D&D Encounters Season 12 – Against the Cult of Chaos – Session 3
The heroes questioned their halfling captive, discovering that she was in league with the traders from town and only their wagons were exempt from the bandit raids. She also told them of the “nut-job” downstairs that had turned three of her men into mental cases because they overheard his secret word to access the tunnels below the moathouse. As agreed the heroes let her go on her promise of leaving the area and she high-tailed out of sight.
Turning their attention to the rest of the moat house the tried to communicate with the locked up bandits but got only voiceless shuffling as a response so chose to leave them sealed in their room. The heroes discovered the stack of Wyndells crates before turning their attention to the bandits chest, the vampiric shade being the nearest to a rogue available he knelt before the lock……and promptly released the acid trap destroying the ledger within. A closer look revealed the hidden compartment at the rear and the party retrieved the hidden cash and moonstone therein (carefully this time).
The runepriest tried to discern if the blocked stairway down could be overcome by any other means but finding none realised they needed to pay a visit to the dodgy traders back in Hommel Lane. Leaving the shade, hunter and genassi to guard to moathouse the remaining party members returned to Hommel Lane to find the Trading Post closed but raised voices coming from the warehouse/barn adjacent. Inside they found the traders arguing and after very little persuasion (the goliath holding the halfling up by his ankles) managed to get a confession and the password out of them before frog-marching them to the Constable for safe-keeping. Then they went to Wyndell and advised him of finding his goods. He arranged a trio of wagons and headed back to the moathouse with them.
Meanwhile the shade and hunter, concealed outside the moathouse, observed four cloaked figures entering the lower courtyard. The genassi ambushed them as the shade and hunter brought up the rear, cutting off their escape. The fight was brief and one-sided. As the last robed figure fell they heard the approaching carts and their returning friends.
After making sure Wyndell and his boys were ok to load up and return home the party descended the stairs. The shade leading the way and surprising a pair of guards, though not before ones screams alerted the others nearby. Soon enough they were having to wade through robed cultists into a larger chamber where those of good nature felt an oppressive presence gnawing at their minds as they fought. The robed cultists began to drop quickly unfortunately they were only the opening act as a quartet of halberdiers waded in, backed up by a fanatical looking priest in plate armour.
These foes proved more of a challenge as the priest used his powers to constantly throw the heroes backwards while his soldiers hacked with their long reaching blades. The goliath slipped into unconsciousness twice and the majority of the other party members become bloodied during the bloodbath. One of the minotaurs succumbed to the oppressive influence and stood slack-jawed and drooling until he could once again control his own mind and body.
Eventually the heroes won the day and Lareth (the Beautiful no longer, his face being caved in) lay dead on the floor with his loyal followers.
This session was combined of both our usual groups as the later one would have been too short of players to run, so we ended up with an eight-man party. To balance the encounter I increased the halberdiers to four. It was a good job there wasnt a second session as we ran for three and half hours and still called it quits before the heroes could explore the remaining tunnels. Mind you with the non-linear format this season this wont prove too much of a problem as each session will be able to continue from there next week.
My only sour note this week was one of my own making and nothing to do with the adventure, but running a larger group like this caused combat to drag and also made it extremely difficult for adequate co-operation and tactics not only in the fights but also the role-playing interactions. Oh well, lesson learnt.
http://www.meetup.com/EMRPGG/photos/13396192/ Photo’s from this weeks session.