The Puppeteer

The Red Wizards

Session 5

  • Focus: more challanges, less talking.
  • Spotlight: Red Wizards

Urling

Back in Urling the party try to figure out their best approach to invading Thay and commanding the lich to kill Lauzoril. They have just been rewarded handsomely by the Witches of Rashemen, so they decide to stock in on potions, scrolls and wonderous items, along with some other equipment upgrades before heading on.

Tal also identifies in his special manner the items found from the mummy in the previous session:
  • Raw Magic Ring: This fancy magical ring imbues the wearer with a permanent repulsion effect (as the spell, but raw magic, will save DC 21). It can be activated as a standard action.
  • Raw Magic Brooch: This small brooch makes the wearer immune to poison and disease.
  • Raw Magic Half-Plate: It is sold for 50.000
  • Raw Magic Cloak: This magical cloak functions like a cloak of weaponry. All weapons from the cloak are enhanced with a random ‘raw magical’ effect that lasts 1 minute.

Castor Black

Next the party goes to Castor, who wanted to meet them. Tal Rasha teleports in front of his house and they once again meet the energetic ‘young’ man. He offers tea and the party, who already know the drill, inform him about some of their adventures. It is clear that Castor did not yet know about Beren’s death and he is very sad that this ‘great hero’ has passed away.

Eventually the stories are finished and Castor gives the party each a specially crafted weapon. He had expected Beren, but Gilgul Neshamot takes the weapon that was meant for Beren instead.\

  • Gene’s Lucky Sword: This +2 adamantine short sword of speed gives a +1 luck bonus on all saving throws and skill checks. Furthermore it can be used 1/encounter to sneak attack when otherwise impossible (even on undead).
  • Ulik’s Wrathful Blade: This +3 viscious flaming greatsword has a mind of it’s own. It has an empathic link. The wielder of the blade benefits from a continual deathwatch and free advice. The personality of the blade is good, but chaotic and vengeful, especially against Red Wizards and other evil.
  • Tal Rasha’s Staff: This +2 quarterstaff uses the wielder’s spell potential instead of charges. It basically allows Tal to cast the following spells: 1. disguise self, 1. jump 1. reduce person, 2. levitate, 2. see invisibility, 3. water breathing, 4. remove curse, 5. teleport
  • Beren’s Tribute: This +2 silver defending holy longsword is both lawful and good aligned. The wielder’s eyes become topaz and it’s skin shines goldish. The wielder also gains darkvision 60ft.

Content Not Found: szass-tam

The party now travels to Thaymount. They get a teleport from a Hathran to a special teleportation circle just outside of Szass’ palace. The palace itself is huge, but mostly ruins. It is however apparant that the roof is solid and strong and repaired wherever holes were. At the front door stands a man that some of the party members recognize.

Rogar Hevfire

The man, Rogar Hevfire, turns out to be a vampire and an important underling of the lich. After some surprise that the party wants to see his master he leads the party through the complex to Szass.

The vampire proves to be pretty chaotic evil and although he doesn’t attack the party directly, he leads them through a series of traps.

First in the entrance room the party is dazed and drained from their strength by a blasphemy spell, and are then assaulted by Hellwasp Swarms. The swarms are pretty immune to damage and eventually Tal tires of them and puts a forcewall across the room to seperate the party from the annoying extra-planar insects.

The party travels onwards in a hallway and they follow Rogar into a room where they see the vampire going 4 different directions at the same time. After some puzzling and some discussion about not allowing the vampire to treat them this way especially from Tal, Ulik tires of the talk and goes into the right room. He is fast enough to see that the vampire is across the room fiddling with a secret door. Ulik goes after the vampire but activates 2 delayed blast fireball traps in the process, leaving him severely wounded halfway through the room, not daring to take another step. The party follows. Gil tries the wall but similarly activates some traps that wound Ulik even further. Eventually Gilgul Neshamot takes a massive jump through the whole room and lands in front of the secret door where the vampire is waiting. He waits for the party to follow his example and then as by common consent they attack the vampire, tired of his games.

