Friday, July 8, 2022

Evil!Party: Dragon Battle and on to Calisthium

We prepare for the arrival of the dragon and the Elvish king, starting with laying down a series of Symbols (magical traps). Durest then cast Unhallow to support the undead and help us avoid dragon fear. Durest is also a stone giant now, in an effort to avoid being easily identified. Plus, we’ve brought Iapetus the Titan back as a titanic skeleton and renamed it Tiny Steve. 

On the third day of our preparation, Burhea reluctantly reports that there’s a dragon on the way. Jenny quaffs a potion of cat’s grace, while Chuck casts Protection from Energy (cold). The dragon lands outside the cave, and Mithrandril climbs down; Burhea casts Haste on the whole party, and Durest drops True Seeing on Jenny. Chuck casts False Life on himself. 

The dragon looks inside the cave and asks, “Where is Iapetus?”

Durest resists the dragon’s fear, but Jenny and Chuck and Burhea are stricken. Jenny screams and runs to the back of the cave. So does Burhea. Durest: “Come in. He awaits.”

Dragon: “We were not told that Iapetus consorted with stone giants.” He’s very suspicious. “I demand that you produce the titan Iapetus immediately.”

Invisible Chuck runs to the titan and climbs inside, which is about as far away from the dragon as he can ger anyway. 

Chuck, impersonating Iapetus: “I am here. Welcome to my cave.”

Dagomir: “Ah, finally, Iapetus.” He frowns. “You’re a skeleton.” 

Chuck: “Times have been very difficult for me.”

Dagomir: “That bastard Luthien swore that the titan was alive, but you are nothing but an abomination.”

Chuck: “Maybe you could break my curse.” He points to Burhea. “Her dark magic has cursed me.”

Jenny figures out that it’s Chuck, and smiles knowingly. 

Chuck explains that Burhea is just a slave to the dark necromancer who has imprisoned him here. 

Dagomir the dragon: “With the help of your stone giant friends we’ll slay this monster and find her evil master.” He charges Burhea, and immediately hits all four of the magical symbols. He manages to shove through all our carefully-arranged spells, and slams into Burhea with a massive bite attack. Burhea responds with a fireball and a quickened fireball. 

A sort of shield absorbs the damage. Durest drops an Empowered Fire Storm on him and tears through more of that shield. Ferrous attacks and misses, taking a bit of damage on the way in. Jenny moves in and power attacks, hitting him. Tiny Steve and Bob move in and attack, and fail to hit. Chuck, who is still inside Tiny Steve, casts Shout. He gets through the dragon’s spell resistance, but the dragon is tough enough to soak some of the damage; still, some gets through. 

Dagomir turns and attacks Jenny, hurting her despite her ability to soak a lot of it. Burhea attacks with a couple of fireballs, adding extra life to Ferrous and eating away at the shield. Durest drops a Greater Dispel Magic, tearing away his Bull’s Strength, Shield, and Mirror Image effects. He’s still protected against fire, though. 

Ferrous attacks and hits, doing minor damage. Jenny tries a more cautious power attack, and hits three times, ripping him up. She’s employing a special ability of her new spiked chain, which allows her to deal a ton of extra damage in exchange for taking damage herself. It tears him up something fierce, and the two skeletons (Bob and Tiny Steve) attack but miss. The dragon then attacks Jenny again, doing a ton of damage. 

Burhea casts Magic Missile and quickened Magic missile, clearing out all but one of the images from the dragon’s quickened Mirror Image. Durest steps in and Heals Jenny. Jenny attacks, clearing out the dragon’s mirror image before laying into him again. Tiny Steve manages to hit him, doing quite a bit of damage. Chuck casts Disintegrate and actually gets through the dragon’s spell resistance. 

The dragon teleports away, to the top of the hill beside Mithrandril. Burhea casts Fireball and quickened Fireball. Durest grabs Jenny and teleports over to him, then drops Flame Strike and finishes the dragon. The king is beside himself with grief. Chuck teleports over in the titan’s body and disintegrates the dragon’s body. 

We imprison the king, and it’s not long before Luthien shows up with a small army of dark elves; we stage a brief battle outside, and then flee. 

