This sessions sees us up one Rudy, a RL friend of mine who I talked into joining up, and down one Ben, who is auditioning for a national tour of the play Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. We have to bring Rudy into the Fantasy Ground/Skype fold, and after a few bumps, he’s well on his way.
Rudy is playing the Duergar fighter Grimshenko. Gimshenko’s superiors have set him in search of the Sunken Colonies, a refuge in the Slaughtervale where most of the non-enslaved denizens of the vale make at least a temporary home in. Duergar are definitely appropriate to the game, and Grimshenko is even in the proper place to join up with the PCs, as they’ve just been wisked into the Shadowvale.
Grimshenko comes upon the rest of the group while he-of-the-cast-iron-stomach Hrung has decided to cook one of the Deathjump spiders they killed last session. Grimshenko and the group parlay a bit, and decide to band together in their return to the Slaughtervale. The wizard Bradis is a bit suspicious of Grimshenko’s motives, but says little.
In the thick pseudo-russian accent that Rudy uses for the character, Grimshenko decides: “You look like peasants! We must get you clothed properly.” We must find a fey crossing near the black pond, but first we will get you in proper attire.” And then they are going to the nearest town.
Uhhhh…I had planned for the PCs to go right to the black pond. Had the encounter mapped out and everything. I didn’t have anything about a town, or clothes shopping.
Fortunately, I live for these moments.
So the PCs are heading to Mylar, a half day’s travel from here. They arrive well after nightfall. The only activity in the whole town is in the local inn, The Severed Hand. With a brief gulp from everyone except Grimshenko, the players walk in.
The humans of the slaughtervale are actual shadar-kai, so the party is greeted with a few stares, a lot of tattoos, and even more piercings. The locals are all engaged in dangerous gambling games. The game drawing the largest crowd is a game called fingerknives, which is just a version of the knife game where people gamble on how many repetitions you can go before messing up. The second most popular game is Po’ghar, which means literally “choose your poison”. The players will pick a selection of several low grade poisons, place their money dependent on the type and amount of the poison, and then someone drinks. If they live, they get quite a bit of coin. If they lose…
The PCs order food from Kira, the propretior/bartender, and proceed to mingle with the natives. Samson attempts to get information from an drugged and poisoned old preacher in the corner, and Hrung decides to get in with the locals and play a game of fingerknives. He places his money on the table (10 gold), raises the knife…and stabs himself in the hand. Ouch. Done for the night, the characters finish up their shopping with loot acquired at the site of the cairn. Samson gets some armor; Brandis acquires an orb implement unique to the shadowvale called an eye. Eyes contain a pulsing blacklight inside the black-frosted glass. Everyone but the duergar soldier grabs new threads and then they head for the black pond.
At the black pond they come across a group of Satyr. They attempt to hail the group, and the leader, Felmad the Ill-Humoured, tries to recruit them. These Satyr have been exiled from the Feyvale and are here looking to recruit a small army that they can take back and conquer the Fey realms with. All of this is explained in frothing detail to the party. The retort from Hrung:
“Uh, I just got out of slavery buddy. I ain’t going back in anytime soon.”
“Then you will die!”
Felmad uses a special attack-shift-attack manuever to lead that catches the players attention, and a group of his eight minions follow with a shower of arrows to bloody almost the entire party on the first turn. The party’s focus is mostly around Felmad, who dances back and forth between targets keeping the PCs guessing on who they need to protect from round to round.
The combat gets pretty desperate ate one point. The players are rolling awfully, and I am critting left and right. Two players are in the single digits, and the other two are bloodied. Action points get spent on botched rolls. The cleric is keeping the party in the fight, but healing is running low.
The combat then swings to their advantage after a one-two combo of Samson’s lance of faith on Felmad and Hrungbreaking from combat with a minion (I had to remind him that his Artful Dodger makes most opportunity attacks, especially from a minion, pretty bearable to deal with) tumbling into a flank with Felmad, and stabbing him in the kidneys.
“Who wants it next?”
No one did. The Satyrs fled.
Most of our time was eaten up with preparations, so I’m hoping next session will have a few more encounters. the nice part though is that I had about six prepared, so no extra work for me for game! Except, more maps, the wiki…<sigh>
I love it.