast Speak with Dead to converse with one of the fallen Heralds (the one who played the drums no less!) and asked him questions about what in the world was going on. Here’s the answers we got to our seven questions:
- This place? An abbey.
- Been here a while? Yeah, it took a long time to set up this ambush. Days. Weeks?
- Evindra’s shawl? Irovetti has it.
- Irovetti’s plan for this place? Who knows. Brought his closest circle of cronies here, took everything they found, killed off all the lower level minions that came with him.
- Evindra? She was guarding in a trunk. Irovetti carried it out.
- The Palace? Irovetti has secret passages in and out of it, but otherwise who knows how to get in.
- How to defeat him? Move fast! He’s got mercenary armies on their way in. Much easier to defend against if we’re in the city. The palace is called the House of 1,000 Doors for a good reason. It’s impossible to navigate, full of dead end hallways and traps, designed by a wizard ages ago to stupify invaders and only made more complex by Irovetti. Also, watch out for his mistress, she’s dangerous!
Return to Camp
After telling everyone what happened, and asking some of Xanthia’s soldiers to watch over Evindra, we met with our advisors to make a plan to take the city and the palace.
Kasten knew about the palace but had no idea where the secret entrances in and out are. He did know the exterior walls are made of 3′ of stone, 3″ of steel, 3′ of stone, 1″ of lead, 3′ of stone, 3″ of steel, and 3′ of stone! The adventurers solution: Passwall (Staff of the Magi), Disintegrate (Imogen), Passwall (Staff of the Magi), Improved Alchemical Acid (Tad’s concoctions), Passwall (Staff of the Magi), Disintegrate (Imogen), and Passwall (Staff of the Magi)!
Jerome found the swordlord to tell her than Kobb had returned and he was with three men that wanted to talk to her!
- Amana Ranikea, an out of shape man who was the mayor (not Lord Mayor) of the city. His son is the commander of the military inside the walls.
- Wacla Skiba, an outdoorsman turned union leader, who represented the people of the city.
- Abdul-Malik Usamov, the shrewd portmaster who controlled trade via the waterways. Also, the only one who was not terrified of us.
We negotiated with them and agreed that if they let us into the city and through all the city gates unmolested (or at least mostly), we would spare the lives of the citizens and hand over the city to them once we sacked the palace, killed Irovetti, and fended off any of his mercenary armies should they still pledge fealty to a dead man.
Taking the Palace
In the cover of night we led our armies into the city to hold it. The Griffon Slayers and Sootscale’s Own encircled the palace, and with judicious use of passwall spells we tunnelled our way into it, through the library filled with low brow fiction, the conservatory filled with masterwork mystical instruments, the arena which housed all manner of monsters, and into the throne room where Irovetti and guests were feasting.
Irovetti, Avinash Jurrg, and a Weretiger, oh my!
It was one arrow into Irovetti and and the shortest of ever monologues before he disappeared (Contingency Dimension Door spell) and initiative was rolled!
The fight was another very tough one, which became much easier because midway through Olivetta cast Dominate Person on the 15th Rogue Weretiger and she ended up flanking Avinash (who, amazing isn’t immune to precision damage) with Merrowyn, which meant they were both dealing out insane amounts of hurt [between the two of them and an arrow from Elara, we did 350+ in one round.]
It was also much easier because of our multiple T-rex summonings (thank you Staff of the Magi), many giant ankylosaurus (thank you Imogen) to tackle the host of heralds, wardens, and the summoned demons that would have otherwise given us trouble (and taken a lot of time to roll out their attacks and damage).
Ding dong, the wicked king is dead.
As someone we never really thought that much about at first, Irovetti proved to be a giant pain in our asses, and given that we absolutely could not ignore his aggressions, he still may yet be the deciding factor in our war with Issia. We’ve defeated him but at what cost. The kingdom’s treasure for sure, but also the good will of our neighbors. The Nomen, the Sootscale, and Mivon all came to our aid, at least in part because they were threatened by his aggressions themselves, and because they saw him attacking their ally Aldoria.
Will they do the same again to attack a foreign nation that poses them no threat? Especially after receiving nothing from this venture (Irovetti’s treasury was empty!)?
We did find among his personal possessions however a chest with:
- Evindra’s shawl
- A bastard sword made of translucent steel with a thorn motif.
Wow, that fight was brutal. I mean, both of them really, but the second one less so because we skipped over the dozens of wardens in the room with the help of several summoning spells, and the successful dominate person had a huge effect on the battle. While Avinash did cast Blasphemy, which left Merrowyn paralyzed, weakened, dazed, Olivetta responded with a heal spell and Ovinrbanne cast Freedom of Movement, so the spell that should have taken her OUT of the fight didn’t stop her from putting her greatsword of war through Irovetti’s chest.
The first fight, however, ouch, that one was really close. Geatane being able to drop about 180 points of damage a round (average 30 per arrow, 6 shots with rapid shot) and being totally undetectable put us in BAD shape. If not for the sleet storm spell that forced her close, the True Seeing that spotted her, (even then, Elara had to roll a 49 on her Perception check) and the combo Greater Dispel and Glitterdust that finally made her detectable to us, she would have just picked us off one by one. Thank Pharasma, Erastil, and our Ancestors for our spellcasters! Also, the early Cone of Cold was devastating. It turned the tough as nails wardens in to one shot mooks.
Our decision to hand over the city to the citizens was a pretty cool one. If we were going to play longer, I’d really like to see how relations with Pitax would continue. Seems like we could make something good out of all this carnage.
There was a moment when Merrowyn was in full-kill mode and could only see red. When Olivetta tried to heal her, I rolled to save against it. Failed the roll (phew, she needed those hit points) but it was a tense moment.
Vanlanthiriel was super cool. I loved that she was just like “just use the damn charges, you conservative ass player characters!” I had a lot of fun mis-remembering the Story of Solomon when I offered to break the Staff in half and give one half to each of our arcane casters. Something along the lines of “split the baby in half and everyone was happy”.
What could have improved
Oh man, I just want to play more of this game out and I know that we’ll only have another session or two. A civil war to fight, Olivetta and Imogen’s souls gambled, Merrowyn losing it completely and having to be put down by Miquela. Hope to see these things, not sure if we’ll have time to fit it all in.