Ravenloft

Ravenloft (32)

Brian's game of monsters and madness.

<p style="padding: 10px;">Brian is starting a new campaign in the Ravenloft setting.&nbsp; While he is encouraging odd races from the base books (Player's Handbook, Modenkainen's, XAnathar, Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, Elemental Evil Player's Guide, and Volo's) all other sources are discouraged with the possible exception of Eberron.&nbsp; Starting racial feat, +2 to stats with a base distribution of&nbsp;15,14,13,12,10,8.&nbsp; There will be Heirloom magic items that grow in power (1st, 4th, 8th, 12th).&nbsp; Campaign is expected to go through level 15th.</p>

Tuesday, 23 November 2021 20:22

Ravenloft Game 32 - 11/19/21 - The Evil In Me

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Poof! The Racoon faded out and the berserker gypsy suddenly existed. Exploring the house we found a room full of mirrors.  Inside one of the mirrors, Ambrus saw the placard hanging on the wall.  He sent his mage hand into the mirror world, grabbed the placard, and pulled it out of the mirror.    Meanwhile, his mirror image stepped through and attacked him.  Kharn ran in to attack the image and then an image of him stepped out to fight us.  Patrina cast darkness and Kharn vanished but her own was still there since she can see in her darkness... oops.  Patrina’s image dispelled the darkness and mirror Kharn reappeared. Then Lord Q cast fog cloud.  During this, the monk stayed out of the room and did a fog horn imitation allowing the people inside the fog to navigate without activating the mirrors.  Someone got the idea to cover the mirrors and Kharn then covered the mirror with a billowing cloak. In the next few turns, the party scavenged moldy tablecloths, blankets, and curtains to block all the mirrors in order to negate the mirror images. Once most were covered the fog was disbursed and the remaining mirror had a second crest.  Ambros cast invisibility and went in the mirror and grabbed it while everyone else stayed outside the room. So we seem to have two crests.

While exploring the rest of the house Lord Q came across a phantasm figure wearing armor.  Meanwhile, Ambross and Kharn had a short rest to heal up from beating themselves up in the mirror room.  Since Lord Q had no backup he closed the door. When everyone was ready we all went in but Ezera effectively soloed the phantasm with one 20 HP hit and another critical smite 82 HP.  The ghost just wanted to end his life in glorious combat instead of by poison.  Hopefully being one-shotted by the paladin counts.  Although the monk wanted the armor as a wall trophy, it was finally decided it go to the paladin.

Continuing our exploration we found a magical haversack that finally went to the monk.  Later explored the bedroom we originally stayed in during the groundhog cycle and found it full of zombies.  One with a big glowing fist.  We won after a short combat, partially due to the undead being limited to having to attack through a doorway.  The zombie with the glowing fist had a bracer that gave +1 damage and hit to natural weapons and unarmed attacks.  The monk got this.  It was late but it was hinted that there was only one more room on this floor so we continued.  The next room over we found the second half of the bracer set that gave an additional +1 hit and damage (total +2).  Yay!  At this point, it was after 1:00 AM so we called it a night.

Monday, 08 November 2021 13:25

Ravenloft Game 31 - 11/05/21- Groundhog's Ghost

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We had this letter we found on the now dead sheep herder with an offer for him and his father to come shelter at a nearby estate and ride out the winter.  With the devastated sheep stores, starvation for the town of Krusk was a real possibility so we took upon ourselves to look into it.  We had some discussions on how to do that.  Is there any authority figure left we could bring? Not really.  We decided to have Lord Q do the talking, bringing the bad news about the deaths and go from there.  With Lady Patrina making the announcement, the butler was impressed enough, at least with those two, to let us in and give us an audience.  But we had to give up our weapons at the front door.  All complied except for Ezra who chose to guard the front door rather than give up his Holy Avenger.  Loki left his pistols with him. 

She was hosting a big party for nobles across the land.  We talked to her in her study but she had no idea what we were talking about.  When shown the letter, she agreed that it was in her hand with her seal but had no recollection of writing it or sending it.  She and her party seemed to be out of step with the current world conditions.  Loki asked her what year she thought it was.  What an odd question? Why do you ask? You seem out of touch.  That did not go over well.  Brian had Dave make a persuasion roll to see if he could have possibly said that without sounding insulting.  With an 8 charisma, no proficiency and a roll of a two, it did not go well.  Loki stopped talking. (Dan: This happens over and over.  Not proficient with a charisma skill?  Just shut up and let the charisma character talk, roleplaying isn't going to do it.) Despite this, we were given a tour of the house, given a couple rooms to freshen up and invited to join the party.  A couple of words on the tour.  We saw no weapons on the guests or all the walls.  Being players, we were planning on trouble.  Ambrus noted that the locks throughout were of the highest quality.  Maybe 30+ guests?

We mingled.  Everybody rolled terrible so anyone that tried something, failed and those that just wandered about, heard some random things.  This family is known for their tech and architecture and had designed Ravenloft castle.  Ambrus tried to break into a room but only rolled well enough to determine it was going to take a 35 roll to do it.  Attempts to get some background on the guests and servant were dead ends.  There was mention of a hedge maze out back that was known to be unsolvable.  But the key items came from the host or about her.  She had recently broken off her engagement with Dimitri, the leader in Krusk.  However, the man we had met a wife and grown kids.  She also thought the guy in charge was his long dead father.  We again concluded that this place was outside of time somehow.  Lord Q did manage to talk her into letting the Paladin of the Morning Lord come in with his sword and join dinner. 

She excused herself from dinner and the next thing heard was a scream from the butler.  She’s been poisoned! The players were ready to jump into action but held at bay while Brian described the grisly scene.  Basically, all the guests died a horrible, bloody death but none of the players had any trouble.  Once all dead, the mansion transformed into a run-down older version of itself and all the bodies were gone.  Again, players were trying act but Brian skipped all that and just put us together in the main room with our weapons.  We went to her salon and found her body.  Before we could act, a vortex of time bending energy swirled.  A spirit emerged from her body and said something about being betrayed and they should all rot in hell or some such.  It then flew through the wall. 

