Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Shards of the Gate of Darkness, Part 2

When the party found their informant beaten up, the paladin quickly healed him and they asked what happened. He said a trio of tieflings had burst in on him and forced him to tell them where they could find the shards of the Gate of Darkness. The librarian told the party he had heard them discussing the ritual of Refni'lak, which Pele translated as "baptism by fire" - a ritual involving burning down a town and summoning a powerful devil out of the ashes.

The librarian told them that he had been forced to reveal the locations of three shards to the tieflings. Two supposedly lay in remote sites marked by the bones of slain dragons. The third was said to be in the same cave where the group had defeated the bugbear, hobgoblin and goblins. Hey, I wanted to get more mileage out of the Caves of Chaos map.

The party elected to tackle the familiar location first. They approached the caves cautiously and got the drop on a group of hobgoblin guards outside. The ranger brought down a couple of grunts while the wizard kept their buddies running through the trees in the wrong direction with ghost sound. Once the guards figured out what was going on, it was too late - the group swooped in and destroyed them with a rapid assault.

The encounter inside was against two separate groups at once- a hobgoblin warcaster and his hobgoblin soldier/guard, and a tiefling heretic with a gravehound zombie who was there trying to bargain for the shard (which was a chunk of black rock sticking out of the cave wall over the warcaster's chair/throne). This was a tough fight mostly because the heretic circled around behind them and starting balefiring everyone from a safe distance. When they finally started focusing attacks on him he was near the cave entrance and made good his escape.

The warcaster just couldn't catch a break. The fight started with the ranger shooting him from outside the room. He tried to yank the wizard into a vulnerable position and instead she unloaded a fire shroud on him and his buddies. Then he unleashed a force pulse that managed to hit one out of three PCs and one out of one unlucky monsters (the gravehound). The PC he hit was knocked right next to the paladin, who immediately healed her. I have this instinctive belief that warcasters should be rocking cool, but they just... keep... sucking for me.

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