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Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 15, Part 2

December 21, 2014

Big Hero x6

The party had cleared the ancient elven fortress, save for the top floor of the central tower. They knew that there was a beautiful elven woman up there, but nothing else. Satampra the rogue proposed that they split into two groups: the first would go up the stairs and the second would be up on the roof, ready to jump down through the skylight. Or rather, through the hole that once held a skylight.

This led to an argument about who should get to be on top; just about anyone that was capable to getting to the roof wanted to be up there instead of on the stairs. “C’mon!” Satampra complained. “We can’t all be up there – that’ll just be weird.” Finally it was settled that Satampra, Salar the halfling ranger, and Iofur the druid (in his snazzy new air elemental form) would go to the roof, while Boliden the barbarian, Mestinous the elven wizard, Simon Wellread the cleric, and Salar’s thylacine companion would use the narrow stairwell.

When Boliden, Mestinous, and Simon climbed the stairs to the second floor of the tower, they found a circular room filled with life. A thick layer of soil covered much of the stone floor, and a riot of plants grew in the dirt. There was even a tree, planted near the stairs and reaching up towards the hole in the roof. A gorgeous elf maiden dressed in clothes fit for a noblewoman stood by a window. At the sound of their approach, she turned and smiled warmly.

“My saviors!” she exclaimed. “Oh, I have been trapped here for so very long. But you have defeated the evil creatures that kept me here! I owe you my life! Come, come!” She beckoned them into the room. The PCs were wary, but her story did seem plausible. Mestinous started grilling her about why she didn’t just leave on her own, which dimmed her demeanor a bit. “Uh, the murderous faeries that were outside? You know, the ones that you defeated?” She decided to ignore her fellow elf and focused her attention on Simon and Boliden, instead.

“I can’t believe that I am free! Free, after all of this time!” Simon wanted to know how long she had been trapped here, and Mestinous was trying to get her to tell how she came to be here, but she brushed off their questions. “Never mind that. Let us celebrate! Let us dance! Come, brave hero,” she implored, holding out her hand to Simon, “won’t you dance with me?”

Simon shrugged, said, “OK,” and started to move towards her. Salar, up on the roof, was much more enthusiastic. “I want to dance with you!!!” he yelled joyously, as he leapt down from the roof (taking some damage in the process) to join the lady. She laughed and smiled at the halfling’s sudden entrance, helped him to stand, and took him for a spin.

All She Wants to Do Is Dance, Dance, Dance

At this point, everyone got to make a Will save! And everyone failed, except for Iofur. Perhaps the druid wasn’t as susceptible to the Dancing Lady’s gyrations while wildshaped into an elemental form. Or maybe he just rolled well. Whatever the reason, he was free to act while the rest of the group was struck dumb by the sight of the Lady’s hypnotic motions.

The Dancing Lady laughed as she waltzed around with a dazed Salar, allowing the druid to see that her mouth was suddenly filled with wicked fangs. She picked up the halfling and chomped down on his neck, which caused Salar’s animal companion to race over in order to protect its friend. Iofur was busy summoning a crocodile to harass her. She paused her feeding long enough to call out, “Teorlian! Protect me!” The tree in the room suddenly transformed into the grimstalker – tree shape, bitches! – who pounced on the crocodile and tore it to shreds with his claws and sneak attacks. Yay, sneak attacks!

The thylacine was completely ineffectual against the Lady, and similarly the grimstalker had a hard time putting it down for good now that he wasn’t attacking with surprise. The Lady traipsed about the room, feeding off of Salar as she went. Iofur switched from summons to call lightning, bringing down terrible bolts of electricity upon the dancing woman. Since she was holding Salar close to her, I ruled that he took damage as well. Between the lightning and the bite damage, not to mention the Strength and Constitution drain (although mostly the lightning damage, as his player liked to point out to Iofur’s), Salar was soon rendered a lifeless husk. 😦

The Lady ordered Teorlian to go after the druid and to ignore the useless thylacine. In truth, Teorlian didn’t have any way to touch a flying spellcaster, but maybe he could distract Iofur from his mistress. For her part, the Lady cast aside Salar’s burnt and drained corpse, and danced over to Mestinous. The wizard seemed like he would be another quick kill, compared to the hulking barbarian or the armored cleric. She grabbed the elf’s dazed form and called out to the druid, “Do you wish to slay another of your companions? Leave me be, and I may yet let them live!” She was actually getting a little desperate, as the lightning bolts had taken away a lot of her hit points. But instead of fleeing, the druid summoned a fog cloud that filled the tower chamber.

