Eleventh Session Recap (June 30th, 2012) – Tenthday, Eleint 30th, 1374 DR
Phase of Selûne – Waxing Gibbous
K’Larr lives! K’larr lives!
Our ramshackle crew of adventurers/seafaring vessel entrepreneurs climbs out of the naga hole and walks directly into a shrubbery – of certain and repetitive death. Without Gathan, our fallen lizard-folk warrior friend, the party slips into a certain style of fighting known best as ‘play dead,’ this being preferred over ‘res back to 2 hp, instantly killed due to life detected in target’ – again, RIP Gathan.
In the midst of the now familiar shadowy illumination, Sage stands at the front line and tanks the splintery limbs of a shambling mound for as long as she can. Joining the enemy is a pack of blue lizard-terriers, with the wonderful ability to electrify random targets with reckless abandon. It’s discovered that, not only do lightning attacks hurt, but they also raise the hardiness of the shambling bush. Somewhere amongst the cackling bark-hisses of the electric pups, which I now imagine sounds like exaggerated hyena laughter, the tree’s twisted face-hole cracks and moans into a sinister smile, as it pelts Sage three times, wraps her into a tight embrace, and promptly tosses her to its side. Before she drops, however, she attempts to hypnotize a group of lizards, which works, but does not seem to help save the party from the relay-electrical pack attack of tingling hatred. This whole time, Sage’s half-manly husband is tossing a returning chakram at the bark-skinned assailant. Realizing, though, that the lightning lizards are helping the bush, he now targets the doggy closest to him.
Char rages ahead and blasts the tree in typical astounding fashion as Dambrio begins playing the last stanzas of his war requiem. Prae hears the sounds of a shambling mound and a dying Sage and, after failing to ignite the abomination, recklessly charges in on Dolomite waving a deadly sickle of effectiveness. He briefly assumes the lizard terriers are sentient and barks commands at the nearest one. Amazingly, it continues to be random. Dolomite shakes his head in concerned disdain as he claws at the tree. K’larr yells at the gnome to heal his wife – Dambrio being unable to do so, having landed in unconsciousness beside Sage – which Prae does not do, instead landing a max hit of 2 on the bush, and immediately being grappled, strangled, and tossed to the side with the others.
Presumably, K’larr face-palms and continues firing off his chakram at dogs, which seems to provoke more electrical attacks, further boosting the shambling bush, much to its amusement. Char pummels the tree while its attention is on Dolomite. In the distant corner of the wattle battle, a dirty and half-starved half-she-elf witnesses the foray. Several electrical lizard dogs roam around her as her brain tries to wrap around the situation in front of her. Dolomite dodges as many attacks as he can while clawing ceaselessly at the killer bush, but finally succumbs to the long arm of efficient death. The newcomer works up the courage to ask the people in mortal peril if they need help. K’larr politely yells, “Why, yes, please do help us” as he tosses the chakram at a lizard next to her and continues, “kill that one, if you are so inclined.” She proceeds to arrow the living piss out of all the lizards in the vicinity.
Together, K’larr and the new lady whittle away at the smaller targets as Char comets the shambling bush’s HP back into mortal territory. Sadly, Char’s ability to do massive damage continues to point him out as a bull’s eye. He is also constricted, and his scarred body is contributed to the pile of fallen party members. K’larr takes the opportunity to bravely rush the radius of Murderoot McCertaindeath and grab his beloved Sage and less beloved Dambrio and drag them back into the narrow entryway. He revives them as the new half-elf fires more arrows at the tree. As it is idle for 0.5 seconds, it decides that it is quite famished after all the ass kicking it’s handed out. Dolomite is the lifeless body it chooses to gnaw upon as it then decides to turn and move at an ungodly pace towards the helper. She runs. She runs, very far. The shambling bush gives chase with snack in tow, but quickly gives up, probably deciding more food is back inside its muddy bedroom/kitchen.
By this time, K’larr and Sage are back up to decent health with the help of the also recently revived Dambrio. K’larr goes to bring Char to his feet, wisely leaving the inept druidic gnome unconscious and, thankfully, uneaten. But, the tree lumbers back for more. Char instinctively continues pelting his quarry. This time, however, Char strikes a nerve. The bush reaches up and pulls the house down, sending swarms of centipedes and muck in all directions.