Ambrus watch it through a window and it went to the hedge maze.  To no one’s surprised.  Lady Patrina found two keys on her now decayed body.  There was some discussion about what to do but Ambrus was so eager to reinvestigate the lock that had thwarted him, he must have mentioned it 5 times in 2 minutes.  But it was as good a plan as any.  The first room was some sort of study.  It had high quality artwork including what we assumed was a portrait of the most famous family member.  It was obvious something important had been removed from the wall.  Beyond was a passageway leading down into the basement, crypt, ???  We deferred that.  The next room was a private office with various books and ledgers.  Among those was a journal which Lady Patrina was about to shove into her pack but Loki asked about the date of the last entry.  It was 25 years ago, as we had expected.  In addition, it told of her intention to break off her engagement prior to her upcoming party.  She figured that would avoid a scene and allow her to start finding someone new.  So, we concluded he, Dimitri whom we had just tried to save the night before, had poisoned them all.  She did not want to give up her life and lands and titles.  She also said something about him never finding her family vault as it was not in the basement but in the hedge maze and only someone with both family crests could possibly penetrate it.  So, we need to find those, I guess.  One has already been taken. 

        

Also in that room was a locked chest.  Ambrus could not open it by skill.  Ezra could not open it by force.  But Brian gave Amrus another try and that opened it.  Inside was a throve of magical items.

Charlatan’s Die – rolls any number you want.  I.e. cheat - Ambrus

Cloak of Billowing – dramatically billows on command - Lord Q

Portable Hole - Lady Patrina took to hold her books.  At the bottom of which was …

Dagger +3 - Ambrus

Scroll of Arcane Lock – Lady Patrina

Scroll of Guards and Wands – Lady Patrina

Scroll of Knock – Lady Patrina

Wand of Conducting – makes symphony music, 3 charges – Kharn because he wasn’t there to say no.

That took up some time and it was almost 12 so we stopped.  The offer of extra food seems like it’s 25 years old so we’re not going to succeed there. (Dan: As mentioned the lady didn't recognize the letter.  Either its a ghost thing to not remember it or it was some wierd plot twist.  If Demitri was sane I assume he would have remembered he killed everyone here and told us not to bother or it was a trap.)  Loki did do a search of the grounds during the party in hopes of finding a storage building but rolled bad so maybe another search is in order.  I suppose we will try to solve the hedge maze and try to put this spirit to rest.  But we’ll want to search the rest of the house for those crests first.  No one could recall seeing something like that at Dimitri’s house but if you poisoned 30+ people, would you keep a reminder of that around? We might look for plans of Castle Ravenloft as well in case we ever have to sneak into it.

Sunday, 24 October 2021 11:28

Ravenloft Game 30 - 10/22/21 - Ravenous

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The party woke up find the chickens gone.  The house owners had made breakfast and left for the day.  So in between the time we woke up and the people in the house cooked breakfast they were gone (eaten).  We spent the day looking over the sheep, talking to Luca and then the villagers.  No one knew anything.  We even interrogated the sheep.  Luca was mentally challenged due to a head injury, so was a bit frustrating to talk to.  They knew nothing as well.  We all knew it was Ilya, the resurrected boy with an unnatural appetite but there was no proof.  Patrina even left her book/familiar with the sheep to spy on them.  Then we left.  After hours of getting the run around it came to a boil when all the sheep went missing at once after we left for a few hours.  The familiars were gone and Luca had left the sheep alone after telling them to look after one another.  During this discussion, he took out a letter stating that due to his father’s friend he could find shelter and food for himself and his companions.  I must have blinked because this seemed a bit contrived. So perhaps the villagers won’t starve? (hint:  yes they still will)

The villagers noticed soon after we did that the sheep were missing and formed two mobs.  Kaladin tried to reason with the crowd but failed despite a decent roll (14 but no bonuses).  As usual, the people without charisma skills shouldn't bother to try to roleplay.  Lord Q tried afterward and failed too (with advantage he rolled two 1's.  Maybe it was fated.).  Just they were about to attack, Ilya ran up, looking obviously emaciated, and demanded food.  We all attacked since this was the proof we had wasted two hours trying to get.  However, he was a legendary creature.  He swallowed random villagers (his mother specifically) to regain hit points, as an interrupt action spat poison area effects and basically two shotted most of the party.  Patrina was fairly effective using darkness and chilling touch to reduce his hits and negate his healing some of the time.  Naturally, we still mocked him for using an ability similar to his infamous Plant Growth fail.  Luca got nailed the first attack and lay dying on the sheep field.  It was difficult healing without the goodberries but we had some healing potions, a paladin, and Patrina who had some sacrificial healing abilities. Ilya seems to still have some life to him but after a final attack and health absorption, he ran his house near the sheep fields.  Patrina did her sacrificial heal to Kaladin who had gone down earlier and he then flew after Ilya in his house.  The heal was well-timed because he was 2 failed death saves down.  We charged after him and once again kept going down.  It was even worse in the confined space. (It wasn't helped that the map had the two floors stacked on top of each other and kept flashing each floor randomly.  Very confusing and frustrating, especially with the wall obscurement of FG that never matched the floor you were on.  I would strongly recommend that the GM spread out the maps so they aren't on top of each other even if it needs those annoying gates at the entrances)  The warlock eventually claimed the final blow.  Most of the others didn’t even get a hit in and were just hit point buffers. 

Dimitri (Ilya’s father) was informed of the news rather brutally by Patrina (she was criticized by the rest of the party for being far too blunt, though it was amusing), then again by Ezera (who was just as blunt, he just worded it differently.  It could be questioned who was nicer).  His mind snapped, then he recovered and they did it again.  I was actually wondering if they were trying to drive him mad.  He ended up catatonic and disavowed by the village mayor.  The paladin was disgusted by this attitude (nobody else was happy with it though they didn’t want to take responsibility for it either...even though it was pretty much Patrina and Ezera that drove him mad) and righteously washed his hands of the whole matter.  Leaving the entire village to starve while we head off to explore the dead Luca’s inheritance and its stash of food.  That’s Ravenloft.  Even the paladins are evil.

Monday, 18 October 2021 14:17

Ravenloft Game 29 - 10/15/21 - I'm Batman!

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We emerged in the middle of Yester Hill.  Evidently, we had taken a short rest so eventually we just got going.  Vasili was nowhere to be found but our wagon was still there waiting for us.  The small window of sunlight was quickly left behind.  During the first day, we came across a strange furry man, hanging upside down from a tree limb with a couple of other bats.  He claimed to be Batman! and mostly spouted batman cliches about thwarting evil.  Slightly amusing and mostly pointless.  Eventually, we just left him behind and moved on.  That night was uneventful and we got a long rest.  The next day, scouting Kaladin spotted 3 shambling figures ahead on the road.  Loki went first and hit the first one 4 times, dropping it.  When they went, floating ghost-like jellyfish emerged from the bodies and attacked.  They did psychic damage and one teleported to behind the wagon.  A couple of us took some damage but it was over pretty quick.  We got back on the road after burying the bodies.  Two bodies looked like the druids we fought and one looked like he came from Kresk.

