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Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 8, Part 1

August 28, 2014

warhammer-lizardmen-1At the end of the previous session, the rulers of Caerelia had stumbled across an island of xenophobic lizardfolk while exploring. The PCs wanted to establish diplomatic relations; the lizardfolk wanted the humans to leave their territory. When the adventurers refused to depart, the lizardfolk attacked. After the first few rounds, I was worried that the party was going to wipe the lizards out without too much trouble, but as it happened, the battle took up the entire session.

A lizardfolk druid had cast shifting sand under the group. Most of them managed to get out of the area of the spell, except for Iofur the druid, who stayed put in order to cast spells, and Travaris the cleric, whose donkey tripped and spilled them both into the grasping dirt. Iofur had invoked call lightning and was using it to electrocute the lizardfolk warriors that were swimming towards them.

Smoke on the Water

As the adventurers prepared to meet the initial lizardfolk assault, they saw a giant lizard-man stomp out of the island’s large central hut. He wore a crown and carried a trident, and was loudly exhorting his warriors to drive off the “stinking mammalssss” that had invaded their land. They started to plan around taking this lizard king down in order to demoralize his subjects, but were interrupted when the shifting sand started to pull Iofur, Travaris, and their mounts under the water. And then a fog cloud appeared on top of them, cutting them off from their companions, and blocking the view of the island for those who were safely on the shore.

Suddenly two party members were out of line of sight and in danger of being pulled underwater, while the lizardfolk and their pets that were swimming towards the party finally had some cover. Satampra the rogue and Boliden the barbarian shot arrows at the targets that they could see. Mestinous the elven wizard lobbed a fireball (the first of the campaign!) at the lizard king & druid, who were still on the island. Iofur turned into an eagle and abandoned his horse to the fog & muck. Travaris struggled to free himself in vain. Soon the first wave of reptilian attackers was upon him, and they stabbed and bit him as he floundered in the water.

The shifting sand’s area of effect continued to move into the river. Iofur’s horse managed to free itself and fought its way back to the shore, while Travaris was pulled underwater. Before his head went under, the cleric tried to cast searing light defensively, but failed the Concentration check and lost the spell. His donkey was ripped apart by the lizardmen’s pet muggers, and he himself was rapidly losing hit points.

Salar the halfling ranger cast speak with animals and called on their remaining mounts to flee into the forest – he’s always been very concerned about their well-being – and then dove into the water to rescue the cleric.  Mestinous cast a spell of haste upon the party, and Iofur started summoning dolphins to do battle in the water.

There’s Too Many of Them!

The party’s efforts were for naught. When Travaris was down to 2 hit points, he decided to play dead, hoping the lizardfolk braves would ignore him. Instead they grabbed him and started swimming back to the island. The enemy druid summoned squids to assist in hauling away the cleric and to run interference on Iofur’s summoned dolphins and Salar. Boliden got trapped within an aquaeous orb (also courtesy of the lizard druid), and proved unable to free himself. Mestinous and Satampra plinked away with magic missiles and arrows when they could. And as the remnants of the first wave retreated with Travaris, reinforcements had arrived, including the lizard king, Vesket, himself.

When the aquaeous orb finally collapsed, Boliden waded into battle, but by this point there was a wall of lizardfolk braves and their pets to greet him. Satampra reluctantly drew his rapier and followed. Mestinous and Iofur conjured new underwater creatures to go after Travaris, but Vesket obliterated them with ease. Unfortunately, Mestinous had been using his mega-wand of magic missile (5 darts per charge) to wear away at Vesket, and the king was running out of hit points. So he swam out of Mestinous’ line of sight under the fog cloud, where Salar was fighting trident-vs-trident with lizard warriors.

If the little halfling was afraid of the hulking lizard king, he only showed it for a brief moment before charging in to attack. He was a former slave, and seeing Travaris being taken captive had awoken a fierce determination in him. If he were to die, he would die a free halfling! But he was no match for Vesket, and especially not Vesket plus two lizardmen, and especially not when underwater. He was knocked out and also hauled off.

Boliden and Satampra were also not faring well. Their foes had encircled them, and their spears and teeth were chipping away at their hit points. The pair withdrew back to the shore, and then into the forest, and the lizardfolk did not pursue. Mestinous, never the bravest of souls, quickly followed.

I thought that would be the end of it, but Iofur was out for blood. He circled around the fog cloud until he caught sight of Vesket under the water. He knew the lizard king’s hit points were low, and he didn’t want to leave without finishing him off. Unfortunately I was out of ranged options at that point, and couldn’t do much to stop him. He cast chill metal on Vesket’s gold armbands, and then flew off. Vesket succumbed to the piercing cold, although by this point the lizardfolk druid was nearby, and she removed his bracers before they could kill him. With their king fallen and their foes seemingly gone, the remaining lizardfolk warriors clustered under the fog cloud by the riverbank, lest Mestinous wand them to death. As an aside, I cannot wait for that damn thing to run out of charges.

Travaris and Salar had been captured, Satampra and Boliden were badly wounded, and Iofur and Mestinous were almost out of spells. That would be the end of it for now, I thought. But the players’ pride had been wounded, and they were determined to exact every last ounce of flesh that they possibly could.

Next: The last ounce of flesh!

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