Council of Spiders – DnD Encounters Season 10 – Sessions 8

As the early session began we encountered the Yochlol, as we had all agreed on our course of action regarding the deamon weave and the way of Lolth (session 6) we passed the handmaidens test and all gained a +1 to attack rolls – and boy were we going to need them.

Valan Jaelre used his miasma to block the stairway as my priestess led the assault (due to terrible initiative rolls from the rest of the party) against the hex knights.

The avenger and warlord were quick to follow while the hunter rained steel death upon our foes from afar.

Unfortunately the spellspinners and Valan were more than willing to return fire with their spells leaving us taking various ongoing damage and conditions while still delayed by the difficult terrain of the miasma.

 

 

 

 

The warlord and hunter continue to pound away upstairs as the priestess engages Valan directly in melee and the avenger worries one of the spellspinners enough for it to attempt to flee through levitation.

The look of surprise on its face was entertaining when the avenger suddenly appeared via teleportation beside it in the air, striking deeply into its flesh before falling clumsily to the ground, quickly followed by the shattered body of the traitorous drow.

 

 

 

 

 

Two of the enemies fall, only to rise once more. The spellspinner’s remains reform into a bone spider and scuttle to attack the priestess. The hex knight rises from death as a zombie under the priestess’s domination and proceeds to attack the spellspinner near the warlord (Servitude in Death is such a fun power) before being laid to eternal rest shortly after.

The avenger and Valan trade several blows, forcing one another back and forth across the chamber floor.

Eventually their enemies fall, and the party, bloody and battered, return to their masters in Menzoberranzen, having stopped the outbreak of civil war……..for now.

 

 

 

The late session begins very similar, as that group had also reached an “agreement” and so passed the Yochlol’s test but gained neither boon nor bane from it.

Seeing a shadowy figure disappear down the stairs the human sentinal sticks a sunrod in his dog’s collar, illuminating the stairway and the pair of Hex knights waiting below.

The vampire and hexblade examine the gargoyles, satisfied that the glowing eyes represent only the typical faerie fire decoration, before engaging the foes.

 

 

 

 

 

The hexblade uses his powers to become invisible, passing the hex knights before reappearing and blasting all nearby enemies with a burst of his evil power.

It’s enough to destroy the hex knights, and severely wound the spellspinners, though Valan seemed only lightly wounded.

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately the heroes didn’t check the “statues” in the lower chamber, and they swoop forward to double team the hexblade just as he kills one of the spellspinner’s trapped in a corner. (Luckily for the hexblade’s player, I didn’t read the line that gave them +15 damage on attacks straight after coming out of stone form, the extra 30 points would have dropped him and probably turned the tides)

 

 

 

 

 

Valan tried to slow the heroes down with his miasma while his gargoyles continued to pound them mercilessly with their stony claws.

The sentinal wisely kept back out of reach but his hound saw off the remaining spellspinner before engaging Valan, only to be blasted back by the traitorous mage.

 

 

 

 

 

The gargoyles are finally dealt with and the hexblade sent an eldritch bolt hurtling at Valan, striking the mage square in the chest.

The heroes were shocked and suprised when the mage shattered into a thousand tiny spiders – a simulacrum! The real mage could be miles away.

Examining the remains of their foes they uncovered a note explaining that the assassins were somehow involved with the 48th house of the city, there was another note detailing a meeting to take place between the wizards of the Council of Spiders and Gromph Beanre, Archmage of Menzoberranzen.

The sentinal also discovered the item Valan was carrying, a spellfire bracelet. A powerful magic item dedicated to the lost god of magic, Mystra. Carrying it back to the altar where the Yochlol appeared the sentinal performed the ritual to transfer the magic of the bracelet to empower Lolth’s deamon weave, before the party travelled back to their patrons in victory.

 

And so ends a very different season of Encounters. While I personally like the drow and their backgrounds I don’t really think they suit the Encounters play, and most of my players weren’t really into it at the beginning, though by the last few sessions they got into the drow way of thinking.

I think what also didn’t really help was that we tried to keep previous pc’s and play at the higher levels, which with two different DM’s led to different approaches and play styles. This also meant we actually ran out of time on a couple of occassions, and even had our first mission failure where the party chose to flee en masse when my hobgoblin soldiers proved too well-trained for them. Also the higher levels meant the combats took longer which also proved a factor in the overrunning.

With the new season approaching and the players allowed to play from a less restrictive list hopefully the fun which has been muted (not lacking totally)  will return to our sessions and stories of “heroic” deeds will once again adorn these pages.  It’s hard to cheer for the bad guys, even when your playing one of them.

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