Moments after we started moving again, everyone on the wagon took significant psychic damage from screams in their head.  Half on a wisdom save.  Lord Q was then attacked but since he was the only one in the wagon, no one else saw it.  He was almost out in one round.  On his turn, he tried to jump through the window but first he had to take more screams damage and was out.  The NPC went next, raised the alarm and pulled him out of the wagon.  There was much confusion.  Kharn and Loki managed to get to the back of the wagon and take a couple of shots at the assistant to Stradhanya we had fought before.  He growled to the raging Kharn that “he was not the target” and then misty stepped away.  Some healed Lord Q, fearing he’d be killed by the AOE or attacked again.  Others searched for the attacker but he was never seen again.  Evidently, he had made a monster Stealth roll and no one saw him get in the wagon during the first fight.  (Dan: It was deduced that he had +14 to his stealth skill... and he rolled a 20.  Basically even without a 20 roll we wouldn't have been able to see him).  I suppose Lord Q was a target because he has access to a great power that could be a threat to Stradhanya? Certainly more than a raccoon with some pistols.  There were some discussions and we rearranged the positions but ultimately, we just got going again.

Late that day, we pulled into the winery.  They were busy, trying to save their crops.  The druid stone was buried and a couple hours later, things were improved.  By the way, that ended Lady Petrina’s personal quest and Brian received a bonus feat.  Ironic since that character had just started.  We stayed the night and nothing happened.  We got a nice bottle of wine for the abbot in Kresk and Ezra got a new shield to replace the one he left behind in the Gone.  The journey to Kresk was uneventful.  Once we showed them the witches broomstick, I mean told them we had restored the winery, we were greeted as heroes.  The BurgerMeister invited us into his home.  And we got the run down.  Life here is hard.  It’s so cold, the chickens are kept in the houses so they wouldn’t freeze.  The sheep had been disappearing and he asked us to look into it as they feared they wouldn’t survive the winter if it continued.  Also, his only remaining son was recently brought back to life by the abbot.  He had died from some disease.  That was met with suspicion but the only thing noted was that he seemed to be eating a lot.

We also got some back history about the town.  The town hero lead a rebellion against Stradhanya but her attack on the castle ended in death for all involved.  They had sent someone to check on the wine whose description matched the body we fought the day before.  The guy in charge of the sheep is simple mined but does a good job.  The abbot seems to be working on a project to defeat Stradhanya or some such.  (Dan: Ravenloft's typical means of fighting back is finding something even more evil than what they are fighting.  I hear they cancel out that way.)  Very busy but very great.  At least according to these people.  We slept through the night.  Lady Patrina used her short sleep cycle and awaken mind to virtually patrol the area but saw nothing.  We were treated to a fine breakfast and the nobles left for their day’s activities.  The only thing noted was the chickens were all gone.  Loki made a roll and was convinced that there were chickens here yesterday.  There were no signs of attack or force entry.  It seemed odd that our hosts either did not notice or did not mention anything.  Andy, BTO and DG were dragging so we called it an early night.

Monday, 27 September 2021 10:55

Ravenloft Game 28 - 09/24/21 - The Rabbit Hole

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Return from the Between and the Gone

We were still in the Gone.  We had a brief discussion about the disposal of our beloved heritage items but no consensus was reached.  We decided to press on with the search.  Soon enough, we came across 4-5 Druids.  They seemed to be search for the exit as well.  However, players being players, they were meet with suspicion.  They sort of spread out around us while we talked.  Ezra did his Detect Evil thing and while they did not register as evil, his scrutiny did notice a string or cord attached to the leader.  It seemed to lead into the darkness.  Once pointed out to the rest of the group, all of the Druids seem to have them.  Initiative.  So, they cast Druid spells but also had these pods that attacked for a ton of damage.  And oddly, sometimes they didn’t attack at all.  Only some of us had lights and the darkness was always at the edge which complicated things.  Some attacked the Druids and some attacked the cords.  It seemed that the cord needed magical weapons to affect and were certainly harder to hit.  But it only took about two hits to sever the cord at which point, the Druid would drop as if it was a puppet without its strings.

Eventually, Loki grabbed the held Lady Patrina’s light enchanted veil and double moved into the darkness.  There he found a huge blob demon thing.  Now the fight really started.  It did a lot of damage with two reach attacks per round.  Plus cast, on the same round, a variety of spells.  Plus, the Druids were still pressing from behind.  And those that were dropped, eventually reattached and got back up.  It first cast a high DC Confusion spell getting several of us.  It then dropped that and cast a Fear spell that got even more of us.  Somewhere in there, it stopped animating the Druids to concentrate on us.  It looked dire.  Half of us were fleeing or out and we hadn’t done anything to it.  We considered fleeing but as usual, that’s easier said than done.  It would be hard for everyone to outpace it and with some out, someone would likely be left behind.  Ezra charged it, doing his extra smiting damage.  Loki shot it and then used his cloak to hide in plain sight.  It then cast a Hypnotic Pattern, incapacitating those that missed the save.  Many did.  It took an action of someone not affected or some damage to give another save.  I.e. no free save a the end of your round.  The NPC shook a few loose and berries were given to the fallen.  Ironically, no one knew where Loki was so he was never shook free.  But the damage finally started to add up.  With several players on a handful of hit points, it Dimension Doored away.  Somehow, we survived again.  Nothing of value was found.  It was a bit dissatisfying to see it get away but the last demon we fought, exploded killing Zolton so perhaps it was for the best.

We were desperate for a short rest but didn’t feel we could, standing on a floor of bones surrounded by darkness that was eager to grab the unsuspecting.  We headed down the stairs that Kharn found when he was affected by the Fear spell.  We found a magical chamber with a statue of one of the Druid gods.  And a great pit in the center of the room.  The foot of the statue seemed to be worn as if having been touched by 100s of Druids over the years.  Kharn went first, and saw a vision of him leaving his wolf tooth in the hand of the statue.  And then leaping into the pit.  We took a short rest and then the rest went.  It was mostly the same.  Leave your item here and jump.  Ezra, who refused to use his shield, realizing before the rest of us that it was an evil tool of Stradanya so his vision was a little different.  Noticing that Vasili, who we had left outside the cave entrance, looked a lot like Stradanya.  He could be a brother? I’m not sure that Lady Patrina had one.  And of course, Ambrus could not leave his tattoos behind.  Kharn had the hardest time, fearing the tooth was allowing him to control his curse.  Or was it the cause? We all left them including Ezra and took the leap and ended up in an earthen chamber with no exits.  All had a feeling of renewed vigor in our mission to rid the land of evil.  Loki’s was slightly different.  He felt a sense of accomplishment, as this was part of his personal quest journey.  He received some upgraded guns as a reward.  Kharn’s curse was indeed lifted so no more teen wolf, I guess.  Ambrus still has his tattoos but at least they stopped hurting him, which they had been since we came in here.

