Rock Hammer Hold

A private D&D Campaign for the LOD set in the Silver Marches of the Forgotten Realms.
 
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 Storm Tower, Yellowskulls, goblin skulls, Epic Battle - 5th

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Sam the DM
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Number of posts : 953
Age : 49
Registration date : 2007-05-19

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Name: Almighty DM
Level: Infinite
Race/Class: Very

PostSubject: Storm Tower, Yellowskulls, goblin skulls, Epic Battle - 5th   Mon May 02, 2011 5:22 pm

Troy Percival leaves on his Crusade

Before the heroes spent a week training, they learned that Troy Percival of the Temple of Torm was leaving. He had learned of a Church of Bane sanctuary high in the Nether Mountains and he had assembled a group to go and eradicate them. He personally thanked the Brigade who talked to him about his knowledge of the Church of Bane last week for resparking his interest in dealing a blow against this evil church. “I have been too passive since my reemergence, it is time to rededicate myself to the cause I was meant to do.”


Off to the Tower on a rainy day

Un’goro had finished passing out his pamphlets in the Lower Ward, calling for racial tolerance, and had some free time to rejoin the Brigade as they set out for Vanamere’s Tower. Sorik Orvash was acting as guide, leading the party to the tower that Rock Hammer hoped to rebuild. Recently a band of yellowskull brigands, with the aid of undead, overran the dwarf masons. Sorik was the only one to escape and return to Rock Hammer.

The rain was really coming down, which limited visibility. As they neared, they saw the tower was in ruins, only the bottom twenty feet of it remained intact.

Logan, Dokanor, and Baern stepped forward to the tower and as they peered into the tower remains they saw several bandits, their faces painted to resemble yellow skulls, taking aim at them with crossbows. Near them was a haggard dwarf with his hands tied behind his back. “Drop your weapons or the dwarf dies!”

While Xune and Un’goro snuck around the tents toward the back of the tower, the heroes up front up dropped their weapons. Baern called out, “Let me friend go” The bandits discussed things for a moment and eventually let the dwarf go.

As “Tarjin” neared the, Baern recognized they he carried a short sword on his hip under his cloak. But it was too late. The doppleganger sprung to action attacking the heroes up front while the bandits fired crossbow bolts at them. A few minutes later, several zombies emerged from the periphery while more bandits emerged from the tents.

Eventually Xune and Un’goro joined their comrades with the final push inside the floor of the ruined tower and helped take out the last of the yellowskull bandits.

DM NOTE: had the doppleganger Celk been defeated but not killed, he would have claimed that the bandits were under a spell from a bog hag named Zerilka of the Evermoors, with orders to explore the ruins beneath the tower. Those that defy here wither and die quickly. Zerilka had a rivalry with Vanamere and only recently learned of the secret dungeon below the tower. Killing Zerilka is the only way of freeing him and the cursed bandits from her spell. The story is false (but Zerilka could be true), and Celk got a “30” on his bluff check, making the story very believable.

After the battle, a clap of thunder and flash of lightning appeared to hit the top of the tower, breaking off a chunk of stone, and falling to the ground was a scroll tube. One end was emblazed with the symbol of Corellon and the other was adorned with the symbol of Kord. Inside was a Hand of Fate Ritual.

A search revealed a crest painted on the southeast wall. It depicted a two-headed golden hawk against a shield of purple and black.

The brigands, according the Sorik, must have recently punched a hole into the floor of the tower which lead to an underground chamber. Beside it was a rope ladder coiled up at the top. Voices could be heard from below:

Quote :
“Who built this place anyways?”
“Some elf wizard with a lot of money and time on her hands, apparently”
“So, why we keepin’ the dwarves alive?”
“I dunno, maybe Falck thought they’d be more useful alive then dead”
“Ain’t it obvious you two? This place is partially collapsed, we might need them for digging”
“This place give me the creeps”
“Don’t worry, as soon as Falck find that gem, we’re outta here”


Descent in to Madness and clamping jaws

The Brigade came up with a plan to descend into the next room, and it pretty much worked. They did all get in, but most of them fell on their ass and took damage.

Below was a brute of a human warrior, four bandits, and two snapjaw constructs. Hiding below the scaffolding was another bandit, that the heroes recognized as being Larash, whom Terrios mentioned to be on the lookout for crimes committed in Silverymoon.

The battle raged on, Xune craftily moves herself and Kain the brute out of the middle of the room, and Dokanor brought the bandits on the scaffolding down to him by smashing the legs out and causing them to fall to the ground level.

The bandits were all taken care of and first aid was administered to Lurash. The remaining dwarves were untied and then Un’goro and Dokanor escorted the dwarves, along with Sorik, and the prisoner Lurash back to Rock Hammer while the rest of the Brigade (Baern, Xune, Logan, and Lendri) pressed on.


Whoever designed this room should die!

