Fals’Krag Session 44 – Beholders!

Five players along on Saturday for a fun session. They didn’t explore a lot of the map, and had four main encounters, but all were with very different creatures and things weren’t always what they seemed in each.

I used shadow mini’s for the wraith spawn, (and they didn’t know they weren’t shadows for a while) and when I put the wraith on the board one player was concerned it could be a Spectre. We all enjoyed the evening, and the group is getting close to reaching 8th level.

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(16th Sunsebb): As they return through the long grass in the north of the cavern, Lanliss and Bacon notice three giant toads moving towards them. Hardaz and Bacon move out to fight, and three slurks bound forward in addition. Merxif entangles two of their opponents, Hardaz gets slimed by one, and Winter shoots at those not in melee. The fight is short, but Bacon’s hands are blistered and he seems a bit drowsy. While Merxif is healing, Seldrel observes that the toad’s skin is poisonous. Merxif treats him as they continue to the tunnel into the cliff. They make their way back to the Crafting Halls and rest. Boris and Kevelli arrive back from Falsford bringing Hardaz’ new magical full plate armour, and a collar for Summer. The collar (of the true companion) makes the owl slightly more intelligent and he now understands spoken elvish. Kevelli states that he will rust-proof the armour, then is going back to Falsford for Needfest. (A week-long celebration of midwinter and the change of years) After hearing what the group has been doing, Kevelli suggests keeping the hand of a troll (if they encounter another) to activate the statue of Vaprak in the hall of the Gods.

27th The group rest while Kevelli and Seldrel do some crafting.

28th Leaving Boris with Kevelli again, they head back down to the cavern and head back to the western area to continue exploring.

The next block has a number of doors on the road-side and Lanliss quickly moves along and looks in each one. He notes a goblin corpse and some dead bats in different rooms. The other spread out to keep watch, while Seldrel checks the rooms for magic, and Lanliss looks more closely at the corpse. It has nothing of value, but while searching a shadowy humanoid shape emerges from the wall into the chamber Bacon has been checking. He calls a warning and begins to fight the incorporeal shape. Summer withdraws to Winter’s side and refuses to engage the being. A second appears near Lanliss. Seldrel immediately retreats out of the room and fires magic missiles at it. Bacon destroys his opponent, but another slips out of the stone to replace it, and then a fourth near Lanliss. They realise they are facing a wraith and some lesser shadow-like wraith-spawn. Merxif damages a pair with positive energy and Hardaz puts his ghost-touch enchanted axe to good work. The fight is fierce, with the life-hating undead striking the group a number of times, but they resist the worst of the life draining touch. Once all are destroyed, the Cleric spends time healing. The remainder of the building has many dried corpses, and an assortment of treasure, mostly being coins, armour and weapons, guarded by animated bugbear skeletons and Yuan-Ti zombies.

Lanliss turns invisible and scouts the badly damaged building to the south. Much of it has collapsed. The sight of five beholders in various sizes from about a foot across to six or seven feet in diameter has him retreating immediately. The group recall everything they have heard about the fearsome magic using aberrations. Seldrel is suspicious; there were so many creatures which project an anti-magic ray from their main eye and Lanliss wasn’t revealed or noticed. Suspecting an illusion, the group move forward together, with Lanliss this time using true sight. Coming around the corner he notes that they have all moved and are not illusions. Hardaz charges forward and strikes the closest, which also happens to be one of the smallest. His axe slices through the bulbous body which explodes. Seldrel’s second assumption is confirmed – Gas Spores! The beholder shaped fungi float forward and are met by Lanliss and the dwarves, while Winter fires arrows. All are quickly destroyed. The dwarves brush spore particles from themselves after being amid multiple exploding spheres. Bacon is not concerned, being practically immune to disease. Merxif examines Hardaz who it seems has not been effected by the spores either. What appear to have been goblin or morlock bodies have been reduced to much amid the rusting and rotting remains of armour and weapons. Seldrel suspects this is the effect of the spores, and they burn the bodies and spore remains.

The next large block of chambers to the east has a damaged corner through which they sight pillars, stairs down and a large hole. While the group keeps watch on the roads, Lanliss vanishes and enters. The hole takes up about half of the room, dropping about twenty feet into another chamber littered with rubble. He hears what he believes to be many bats below. What looks like a corpse draws him to rocks at the rear of the large room. It turns out to be a reddish-brown robe with a scattering on bones nearby and a scroll case. He brings the scroll case back to Seldrel who passes it to Merxif after a quick look. He adds it to his collection of cure scrolls. Seldrel and Lanliss move down the stairs and look around – there are coins amid the bat guano and rubble, but hundreds of bats are already agitated by the magical light. Back upstairs, Seldrel casts a fireball into the lower chamber and wait for the smoke to clear. An assortment of coins are recovered as well as a slightly melted golden box. The rest of the group note a loud noise start from the north-east. It could be shouting, or the roar of a beast, but before they have a chance to determine more about the sound, the banging of a drum and gong begin much closer to the east. Approaching, Seldrel can hear voices chanting in common, goblin and a third language he doesn’t recognise. The message concerns blood, slaughter and death. Lanliss moves forward, sighting a gnoll and a human in rust coloured robes in a nearby building. The noise ends while the party move closer, and the gnoll hears them advance. Merxif moves to a window, where he sees a more humanoids. He notes they are living, not undead. Seldrel casts haste on the group, and combat spreads over three rooms, one having an small altar. Three masked and robed humanoids (who prove to be minor clerics and a sorcerer) lead a mix of cultists: two humans, a half-orc, two gnolls and a bugbear. The main opponents are knocked down quickly, but part-way through One of the bodies begins to move; bursting apart to reveal a mosquito-like creature bigger than Merxif. It gives off an aura that makes Lanliss drowsy. It is battered into unconsciousness as the fight continues. Another defeated cultist ruptures and a second insectoid shakes itself off. Merxif is disturbed to realise that the first one under his feat, that they thought dying, is actually healing. He spends time battering it, trying to inflict more damage than it can repair. Seldrel decides these are Blight-spawn, aberrations that grow inside a living creature, emerging when the body dies. He suggests using fire against them and fears that their sting is poisonous. The group is now concerned about their defeated opponents, not just those still fighting, as more bodies break open. Merxif uses his goggles to look at the health of their enemy, identifying which are dead, not merely unconscious. Five of the nine cultists turn out to have been “infested”. Lanliss is the only one stung, but he has managed to resist the effect of the poison. No more cultists emerge from the surrounding buildings and the group pause to heal before searching.

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