Loki started digging and could see a bright light and something blue below.  We quickly realized the light was sun light, uncommonly bright and the blue was blue sky, never seen in Barovia.  Our orientation flipped and we climbed up out of the ground in the Druid circle we had fought the day before.  Obviously, we had done some good as the weather looked “normal” to those from a plane other than here.  We could still see the gloom on the horizon though.  We stopped there and made 6th level.  Loki’s new guns were magical and although they didn’t get a bonus to hit, they did an extra 1d4 of necrotic damage.  But it’s the magical part that will be the real boon, given the number of magical foes we face.  Otherwise, they functioned like regular guns.  Next will be delivering the stone back to the winery and then back to Krusk.  Several have business to attend to there.                      

Wednesday, 15 September 2021 10:12

Ravenloft Game 27 - 09/10/21 - Afraid of the Dark

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So, after a brief discussion about whether we should even go down this hole, we started piecing together a plan.  Not only would our Darkvision not work but none of our heritage artifacts would either.  The last time that happened was in the church so we postulated that maybe this was holy ground.  Druid holy ground? Ezra sent more rope up.  Kharn hauled up Loki, gave him a lit torch and lowered him back down.  It turns out, the pool wasn’t that big nor was the chamber.  With an athletics roll, he managed to swing Loki to the dry land.  He tied the rope to some roots and Loki did the same onto some rocks.  Eventually everyone came down and reequipped.  The dim light seen in the distance turned out to be a Driftglobe which Loki took.  (Eventually it ended up with Kharn.)  At this point, characters started disappearing.  Along with our rope.  What followed was a series of induvial encounters as we wandered the maze of The Between.  One background oriented and one combat oriented.  Some worthwhile information was gained but I’ll probably forget some of it.  In no particular order.

The Between

We started with Loki.  He encountered his mother raccoon.  She advised him to get rid of his evil bag of bones.  When his turn came around again for his second encounter, he fought Wintersplinter.  He only lasted two rounds before dying.  Kharn fought and died at the hands of the legendary Yeti.  His other encounter was a ghostly Vastini girl.  I don’t recall what she said. 

Lord Q got a visit from the Raven Queen.  She said that this place was outside of Stradhanya’s control and any auguries he had done came from Stradhanya.  Dave was a bit perplexed since his Warlock powers come from the Raven Queen.  Or do they? She told him to get rid of the bird cage as it was controlled and powered by the Kraken/Drowned God/rival evil power in this land.  I believe she hinted that the means to destroy it was down here.  When Lord Q requested proof she was the Raven Queen and not Stradhanya again, she gave him a Light cantrip and recharged his spells.  I’m not sure that was proof but no one else got so much as a lousy t-shirt.  For his combat, his fateful servants came out and demanded that he sign a new contract, pledging to the Drown God.  They had been secretly working for him all along.  Dave did his usual arguing and they eventually attacked.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have any real powers so it didn’t really go anywhere.  I think the Kraken then arose from a pool and swallowed him whole.    

Kaladin fought Granny Momo.  She pumped Magic Missiles into him and he tried to entangle her in her own dress.  That got a little weird, with Brian playing the part of an old woman.  I think he was killed eventually.  On his next spotlight, he encountered his grandfather, a silver dragon.  He demanded to know why he hadn’t returned to his castle in Barovia.  Kaladin asked where it was.  I can’t remember the name.  He said it was a castle that hosted the silver knights which protected this realm before Stradhanya came.  Grandad suggested he restart those knights.  Pointing out that he was a Monk and not a knight was dismissed with a wave.  Kaladin asked about the dream telling him to kill his friends.  He was told that the evil gold coin was messing with his head.  He advised he should destroy it.  He asked how.  In this land between realms, it was possible to do so.  Evidently it has been enhancing his dragon powers.

Ambrus saw that human lady that was once his friend, Esmerelda.  She was concerned that he was dead, in the land of The Between.  It was clear, they were once very close.  She was glad to see that he had rid himself of that “awful dagger”.  The dagger other visions had indicated had the ability to kill the vampire.  With Ambrus’s memory loss, he was at a loss.  She told him his lock and key tattoos had the power to break the connection assumed that’s how he did it.  So maybe he could do the same for the rest of us.  He already did so for Zolton? She awaits him in Kresh, evidently.  Now that the wine has returned, maybe we can get in there.  She, and several others, advised us that the only way out was down.  His combat was against the demon we encountered in the sewers; I think.  Again, he had no chance although Brian seemed to enjoy beating on everyone regardless.  Ambrus was one of the few that actually got away.

Lastly was Ezra.  He encountered the vampire Father Lucious.  With his smites and save bonuses, he managed to get some significant damage onto him.  But then Wade started using his legendary actions and Ezra was killed.  His back history encounter was with that lady from his past.  She encouraged him to continue the fight.  I’m not sure what else.  She did ask him to visit her final resting place.  When he asked where that was, it turns out she was that spirit that raised us from the dead so that we could defeat that child stealing demon.  That is where we got the Holy Avenger sword.  I’m not sure if anyone but Wade had pieced that together. 

Eventually we all ended up in the last room with a pit going down.  Some were prepared to just jump in as a leap of faith but it was pointed out that it was climbable.  It was 120 feet down.  Kaladin had 100 feet of rope which would give us advantage on the first 3 climb rolls with 1 without.  We took a long rest first since those that were killed earlier were at 1 hit point.  We had Good Berries to eat and 3 magical lights so that wasn’t a problem.  Kharn went first, forgoing the rope.  The rest went in turn.  Ezra fell and took 6d6.  Irena fell and took 9d6 and was knocked out. Ambrus fell and took 6d6 and Lord Q fell and took 4d6.  Love those skill challenges.  Kaladin stowed the rope and flew down.  Except that it was too tight so he had to make a roll as well.  He missed and used 2 inspirations to succeed. 

The Gone.