The fight starts with Tal putting another forcewall into the stairs down, which the vampire was about to follow down. The vampire, now cornered, still laughs and advices the party not to attack. But the party is persistent and stronger than the vampire expected. They do some nice damage through his damage reduction and the vampire is unable to cast spells, failing his concentration check. He gets even more damaged, tries to take out Gene with a touch spell, but luckily he saves against the spell and takes only 2 negative levels from the vampire slam. The vampire takes some more massive damage from Gil and eventually tries to save himself by putting his hand into Gene’s face: “If you don’t stop fighting now I will disobey my master and I will kill this man right here and now!” he shouts angrily. That gives the party a small pause, but eventually Gene takes the decision to unleash his full fury upon the vampire anyway, and to take whatever he can throw onto him. Even though Tal is unable to counterspell the destruction spell that the vampire casts upon Gene, luckily he fails his concentration in the heat of the attack and can not complete his spell that would surely have finished the party’s rogue. After taking some more damage the angry vampire teleports out of the fray (finally succeeding his concentration).

After the successful (but not lethal) battle with the annoying vampire, the party continues onwards down the stairs. The door downstairs says “DO NOT ENTER”, but of course this is ignored and the lock is picked in the second attempt. The next room is hot and the party is directly attacked by a Horned Devil. Tal is unable to do anything about the spell resistance and is quickly out of the battle through the stunning spiked chain. Ulik manages to do some damage but is feared by the devil’s fear aura and is also quickly out of the combat. Gene tries to charge, but is also stopped mid-charge with a stunning spiked chain, but luckily only one round. As he makes a spring attack (without success against the thick hide), Gilgul Neshamot is furiously hacking at the horned devil. This is Gil’s moment supreme: with Beren’s Tribute he is the only one to slash through the damage reduction on the devil and it turns about to be a battle of titans. The devil is just as furious, but has a hard time hitting the agile monk and eventually they go down in the same round (Gil making the finishing move, but then crumbling through the Infernal Wound). But it’s not over. The devil slowly regenerates from the damage Ulik inflicted and is almost ready to finish the party members as Gene comes out of his stun and uses a hero point to finish both the devil with a final sneak attack and healing Gil, who by then almost died from the infernal wound.

Still puffing from the effort the party takes the treasure and tries the nearest door, which only leads back to the entrance (through a shorter way… with less traps…) That leaves them no choice but go depeer into the cavern of the Horned Devil. Eventually this leads them around a corner into a human-made hallway further down. In this hallway a thick mist surrounds the party hampering their vision severly.

This special combat/skill challange the party slowly advance in the hallway, cautionary for what will come, until Ulik falls into a pit. Luckily the party had bound themselves together with ropes and with some massive effort from Gil the heavy barbarian is saved from a savage fall and is able to easily climb back up. Unknowing how long the pit is Gil decides to just risk it and jump to the other end. In the meanwhile Gene has noticed that the walls are slowly moving together and this urges the party to greater speed. He gets to the other end but is blown back and almost loses his balance and falls right back into the trap. After some tries the whole party is over the pit and through the strong wind. Gil gets through first and walks onward, triggering another trap that lands a huge spiked boulder on his head. Being far in front Gil manages to escape from under the boulder and uses his boots of spiderclimbing to walk along the walls to not trigger any further traps. By this time Ulik and Gene together come at the first boulder. They manage to tumble past but get the second boulder (that Gil spotted, but didn’t trigger) on their heads. While Gil goes onwards, keeps his balance at a grease and prevents himself from landing in the middle of a web spell, the other party members wriggle their way onwards through falling boulders. By the time they reach the webs they have already been burnt to ashes and they run after Gil, who is found in a state of Solipsism. Ulik reacts fast and takes Gil on his back. Finally they get to the end of the line running, but it’s a dead end! Frustrated Gene examines the wall and luckily discovers the secret door. Under the stress of the walls now really coming very close to squeezing especially the massive barbarian, Gil needs 3 attempt to unlock the secret door, but eventually they stumble through into the Lich’s quarters.