The next room contained a series of statues that breathed continuous gouts of flame and beyond a set of double doors were two more bandits. Xune shrugged her shoulders and did her best to dodge, dip, duck, dive, and dodge her way through them. Outside of coming out on fire, she did pretty good.

While the remaining heroes all took fire damage for going through them, one of the bandits ran for help, and as Lendri caught up to him he was engulfed in an iron maiden. Minutes later everyone was not on fire and the rest of the bandits were dead as they headed on to the next room.

DM NOTE – the last bandit wasn’t running for help, but rather was trying to get someone trapped in the iron maiden trap. Also, the real sarcophagi that lined with walls contained the remains of elf and human warriors who defended the tower years ago. Had anyone taking the silver ring in each one would have suffered a -2 penalty to saving throws while within the tower.


Necrotic Filth Puzzle Room

The next room was strange. A huge cauldron of black, fetid tar stood in the center of the room while four statues of human and elf warriors lined the four corners. Around the cauldron were seven piles of goblins skulls. Each pile of skulls was painted a different color: blue, black, green, red, gold, purple, and white. A massive iron door with no means in which to open it, lined the south wall.

Wisely the group used the Mirror of the Past and they caught a vision of Vanamere and Lethion years ago and in totally different place, standing next to the cauldron of necrotic filth talking about how this could be set up in their tower as a great trap.

The group thought about it for a moment and remembered the crest they saw outside: gold hawk on a black and white background. They threw a gold skull in the cauldron and nothing happened. They threw the purple one in and nothing happened. As the white one was about to be thrown in, Logan stopped them. Telling them he didn’t think it was white. Lendri thought for a moment and said it was black. He was right and the massive iron doors grinded open to the final room.

DM NOTE – Had any other skull been thrown in the group would have been attacked by two Cauldron Corpses (level 5 brutes, 152 HPs) that had an immediate reaction to being hit by an attack of spawning a Cauldron Mote (minion). The heroes received full XP as if they fought the creatures.


An Epic Battle

The next room was spectacular, especially in 3D. To their right was an iron lever that would reopen the door out of here (as it would automatically shut every round). On either side of them were two passages that led up to overlooking balconies of the center of this chamber. At the far end were a flight of stairs that led to a raised level containing two sarcophagi.

In front of the party were three zombie rotters and on the stairs was a boneshard mongrel. Unseen at this time were two skeleton archers on either side of the overlooking balconies. Next to the sarcophagi was a human wearing a golden mask shaped like a skull who drew a crimson orb from his black robes. Jeras Falck spoke, “This tomb will be yours unless you leave, now.”

And it was on.

Although the zombie rotters were minions, Falck had an ability that allowed him to revive a minion as a move action. This proved a problem as Logan would never reach Falck during the entire fight.

The skeleton archers were also difficult as they dealt 1d10 + 4 damage on a hit. Baern was especially aware of this as he was hit for back-to-back natural 20’s in one round for a total of 28 points.

After the mongrel was dead thanks to Xune, Lendri moved up the right passageway to deal with the skeleton archers there and Logan moved up the left to deal with those skeletons. Leaving Xune and Baern to deal with Falck.

DM NOTE – the skeleton archers had a cool ability shrug off marks as an immediate reaction.

Falck had suffered almost no damage when Baern rolled a natural 20 with his daily and delivered 36 points of damage to the boss, bloodying him in the process.

But the battle was reaching the turning point, Falck hit both Baern and Xune with his encounter power, Overwhelming Wounds, dealing a good amount of damage and dazing them as well.

This dropped Baern.

Falck cackled with laughter, “Pathetic. Leave now with your tail between your legs and live fools.”

Xune had no way to help Baern and went to attack Falck, but she was out of healing surges. Up in the overlooking alcoves, Lendri and Logan were both having hard times with their skeletons.

Then Baern rolled a natural 20 on his death save. The dwarf staggered to his feet, pointed his finger at the necromancer and said those immortal words.

“Fuck you.”

The battle was coming down to the wire. Falck, as he is written in the adventure, was to assume wraithform, becoming insubstantial, and escaping the encounter. But the two combatants in front of him were nearly dead. What to do?

The DM presented the dilemma to the group. Either Falck escapes with no further damage and the group lives, or we continue with the fight with Falck acting next. It wasn’t an easy decision. Here are some stats:

Falck: 4 HPs left
Baern: 8 HPs left
Xune: 8 HPs left
Logan: 6 HPs left
Lendri: 19 HPs left

The entire group was out of healing, second winds, and I know Xune and Baern were out of surges. Logan and Lendri were up on the alcoves and couldn’t get down to Falck in enough time as his ranged attacks were deadly. Falck’s next move (as described by the DM in full disclosure) was to make two Dagger of Pain attacks, one on Baern and one on Xune. Falck had a 60% chance of hitting Baern, and a 40% of hitting Xune. His damage on these would have been 4-10 points with the average damage being 7.5 points of damage. Falck had also reanimated two of the zombie rotters behind Xune and Baern and they would be on them in two rounds.