Now that they could no longer see the Dancing Lady, everyone was freed of her spell! Boliden shook his head to clear his wits and blindly stumbled over to where he had last seen their foe. When he found her, he cleaved her flesh with his greataxe, and she howled in pain. In response, the Lady’s voice took on a pleading tone, and she suggested to him that she needed his protection in order to flee this place. The barbarian agreed, and the other players muttered “uh-oh” in unison. No one wanted to be on the receiving end of Boliden’s axe!

But Mestinous used his bonded sword to recall a dispel magic spell, and flung the arcane energies at Boliden. The elf just barely made the roll to unravel the Lady’s suggestion. She snarled in frustration, shoved the wizard aside, and ran down the steps.

Meanwhile, back up on the roof, the grimstalker had reached Satampra right as the rogue was coming to his senses. The two dueled, and Iofur summoned another crocodile in order to give the rogue a flanking partner. The croc managed to clamp down on Teorlian’s leg with its powerful jaws, allowing Satampra the opportunity to drive his blade through the grimstalker’s chest.

Inside the chamber, Simon felt his way over to where Salar’s body had fallen. The halfling’s thylacine friend was there, licking Salar’s face. The cleric tried to heal the body, but nothing happened. The ranger’s spirit had already passed on.

Mestinous sped down the stairs after the Lady, and glimpsed her running for the hole in the south wall. He pulled out some bat guano, spoke three words of arcane power, and hurled a magical bead of fire at the fleeing fey. The bead exploded into a fireball, and the Dancing Lady was no more. However, just before her essence left her form, she spoke a death curse upon her killer. The wizard gasped in shock as he felt his body suddenly grow frail and weak (bestow curse for -6 Constitution).

With their foes dead, the party regrouped and healed what damage they could. Salar was dead, Mestinous was cursed, and Satampra had been poisoned by Teorlian’s claws. In the tower chamber they found the Lady’s treasure, which included an abundance of elven artifacts and clothes that were centuries old, and they added it to their already impressive haul. The adventurers had claimed some great wealth in this ancient castle, but at what cost?

Next: ruminations on the campaign so far.

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12 Comments
  1. Pinkius permalink

    That sounds like an intense session! There’s so much disregard for friendly fire from Iofur, At this point I’d wonder if your players were cycling characters for specific magic items and wealth ;D

  2. Well, to be honest he didn’t have a lot of good options as the only PC able to act. And he & Mestinous both tend to go for the big bang over battlefield control, so I wasn’t surprised that all he could think to do was to blast the Dancing Lady. The fog cloud wasn’t even his idea – he felt like his only option was to take her out ASAP, but Satampra’s player pushed him to come up with some way to block LOS to the dance.

  3. Pinkius permalink

    So what’s Mestinous’s con score now? I don’t think he was particularly sturdy before… HP total too

    • 6ish? Not entirely sure. I’m not certain it will matter; the cleric is able to cast Remove Curse and has a 35% chance of removing it each time. And they will probably have time to kill. It took a week for Jhod to remove the cursed Robe of Bones that Mestinous donned a while back, but it was during some downtime so it wasn’t a big deal.

      • Pinkius permalink

        Well they might run into a random encounter on their way back to the capital, although I guess Boliden would be able to handle most things without Mestinous getting hit.

      • Pinkius permalink

        Boliden was an NPC for this encounter you said?
        How permenant is this change? Did that player drop out?
        I’m excited by the possibility of a PC becoming a NPC villian, as he’s still wearing that ring, unless Mestinous stole it.

      • Boliden’s player & his wife just had their 1st child. So he will be gone for a few months at least.

        Boliden gave the ring to Mestinous a little while ago when he started seeing the strange and beautiful woman while awake. They were trying to figure out what might be causing the dreams and it was his only magic item, so they thought they would see if losing the ring would stop the effect. Which it did. I figure there is an “attunement” period, and Mestinous will start having his own dreams starting next session. Unless I forget! I actually have to sit down and write up a few different dreams sometime soon.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 15, Part 1 | Daddy DM
  2. Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 28 | Daddy DM
  3. Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 32, Part 2 | Daddy DM
  4. Kingmaker: Varnhold Vanishing, Session 2, Part 1 | Daddy DM
  5. Kingmaker: Blood for Blood, Session 1, Part 2 | Daddy DM

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