Content Not Found: Szass-Tam looks at the Rashemi intruders very surprised, but not at all concerned or scared. The party notices that they came through a secret door that was probably not meant to be used, because the main door is on the other side of the room. The lich asks the party buisness and after the story about Lauzoril he is strangely quick in agreeing to the extermination of Lauzoril, who has disobeyed him anyway.

From here things go quicker. The lich teleports in front of Lauzoril’s home and walks in, triggering several traps that have no effect on the lich’s superior spell resistance and magical shields. He continues to dispel the dimensional locks in the place and then invites the party for a teleport upstairs. They meet a surprised Lauzoril who greets the lich carefully. The next moment the puppeteer is paralyzed by arcane reach paralyzing touch of the lich. The lich then loses his haste and offers the party a chance to ask the puppeteer something specific. The party discusses, but doesn’t really know what to ask and therefore the lich just kills Lauzoril with a finger of death (first removing the item that protects Lauzoril from instant death). He quickly casts a second spell to trap the soul of Lauzoril “against clones and such” and then greets the party and teleports away.

The party loots the room quickly and then, feeling unconfortable, teleport out to tell Lady Yhelbruna the good news. Thinking everything is over they tell everything in good spirits, but afterwards the Eldest asks the party if they can investigate the barbarians who are massing, ready to attack, in front of the Rashemen border.

But before they can go into their next adventure the bard Solvan Demeno waits for them outside the Eldest’ house. He directly addresses Ulik:

“Man, I knew you’d still be hanging around here somewhere. And I felt I needed to rescue you. Don’t you remember anything I taught you? Love goes before everything man! And you’ve still not even asked her out! Shame on you! I say you honor your promise, nobleman. And you get out of here in search of that girl right now! I didn’t come all this way to have you tell me no, so what about it?”

Next thing they know he teleports Ulik and the party to the Forman Estate and he knocks on the door. Ulik also gets conjured flowers from Solvan and some quickly gathered real flowers from Gil. Rafna Forman opens the door and is positively surprised. Ulik finally manages to go through his fear and asks the girl out, managing to say: “Rafna do you want to m… go out with me?”

Of course Rafna agrees and they together go into the estate, leaving the party watching outside with a good feeling for their barbarian friend. As a courtesy Solvan teleports the party back before bidding them farewell and leaving back to Thesk.

end of session 5

Rewards: 7.000 XP, 60.000 GP, (horned devil treasure), Special Weapons (see above), Raw magic items (see above)

Memorable Deeds
  • Tal Rasha, tired of the Hellwasps, ends the combat with a forcewall.
  • Gene Parmesan takes only a moment to consider, and then plunges into a full attack against a very strong vampire who just threatened to kill him with a single spell. He manages to distract the vampire enough to let it fail his concentration and this heroic deed symbolizes the end of the combat.
  • Ulik Brightvolk, tired of hearing Tal Rasha complain about the vampire, opens a random door and thereby catches a glimpse of the vampire ‘escaping’ through a secret door.
  • Gilgul Neshamot almost singlehandedly manages to down a Horned Devil (CR 16!), but gives way in the same turn that he manages to down the beast through the infernal wound and is almost killed, were it not for Gene, who saves his friend and finishes the recovering beast in the same heroic turn.
  • Gilgul Neshamot manages to keep both Gene and Ulik from falling into a pit by showing some remarkable strength.
  • Content Not Found: szass-tam walks into the well-protected wizard tower of Lauzoril, triggers a bunch of traps that he ignores, dispells the dimensional lock and teleports upstairs to stun Lauzoril in the next move through an arcane reach paralyzing touch. The party hoped badly that they will never have to fight this horror!
  • Solvan Demeno teleports into the ‘rescue’ of Ulik, finally convincing Ulik to go after his girl with some strong pushes and conjured flowers.
  • Ulik Brightvolk’s setence to Rafna as she opens the door: “Rafna do you want to m… go out with me?” Bless the young folk!
Next Session:
  • It’s over! Or what are the Nar Barbarians up to?!
  • Helping prevent part of a grand attack on Urlingwood.
  • Ever wanted to crawl into the skin of the most powerful people of Rashemen?

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monster87

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