The Brigade decided to go for it.

With the heroes staring a TPK in the face the DM stood up, and in an acknowledgement to the historic moment, rolled in front of the group. Baern was hit for 9 points dropping him. Xune was missed.

The group breathed a sigh of relief, but it wasn’t over. Xune was next to act, and rolling two d20’s, the drow avenger missed on both rolls, giving Falck another attempt.

Falck….missed.

Xune would not be denied again as she hit with her next attack, killing the vile necromancer once and for all.

The rest of the group mopped up the rest of the undead and took a well-deserved extended rest.

The sarcophagi for Vanamere was opened and empty, but Falck couldn’t get the once for Lethion opened. The group thought of it and touched the symbol of Kord from the scroll tube to the sarcophagi and it broke the magical seal. Inside was the treasure. The DM forgot to print that stuff out, so here for the first time, is that treasure.

DM NOTE: Had Falck survived he would have returned to the Temple of Yellow Skulls empty-handed. His superiors would have given him one chance to redeem himself. A week later, Falck would have ambushed the party with his hired group of mercenaries. The group known as 500 Fights.

Baldric of Time
Level 6 Uncommon
This rough-textured belt seems to be coated in the sands of time.
Price: 1,800 gp
Item Slot: Waist
Property: When you roll a 20 on your initiative check, you gain an extra move action during the first turn of the encounter.
Published in Adventurer's Vault 2, page(s) 74.

Power Jewel
Level 5 Uncommon
Magical energy pulses within this stunning red jewel, allowing you to use a power you have already expended.
Price: 1,000 gp
Wondrous Item
Power (Daily): Minor Action. This power allows you to regain the use of an encounter power of 1st or 3rd level.
Special: You must have reached at least one milestone today to activate this item.
Published in Adventurer's Vault, page(s) 176.

Dazzling Plate
Level 4 Uncommon
Favored by paladins of Pelor, this shining suit of polished mithral plate strengthens your spirit and dazzles your foes.
Price: 840 gp
Armor: Plate
Enhancement: +1 AC
Property: You gain a +2 item bonus to all defenses against charm, fear, and psychic effects.
Power (Daily): Minor Action. Each enemy adjacent to you takes a –2 penalty to attack rolls (save ends).
Published in Adventurer's Vault 2, page(s) 7.

Also, the rescued dwarves eventually send a magical item to you in Rock Hammer, a thanks for saving thier lives:

Bracers of Defense
Level 7 Uncommon
These enchanted armbands can be activated to reduce the damage you take from a single attack.
Price: 2,600 gp
Item Slot: Arms
Power (Daily): Immediate Interrupt. Trigger: You are hit by a melee attack. Effect: Reduce the damage dealt to you by the attack by 10.
Published in Player's Handbook, page(s) 244, Dungeon Master's Kit, page(s) 264.


Falck, as being a very tough end boss, also dropped a magic shard. Lendri picked this up to infuse with an item of his choosing.

Also here was the gold gem. A wave of uneasiness washes over everyone. You can easily sense evil trapped inside of it.
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Lou

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Name: Ungoro Trollblood
Level: 6th
Race/Class: Half-Orc Sentinel

PostSubject: Re: Storm Tower, Yellowskulls, goblin skulls, Epic Battle - 5th   Mon May 02, 2011 5:59 pm

Great job guys! Mighty Mountain approves!
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Wil

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Name: Kregnok
Level: 3rd
Race/Class: Dwarf Cleric

PostSubject: Re: Storm Tower, Yellowskulls, goblin skulls, Epic Battle - 5th   Tue May 03, 2011 10:35 pm

Baern recommends the following:

Dokkanor should get the Dazzling Plate, since I don't think he has magical armor. Xune should receive the Power Gem as it will be more beneficial to her with her encounter abilities. The Baldric of Time can be up for grabs, and I think the Bracers of Defense should go to one of the meat shields. Lendri as mentioned got the +1 shard.

Was there any coin associated with the parcels?


Those are my suggestions, and I'm welcome to discussion/feedback/arguments.

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Blaine

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Name: Xune
Level: 4
Race/Class: Drow/Avenger

PostSubject: Re: Storm Tower, Yellowskulls, goblin skulls, Epic Battle - 5th   Wed May 04, 2011 11:35 am

To be honest, I would love for Xune to have the Power Jewel. However, my first thought when I read the description was Healers/Leaders. Baern or Un'goro would have the chance to perform a 3rd healing in a single encounter as a Daily. This isn't really needed when both of the leaders are available, but this might be handy when there is only one. Another option would be for Xune to hold on to the Jewel, but pass it on to the leader when there is only one adventuring.
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