That got us down to another plateau with another 50 foot climb.  This time we were smarter and had Kharn lower us down, one at a time.  And then he climbed down.  And then Kaladin was to fly down but when the light sources had all left, he was attacked by the darkness.  (Dan: Yeah.  That happened.  If I had magic missile I would have attacks the darkness back) He then flew down.  There were millions of bones, littering the floor of this vast chamber.  We could hear dogs howling in the distance.  We started along the cliff bottom, staying together.  We passed stairs going up but we were told to go down to get out.  Eventually we were attacked by dogs, charging in from the darkness.  There were those 2 headed Death Dogs with 2 attacks of small damage but a poison save.  There were two Death Heads that flew, did damage and restrained on a failed save.  And there was one Death Hunter caster.  He did a Death Bolt which did 4d8 plus a save for something.  He Counter spelled Lord Q’s Fog Cloud.  He finished off Ireena with a Chill Touch.  So, it was a fight.  We did a decent job, concentrating fire on injured ones.  We could not see the caster so he was untouched for several rounds.  Kaladin was paralyzed (restrained) by a Death Head and fell from the sky.  But he saved the next round and avoided being turned to stone.  Loki was poisoned by a dog, giving him disadvantage on attacks but the tide had turned by then so it wasn’t a big deal.  Ezra cured that disease with his Lay on Hands.  Ireena started low due to her long fall and was out fast.  But she made several death saves until Loki could get a berry into her.  After 3 rounds, it was just the caster and a dog.  We pummeled him but he used a Dimension Door and got away.  There was no treasure, of course. 

Brian said that it was possible to finish the dungeon in another hour but no one believed him so we stopped there.  Ezra did a Prayer of Healing, Ireena used her last two healing kits, Loki loaded his last shots and we took a short rest.  We’ve been told that 6th level awaits us on the other side.  The means to destroy these artifacts may be Ambrus and the key may be that this place, beyond her reach, is the place that it can be done.  It seems pretty obvious we are to get rid of them.  I, for one, will be sad to see mine go.  It’s the best thing about my character. (Dan: So far the only thing I used from my heirloom was the 10 feet addition movement.  Now its only 50' instead of 60'.  On the other hand no one is mind controlling me or trying to turn me into an Illithid, so I guess I came out aghead.)

Monday, 30 August 2021 11:26

Ravenloft Game 26 - 08/27/21 - Rabid Rangers

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We started with a series of “but firsts”.  We wanted to head back to the winery with the recovered gem but first we wanted to check out the grove of trees nearby.  But first we wanted to take a short rest.  But first we wanted to search the bodies of the fallen Druids.  But first the unholy aura of this place seemed to be tapping into the feral nature of Loki and Kharn.  Loki felt the urge to take a small bite out of one of his friends.  Just a nibble, they won’t mind.  He turned into a rat and tried to bite Ezra who looked more appetizing that Lady Katrina.  Luckily, he missed because Ezra only had 1 hit point.  Ezra grabbed him and he came to his senses.  Kharn felt compelled to feast on the blood his fallen foes.  He turned into a wolf but manage to resist the urge to actually dig in.  The bodies were searched but nothing was found.  Druids and barbarians are much for stuff and we didn’t really kill that many of them.  Ezra did a sense evil and determined that outside the walls was less evil than inside so we decided to do a quick bandage but put off the short rest until we reached the trees.  Everyone’s heritage artifact was giving off a faint evil vibe, by the way.  Visili did not although Ezra, in particular, did not trust him.  Luckily the surviving Druids had all fled because we were in no shape to face them.

In the trees was an old black gnarled oak with a small tunnel under its roots.  There was an inscription that was in Druidic.  Lady Katrina cast a ritual Comp Languages and it said something about the unworthy being smited if they dared to enter.  Loki vaguely remembered the area from his time in captivity but could recall nothing useful.  We took a short rest and debated our options.  Visili caused some trouble, asking questions.  He talked to Loki about his artifact and questioned whether it was safe to use, given the bite he tried to give Ezra.  He talked to Kharn about his curse.  Both probably told him too much.  While talking to Kharn, Kharn sort of drifted out.  When he regained his thoughts, Stradhanya was on his mind and he tasted cherries.  Visili then stated that he did not intend to go into the cave and advised Ireena to do the same.  More suspicions, questioning and skills rolled but nothing much came of it.  He stayed but she went.  Loki felt the cave was the way to go so eventually, we went.

The entrance was tight and all had to crawl to get in.  With Loki leading the way, it was a series of tunnels dug out of the dirt and roots.  We found the body of the Vistani girl that Stradhanya took.  Loki thought it very unlikely that she would have killed her and put her down here and was going to pass it by but someone had to look for a cause of death and it turned into 4 swarms of Rot Grubs.  That fight was its usual annoying with half damage but not hard.  I don’t think anyone got hit.  There was no actual body.  We found a room full of Stirigs, seeming to be feeding from the black roots.  They didn’t seem to notice us but we went another way.  The body of Zolton was found and again, we could not leave well enough alone.  More Rot Grubs.  We fought them a little better this time, using hit and run tactics to avoid getting attacked.  More Stirigs which were avoided again.  Another body which we finally let lie.  We also found a talisman in a wall, an adventurer’s pack with a potion in it and a tarot card.

The last room, assuming we didn’t miss anything along the way, was a large chamber with holes in the floor.  It was pretty obvious something or somethings lived in here.  Loki successfully snuck halfway across and readied his guns.  Ambrus went next and his 20 stealth was not good enough.  A huge Remoraz appeared.  I was tough.  High AC, immune to fire and cold and a long reach.  However, it’s most devastating power was that any melee attackers took 2d6 of fire damage from the heat of its body.  No to hit and no save.  Since we heavy with melee characters and did 2-3 or more attacks per round, that 2d6 really added up fast.  Our usual advantage of multiple attackers and attacks was working against us.  Some were taking more damage than they gave.  Loki, with his ranged pistols was doing well, but then the Remoraz tunneled into the ground, appeared 20 feet away and attempted to swallow him.  That attack did 50+ points and Loki was knocked out in one blow.  Luckily, with all the other attackers, it was too distracted to swallow him.

Ambrus managed to use his cunning action to grab him and get him out of harm’s way.  A good berry later he was ready to start shooting again.  Meanwhile, things were getting dicey.  Kharn was also hit with that massive attack but manage to stay conscious due to his rage induced half damage.  But he was restrained in its maw and wouldn’t last long.  But Lord Q managed to finish it off in the nick of time.  No treasure was found.  We discussed fleeing at this point and facing an “I told you so” from Visili however the GM nudged us to keep going one more room.  The last room had talisman hanging from the ceiling.  There was a burned-out fire pit and carvings all over the walls.  And another even smaller tunnel exiting.  With the help of another Comp Languages, the carvings were goodly Druid stuff about the century old role of this tree in spreading life throughout the land and such.  It seemed like this was a rite of passage room that predates the rise of Stradhanya and the corruption of the Druids.  Over the tunnel was something about the worthy passing through the challenge ahead.  But it seemed like a safe place for a long rest.  With a couple torches for fuel, we started the fire.  The items were identified.  A Potion of Climbing, a talisman that allowed the holder to understand Druidic for an hour once a day and the finder of the tarot card (Lady Patrina) gets a free death save success on her next attempt.  The talisman went to the Druidish Loki.  I think Lady Patrina held onto the potion?