After realizing that there are no murderous bramble-arms behind her, the Arrow Woman returns to the scene of near nauseous and cut and bleeding strangers. K’larr, in hero mode this entire battle, steels himself and pulls Sage out of wriggling, poisonous critters. Arrow Woman is struck down by the tree before it decides to book it out of there, badger-bits and all. Seeing a person fall, Char shows a moment of rare sentiment, especially towards half-demons, and revives Arrow Woman. Random savior lady then whips out a seemingly endless supply of alchemist’s fire and lights up several patches of the creepy-crawlies. Char gives some helpful hints on killing things to the stranger, and chases after the suddenly cowardly tree. In the distance, a hollow thud is heard as a monstrous creature meets its deserved end.
But, here, the swarm spreads slowly toward the fallen gnome. Close to death, talking to Baervan, unknowingly severed from his last emotional crux, Dolomite, Prae’s body is bitten by hundreds of difficult to hit centipedes, as the party deliberates whether or not to risk setting the entire scene on fire. Before anyone can act, Dambrio, in a moment of selflessness possibly never before attempted, channels the being of some great controlling Author and crawls to the bug covered Prae, grabs his lifeless form, heals him, and leaps backwards into a nook-ish corner of the room whilst turning mid-air to shield Prae from further harm, passing out upon landing. I’m surprised there was not more fanfare for this. The newcomer, her target free from allies, sets the bugs on fire as Char returns.
Out With the Old, In With the Laran
With the swarms gone, the bush chopped, and all party members healed, the stranger dares to meet up with something other than a shadowy creature. It turns out, Laran, a half-elf lady bowwoman, is actually quite hungry, tired and confused and searching for an end-all adventure of her life. Sage immediately lays down the splendor of Tymora and breaks out the decks of cards and various gambling paraphernalia. Dambrio also immediately lays down the splendor of bard-ness. Char assumes she is another half-demon and perhaps thinks that all half-demons know each other. Prae begins calling for Dolomite to return from where ever he was while performing his badassery. K’larr, oddly, stays quite instead of boasting that he probably saved everyone’s lives.
At some point, someone reminds everyone that Sued is waiting on a boat with food – and booze. However, Char pipes up that he wants to keep going in the direction of the shambling mound corpse, perhaps not too keen on watching Sage gamble with a lost and dazed starving person, or to simply carve cudgels out of victory wood. Prae joins Char and travels on a bit further, wanting to find Dolomite, as the others stay behind and chat. Well – fun stuff – Char, with his excellent eyesight, notices the gnawed upon body of the late, great Dolomite. In a stroke of genius, Char yells at Prae to run, run far away and warn the others! Assuming more danger, Prae returns and raises the alarm. The crew, battered and drained, gets ready for another fight as Char returns, dragging the shambling mound behind him. Char shows Dolomite’s remains to K’larr and Sage, who pull Prae aside and begin breaking the news. Laran bears witness to a grown man…gnome…break down for a moment, and suddenly slice off his deceased friend’s paws and claws, skin what’s left of him, and plant him in the shadowy mud.
For some reason, possibly madness, Laran decides to join the party on its quest to seek and destroy all evil, and after deliberation, join them for noms back on the [sic] LeCrem. Upon arriving at the skeleton crewed boat, Sage engages Laran in some kind of dagger throwing game, and Prae joins in for light conversation. Sued makes a fantastic meal and all call it an evening after remembering that we must play “Zelda’s Lullaby” from the boat at Black Tree Bend to gain access to some other nigh impregnable fortress. Prae had a dream with badgers, and Char had a nightmare with boobies.
The next morning, the adventurers awoke and set out on another short river cruise, all the while using the keenest eyes aboard to seek out Black Tree Bend. As it turns out, some evil-doer has a real sick sense of humor, Black Tree Bend being an undead giant dragon teenage mutant ninja turtle. Dambrio did us proud and played the tune that allows us to pass unharmed.
The crew docks at a monastery walkpath. Deciding, once again, that sneaky, sneaky ways in are better than the front door method, we set to business charting the perimeter. This time, Prae actually uses some powers, and shapeshifts into a crow which flies around the keep. Prae relays the message of the surroundings, probably thinking there was an imaginary hole in the wall around the place, and Char and K’larr decide to shift up to a portion of the wall and carry some of the party in, while positioning others outside an unguarded door. On the count of go, the team opens up and files into the courtyard outside of another unguarded door hiding a gloomy and mysterious room that Prae’s crow eyes could not penetrate. Attempts to slowly open the door and go unnoticed are futile, and those in the front of the line see several winged statues shift in anticipation, or perhaps, someone they hunt has finally looked away, and now they can move.