It turns out that the king had brought a lot of money as a gift for the Titan. We are even richer than we were, and one of the items is a Rod of Rulership. We hang onto that; it's good for whipping up mobs. 

We return to the meeting place. Luthien is pleased, and will immediately begin work on the ring; it will take him forty days or so to complete. In the meantime, he will share with us that the warbear is in Calisthium, which is under the protection of the druids; the more quietly we can get in and out, the better off we are. If we try to take them on directly, we will lose. The lycanthrope is hiding and trying to live a normal life. 

Durest starts polymorphing us into half-elves. Jenny and Burhea are now male half-elves, except Burhea is a child. Durest and Chuck remain male. We’ll be representing Burhea as Chuck’s son, and the group of us as refugees from Morcoast, fleeing the chaos in the south, and having taken a ship from Renfall. 

Calisthum is a quiet, lovely hamlet just east of the druid groves; it is distinguished by a single giant tree at the center of the hamlet, large enough to cover the whole place. It has a very prominent inn, a modest town hall, a merchant’s wagon. As we’re walking into town a giant gorilla drops out of the giant tree and starts wandering around town; a man on a rooftop throws it some food, which it catches with a well-practiced gesture.

In the classic tradition, we head for the tavern. Pretty much everyone in the place is elvish; there’s a bard performing in one corner, while people are standing around talking. The ones at one table seem like they might be important, and a merchant and his guards at another table. Chuck commands Burhea to ask him about the giant gorilla. 

“Hello there,” says the barmaid in Elvish. 

Chuck attempts to repeat it back, then apologizes for our poor command of Elvish. Durest adds that we’re refugees. Chuck lays out our story, making sure that the bard can hear him; he’s so convincing that Jenny’s pretty sure we actually are elves who escaped from the south. 

Burhea asks Chuck about that gorilla in the dullest, most sarcastic voice possible. 

The innkeeper Mirren explains that Righeera is a protector of the village, a behemoth gorilla and very possibly the only one of her kind. She’s a friend of Landuil the beastmaster. 

Chuck: “Well, that must make you feel safe. Tiny Tim, isn’t that fascinating?”

Tim/Burhea, through gritted teeth: “Scintillating.”

Mirren mentions that the merchant’s wagon has toys. Chuck immediately latches onto this: “Oh, Tim, it’s been so long since I bought you a gift.”

Mirren mentions that the merchant is the fellow at the table, talking to Perovin – and Durest thinks there’s a relationship between the two women. 

First drink is on the house for newcomers – and some apple juice for little Tim/Burhea. Jenny takes a beer, and gets something very weak; so does Durest, since they don't have al'cul this far north. Chuck gets the wine, which is much better. We give our fake names: Durest is Bandolier, Chuck is Big Tim, Jenny is Jensen. 

The mayor, Valdir, comes over and introduces himself. He hopes we’ll be well-behaved while we’re here, and is clearly hoping that we’re just passing through. We’re thinbloods, and this is old blood True Elf territory. He'd be happy to help set us up with some supplies and other resources to get us on our way towards Annun if we'll stop by city hall tomorrow afternoon. (This is going to be a problem for Chuck and Burhea, what with the sunlight and all.)


Mirren gives the younger server a look, and she intercedes and gets Valdir back to his table. Valdir, according to the server, is beholden to the older and more established families. She’s very flirtatious, and Jenny responds in kind. She leads us to our room. The room next door is taken by this really weird guy who never leaves his room. 

We have dinner in our room, which we now have to ourselves. The younger servant is Nim, and the older one is Kather. Nim hands over our food, and also we have a visitor: Glanduil, the local beastmaster. He introduces himself as the resident druid. 

Chuck settles in to get more information from Glanduil, who explains that a behemoth creature is unique, and of unknown origin; we also learn that the great tree is known as Cloudsweep. It, too, is god-touched. Chuck explains that we’re probably on our way to Annun, and lays out more of our escape from Morcoast – convincingly. Glanduil would be willing to pay us five silver if we’d bag a deer for him. He reminds us to stay out of trouble, then heads back out. 

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