It was late at that point but we decided to press forward a bit more and tackle the always contentious skill challenge that awaited us at the next tunnel.  So, it was to be a Dex check to squeeze through.  The predetermined DC depended on the size, armor and gear of the character.  Loki had it easiest, being small.  Ezra had it worse with his heavy armor.  Next was a bunch of debates about what would help and not help in this challenge.  Removing armor, gear, oiling up, who had oil, would acrobatics help, can one help another, one at time, how about this spell or that spell, etc.  Sadly, Loki who could only miss with an automatic miss 1 was the only one that had to use an inspiration die.  A couple got stuck but we managed to work around it.  Loki discovered that it ended at the top of a vast chamber with water 60 feet below.  Kharn managed to lower him on a 50 rope, only because he was small and we stopped there.  And no one’s Darkvision was working.  Not Loki’s subclass enhanced or Lady Patrina’s feat driven devil sight.  So, will it be more skills or more fights or both? Tune in next time. 

Tuesday, 17 August 2021 13:55

Ravenloft Game 25 - 08/13/21 - Druids of Death

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We arrived a Yester Hill.  We were short firepower with the absence of Kaladin, Ambrus and Lady Petrina although Brian showed up before any real action. (Note from Dan: Jon's game was canceled and they sent the last minute invite to the wrong e-mail address.) We debated briefly possible avenues of approach however the cliffs were too tall and numerous to realistically climb so it pretty much had to be up the main road.  Since there was little cover, sneaking seemed unlikely but Brian said he’d do that with a couple of group stealth checks.  So, we did that.  People rolled well enough to get to near the top.  When there, we heard a voice.  Basically, a warrior from the past was looking for a worthy champion to take possession of his magic spear.  And evidently, Lord Q fit the bill.  So, we found a cave in which were the bones of a warrior and a magic spear.  Lord Q said a few words of reverence and we moved on before the patrol came around again.  We didn’t have time to Identify it, and Lady Petrina was late arriving anyway, but I think Brian let Dave attune to it while we snuck so that he could use it as his pact weapon in the upcoming fight.  If it does anything more amazing that be magical, we did not discover it.

When we got to the highest tier, we saw and heard a bunch of stuff.  There was a high stone wall around the whole area with occasional lightning strikes from the brewing storm touching down on the tops of it.  We could also see the top of a huge statue made out of wood, sticks, leaves and mud in the shape of a female with fangs.  We could see something glowing in its chest.  So, we figured that this was what these Druids wanted from the winery.  The magic gem from the old Druid gods to power their new idol of Stradhanya.  We could also hear chanting and although no one could understand it, its intent seemed pretty clear.  The clock was ticking.  We circled around to the back door.  Lady Petrina sent her flying invisible Sprite over the wall and it was instantly vaporized by a lightning bolt.  Evidently Brian missed the lightning threat part of the description.  Basically, it was a ring of chanting Druids around the idol and then a ring of berserking barbarians around them, guarding.  And a lot of both.  We started to discuss a plan of action however when Brian had us roll initiative, it was pretty much every man for himself.      

Ireena went first and peaked around the corner.  Brian had turned on the POV so the map was troublesome.  Loki went next and turned into a squirrel.  He figured an innocent squirrel running along the rocks that formed the wall in the middle of the forest would not be noticed.  He was instantly noticed and a couple barbarians started his way.  Evidently, they had orders to keep anything and everything away from the idol.  Even squirrels.  Lady Petrina went next and used Disguise Self to turn into the Druid we killed at the winery.  She ordered the barbarians to leave her animal servant alone.  All the barbarians instantly saw through that deception (no rolls needed) and started to charge her.  It was all downhill from there.  The barbarians pretty much bottled up the party at the entrance through the walls.  Off the path, it was difficult terrain (i.e. half movement).   The squirrel got hit but for some reason Brian said that it had Loki hit points all be it squirrel AC.  When DG realized that his Goblin feat transferred, namely the bonus action disengage, he decided to double down on his foolish plan and keep heading to the idol. 

The barbarians were formidable and Ezra and Kharn were losing hit points fast.  Lord Q was helping and Ireena and Visilli were helping a bit but they were having trouble getting past.  Lady Patrina tried to help Loki from a far and successfully Held one barbarian but another couple took his place.  Loki was doing pretty well, moving and dodging and disengaging and actually managed to get onto the statue. Some of the Druids stopped chanting to fire spells at him.  When the head Druid cast the dreaded Plant Growth spell and everyone’s movement went to ¼, we all wept.  We kept hoping something would disrupt the chanting.  Lady Patrina hit them with a Slow but that didn’t do it.  She hit them with a Fireball and that didn’t do it.  Plus, all of Loki’s distractions.  Finally, Brian had enough of us asking and said that as long as one Druid kept going, nothing would stop.  I.e. you’ll have to kill them all.  Crap.  The squirrel was finally hit with a Thorn Whip and pulled off the statue, with the gem almost within reach.  The head Druid then put up a Wall of Fire, trapping him and a couple of Druid between it and stone wall.  Meanwhile, the rest were still pretty much bottled up (not that they could cover any distance regardless) and hadn’t really made any progress against the barbarians.  It was looking bleak. 

One of the trapped Druids, went over the wall, saved for half on the lightning and was never seen again.  Loki, thinking out the box, changed into a Loki, then changed into a badger and then tunneled under the Fire Wall.  Lord Q put up a damaging darkness field near the idol and then one of the Druids put up a Fog Cloud over on the players.  It was a mess and hard to keep track of.  Kharn sort of broke free and added a bit of movement by leaping over the overgrown plants.  The badger was hit with an Erupting Earth and knocked into a Loki.  Evidently that form worked like a Druid.  It was a big confusion but he had most of his hit points.  However, he really hadn’t done anything other than distract some bad guys so it was about a wash.  Loki managed to climb into the idol, weaving through the lattice work with a barbarian right behind him.  On his next turn, he could grab the gem.  But 8 rounds were up and the statue turned into a huge evil Trent thing.  He and the barbarian were expelled and were left hanging on the outside.  By this point, Brian was sick of having to deal with all these zones and declared that the burst of magic that animated the monster, cleared out all of them.  He then stated that the Druids and Barbarians, having completed their mission and released their rampaging beast, started to flee the area.  There were some parting attacks of opportunity but soon enough it was just the Trent and the players.  All total, I think we took out maybe 3 barbarians and 1 Druid using most of Lord Qs and Lady Petrina’s spells and most of Ezera’s and Kharn’s hit points.          

So, the Trent got two reach attacks and two grapple attacks per round.  If you started your turn grappled by its roots, you took automatic damage and it took your whole round to try to get free with another save.  At least you could still fight while grappled.  Its AC was low but it’s hit points were huge as is typical with a big boss.  The two NPCs contributed pretty well.  Ireena proving adept at getting people un-grappled and Visilli doing some actual damage.  Of course, they weren’t being targeted.  But quickly Ezera and Kharn were out.  Kharn, in particular, was in big trouble because he was still in the grapple and was taking damage (and a death save failure) each round.  The NPC got them both a Goodberry to keep them alive.  Then Loki and Lord Q were on the ropes.  At the end, those two were grappled and one round from going out.  But Loki managed to take its last handful of hit points and kill it.  We stopped there, being 2 AM, but we did recover the gem from its body.  Brian says there’s some clean up to do here.  There are still barbarians and Druids fleeing but our 4 fighter types probably have maybe 10 hit point between them.  So, a short rest is on the top of our list.  Still 5th but maybe we’ll be 6th next time, depending on what we do.   

Brian thankfully skipped the long search through the mansion and just declared nothing was found.  So, the wine wizard family returned and we were treated to a celebration.  During that, a couple of things were revealed.  The head guy confided that they were anti Stradhanya and while not fighters, have been using their travels to gather information.  Information they were willing to share.  Loki asked about the immediate problem about the Druids but he said he had given everything he knew already.  (Which would turn out to be untrue.)  He also gave us a (i.e. 1) limited edition wine goblet that when presented at an establishment that serve their wine, would entitle the bearer to unlimited wine.  We thought that ought to go to the native Barbarian.  However, he also revealed that it’s magical and would not cause impairment, no matter how much was consumed.  We then thought it should go to someone with a low CON, but the lowest CON in the group, and the most popular, was 14.  I’m not sure where it ended up.  It was also noticed that the folks seemed to be wary of Lord Q.  When we tried to inquire about that, we were told it was a night of celebration and not questions.  So, we went to bed.  And had more dreams.

Brian put a lot of work into the words of these dreams which I cannot possibly recall.  I’ll do my best to recall the gist, as best I can and the meaning, as best we could figure.  Ezra dreamed about saving a noble woman from Stradhanya, using the power of the Morning Lord.  There were a lot of details that the rest of us didn’t get but Andy said it was very illuminating to him.  Kaladin dreamed of his dragon father who urged him to prove his worthiness for greater power by killing one of his companions.  And soon or else he’ll take away the powers he already has.  He didn’t talk much about that dream.  Ambrus dreamed again of avenging the female dark elves by killing Stradhanya with this magic dagger.  There were also some ties to a human woman who, once reminded, was the operator of the magic store outside of the city of Valockia.  Lord Q had a dream of his patron, the Raven Queen, trying to tell him something however Stradhanya was blocking most of the transmission.  The next morning, he sent his messenger mephit to ask the Raven Queen to resend the message.  The response back was something like “Nice try, S”.  What implications this may have to his patron driven powers, remains to be seen.  Loki had a nightmare about the bones again.  His sentient animal friends asking him why he’s eating them.  In his dream, he wretched them all up.  He woke, sick, on the floor but with a bag full of bones.  Lovely.  Lastly was a 2-line clue that was meant for Lady Petrina but since Brian didn’t attend, it came to the NPC instead.  Ironically, I think we spent more time debating this one than the rest.  The first line was about chopping the branch but the trunk remains.  The Daves took it metaphorically, assuming it meant we’d accomplished something but there was more to do.  Andy and Jon instead started thinking about actual trees.  The tree on Hester Hill or the tree in his character history, respectively.  We shall see.  The second line was even more cryptic.  Taking action quickly?

The next morning, Brian split us into 3 groups around the winery and imparted more information of us.  As we had surmised, it is difficult to grow things in this land and they are using magic to do so.  What they revealed was that the 3 Druid gods gave their ancestors 3 gems which were place around the area.  One was taken generations ago.  One was taken fairly recently by Baba Someoneorother and taken to a ruined village nearby.  That is the village we were supposed to go to next to rescue the sister of the magic shop lady.  The last was taken after they got taken over by these Druids.  They assume they took it back to Hester Hill.  They said that if they didn’t get at least 1 gem back within a day or two, all the vines would die.  And this valley would become that much darker.  So that’s the plan.  Hester Hill.  We also dug into their aversion to Lord Q.  They felt that his bird cage was slightly evil.  They asked if he was evil or been known to kill birds, ravens in particular.  We said no.  Remember that there were a lot of ravens in the area and that they came to our aid.  He then asked Ezra directly if he had detected evil or him or his cage.  He didn’t recall doing that specifically but certainly hadn’t noticed.  Ezra did reveal that he was convinced that all of these heritage items were cursed.  (That seems more and more likely as we’ve gone along.)  He does not use the powers of his Morning Lord shield and in fact covers it in prayers to keep its curse at bay.  He had already warned Kharn that his item isn’t doing what he thinks it is.  We were reminded by one of these Vistani seers that she thought these items are what have brought us to this place and marked us for ridding the land of her.  

About then, Stradhanya’s black carriage arrived.  She and her grumpy elf chamberlain got out.  She wanted to know why we hadn’t made good on her dinner invitation.  Loki said we’ve been busy, trying to ease the suffering of all her subjects.  She decided to take the Vistani girl we had rescued from the Balrog as a means to ensure our prompt attendance.  Ezra interposed.  Loki tried in vain to defuse the confrontation.  When the elf grabbed her, Ezra attacked.  He did a bunch of damage with a smite.  Kaladin attacked him as well.  Loki tried in vain to break her free.  Ambrus joined the fray but Lord Q continued to drink his morning tea upstairs.  Using a legendary action, she grabbed Ezra and tossed him 30 feet.  The elf had an evil whispers AOE that did 4-5d10, save for half.  A round later, after we were all bloodied, she put up a wall of ice, the elf drug the girl in and the drove away.  (So, a waste of time but within character, especially for Ezra.  And I suppose if we’re supposed to kill her someday, knowing some of the things she can do is worth something.)  As she rode away, we heard the girl say, “She’s got …” whatever than means.  And she tossed that accountant that gave us that book on vampires out the door.  So, an NPC trade.  He said she invited him into the carriage this morning in Valaki and you really couldn’t say no.  He was surprised to find himself all the way here in such a short time but we know about travel time.  Ezra greeted him with great suspicion but I guess he’s with us now.

So, we bandaged and headed out to Hester Hill.  Ezra tried to get any information out of these guys about what we were walking into but got not much of anything in return.  Something about berserkers? The next day, we were attacked by some zombie’s that all looked surprisingly like Kharn.  They weren’t much of a threat however they were annoying.  Whenever they were killed, they got a save based on their negative value and if they made it, they had 1 hit point.  The point being, we had to kill them multiple times.  It was a grind but we hardly took any damage.  We burned the bodies.  By the way, the doll that looked like Kharn that Ambrus took from the Druid at the winery, talked.  It said “Get up, get up” every morning, “to Barovia and beyond” from time to time and other stuff.  The perfect item for a guy who sneaks around for a living.  He left it in the wagon but when it annoyed Lord Q, he tossed it into the fire.  If we had a wizard, maybe he could have Identified it.  Evidently it could have been programed to say things at certain trigger points.  However, it’s only real use was to annoy the players and amuse the GM.  We ended, pulling up to the hill.  It is immense and tall with no cover.  It looks like it’ll be up the main road but we can debate that next time.  Still 5th.  Jon’s AD&D next time.     

Wednesday, 28 July 2021 13:09

Ravenloft Game 23 - 07/23/21 - Frozen

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We started in the cold basement.  We searched the Druid but he had nothing of note.  Lady Petrina started a Detect Magic ritual and eventually found nothing.  We assumed the ramp on the far side went back up to the vat room however there was a door down here.  It was examined but it was not the source of the cold.  Ambrus did manage to find the source, a crack in the wall between to two rooms.  An investigation discovered a secret door.  When opened, it was a short hallway that ended in some sort of room.  It was very cold in there and there was brown mold on the walls.  The last mold we encountered was vulnerable to fire so Lady Petrina fired a Fire Bolt down there.  The mold grew.  We debated and concluded that cold would be the best bet.  Kaladin was talked into using his cold breath weapon and that killed off some.  Unfortunately, he took cold damage when he moved into the room.  More debate.  Lady Petrina had a Dragon’s Breath spell that could last for 10 rounds.  More debate and eventually cold resistant Kaladin volunteered to go back in and clear out the mold.  He took damage once more but saved this time for minimal. (Dan: After using an inspiration)  Unfortunately, the hall was a dead end and had nothing of worth.  It was simply a means to keep the wine cold down here.  So all and all, a waste of time but we didn’t know that going in.  (Dan: Our epic fight against the fridge monster.) About this time, we started to hear load noises from somewhere in the building.

We opened the door which had stairs going up into a glass bottle workshop.  There were a couple of windows to the outside and another door.  Ezera opened it and saw a Druid and an army of the small Twig Blights.  Rather than charge them all, he closed the door.  Unfortunately, she spotted him.  We barred the door and went back down.  There was much debate and indecision at this point.  Eventually, we headed up the ramp but ran into a Twig.  Ezera managed to kill it and close the door.  There was a hallway beyond it that seemed to go outside.  Ambrus was eager to flee but was reminded that the outside was full of the big Needle Blights.  Our plan was to find who was controlling them in here.  We started up the ramp, hoping to avoid the army, and get to the controlling Druid without having to fight them.  That lead to a hallway which ended in a room where wine barrels were loaded into a wagon below through a hole in the floor.  In there was the head Druid, Needle and Twig Blights as well as some new Vine Blights.

The Druid recognized Loki and demanded the return of his heritage Bag of Bones.  Evidently, these Druids had lost their connection with the animal kingdom and could no longer turn into animals.  They had been harvesting the bones of animals to allow them to do so however for some reason, they had to be sentient animals.  So, this guy claims the only reason Loki and the rest had been given the gift of intelligence is to fill the bag he stole.  That bag, which had finally allowed him to escape successfully, represents years of their evil efforts.  And they wanted it back.  (That’s not quite the backstory DG wrote but compelling.  Assuming this guy isn’t lying like these Druids have been doing to Loki since day one.)  So, after some clever banter between them, it was back to kill or be killed.

We had all kinds of technical difficulties at this point.  The Twig army was not visible to the players on the combat tracker.  The more advanced head Druid Brian had created seemed to have been lost.  Eventually we rebooted.  Brian declared that the door Ezera was holding, in fact had a bar on it, which would hold them at bay long enough such that he did not reload that room and lessen the burden on Fantasy Grounds and his PC.  Loki was attack by a Vine Blight that had reach, grab, squeeze and could move people towards them.  It held him over the hole.  Lady Patrina could get them all in a Fireball, including Loki unfortunately.  He had a +8 save but could not and took 24 ish however it did a ton of total damage to the 7 villains in the room.  That really softened them up but Loki then fell through the hole.  As usual, the spell caster was the real threat, even if he was a Druid, although those Vine Blights were a pain.  Despite several others being dropped into the hole and much damage dished include a heat metal on Ezera, we took them out.  Towards the end, the Druid from the other room showed up, damaged, but quickly fled.  Evidently the friendly Ravens had taken out the Twigs.  When she was run down, it was over.

We haven’t searched the rest of the house but it was quiet.  The Druid indeed have that magic staff.  Lady Petrina did an Identify on it.  It could do a Vampiric Strike and Summon these various Blights.  Perhaps it could control them with more research.  However, it looked and felt evil.  It attuned itself to her by growing tendrils into her flesh, for example.  When the Paladin said it was indeed emitting a big evil aura, we agreed to destroy it.  People started to log off but Brian cut some debate short and said we threw it in to the glass blower’s furnace and after a brief show, turned to ash.  And all the Blights disappeared.  He revealed that the longer we waited, the more dire the consequences for those that handled it.  Not that we needed more convincing.  He also gave us a short rest and an Identify on the cloak.  It granted, to a Druid or Ranger, the ability to do a Hide action as a bonus action while in light cover.  Unfortunately, Loki already got this from his Goblin race although this allowed him to do so while being observed so maybe it’ll be of use.  Until we get a Druid, he’ll take it.  We stopped there.  We’ll need to do a quick search of the house and then bring the wine makers back in.  So far, we haven’t seen a link to Loki’s “save the Druids 3 times” destiny but we think we’ve moved Ezera’s and Patrina’s a bit.  Next week will be Jon’s first edition AD&D and then back to this in two weeks.      

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