Posted on November 4, 2011
The Acts of The Lords of Rannick, XXXIX
Although there was only one fight last night, it didn’t half move the plot along. After slogging through the Fortress of the Stone Giants at a slow, but impressively inexorable, pace the story finally moved along, albeit right at the end of the night.
The last fight against a boss spellcaster, you may recall, lasted three sessions. This one, however, went a lot better because I blew some really crucial rolls and almost everyone made some crucial saves. But more importantly, people’s roles were a lot better defined, I thought. Maybe that is what the slog against giant-sized enemies has taught the group, but they certainly functioned like a well oiled machine last night.
Late ruling: It’s kind of dumb to have monkeys be so useful, but I think the ruling about AoO vs Aid Other in combat was wrong. Melee attacks aren’t usually treated like other actions, even though they are lumped in. But thinking about what would happen if Dagfinn did this (Aid Arradin by giving up his melee attack and just trying to hit AC10) that seems like a pretty big sacrifice and it kind of makes sense that that wouldn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. Applying that rule further down to dumb animals may seem weird, but I don’t want a ruling about monkeys to remove tools from the PC’s toolbox. So in summary: No AoO for Aid Other in melee, even if that makes low level summoned creatures useful. Monkeys would distract me.
vs Mokmurian with Monkeys.
Mokmurian, well warned of the approach of the party waited for them to arrive in the old lecture hall. He stood on the platform 25′ above the floor of what was now his laboratory. When they did arrive, he put on his Fogcutting Glasses and cast Solid Fog, miring everyone in the same area. Then he cast Reverse Gravity, creating an area of inversion that caused everyone to fall. He was kind of counting on that to make life difficult for people as the 100′ high ceiling would suddenly become a 100′ drop. The two humans caught in the 100′ drop area however, Torgor and Don, grasped the bolted down table legs of the arcanist lab tables that filled the room as their high ceiling suddenly became their very low floor. Climbing up onto the undersides of the table, they scurried forward until they reached the end of the spell effects, where they both just fell to the ground under the table.
Back in the doorway, which had a lower ceiling, most people were fine, if enshrouded in fog. Tersplink cast Haste onm everyone, then Fly on Arradin, which was pretty crucial.
Mokmurian’s entire plan was to keep the party at range, preferably blinded in the fog and use his ranged attacks to fry the shit out of them. And he had a ton of ray attacks. His light show would have made a Pink Floyd concert look like two party-poppers tied together. But all that counts on distance, and Arradin gave him none.
His back up plans should anyone get close enough, however, was to cast Fire Shield. Fire Shield surrounds the caster in flames and anyone striking the caster takes 1d6+Caster Level fire damage. Since that is based on strikes, rather than per round or proximity, Arradin may have struck him 4 times, but she’d have taken between 60-80 of fire damage for the privilege. I don’t know if you know how many hit points Arradin has, but apparently it isn’t as many as we all think.
He didn’t get that off though. Casting defensively, I rolled a 1. Uh-oh. His back-up plan was simply to hurl opponents away, but that wasn’t too much of an impediment to someone with Fly. Arradin was meanwhile putting some early criticals on him, Sickening him at one point and dropping him to a single action at another. His attempt to counter her Haste with Slow failed too. And then there were the monkeys.
Albedon was having about as good a day. Guessing, but guessing incorrectly, vis a vis the state of gravity in the chamber, he Dimension Door’ed to the ceiling, halfway across the room, confident that this would put him on the floor. Nope, spell didn’t extend that far, normal gravity was in play, which meant Albedon fell 100′ to the floor. Out cold. Torgor and Don rushed to his side to get him back up again. After that, Torgor closed on the platform. Don, meanwhile summoned monkeys.
The monkeys were brief-lived but plentiful. They tried grappling Mokmurian first, but that wasn’t going to work, so they started to Aid Other, providing Arradin with assistance. This got them stomped and magic missile’d away, but they did help Arradin land more hits. Torgor’s giant-killing bonus, Dagfinn’s Bard Song and Angry Monkey Leg Humping all combined to give her plenty of bonuses to start landing criticals. Tersplink landed two hits with the Wand of Enervation, which hasn’t seen much action but is an absolute bitch of a de-buffer. d4 Negative levels, no save? Woof! Slowly he began whiffing more tests and getting fewer spells off.
Dagfinn and Halvard had been keeping watch on Wheezy, but Dagfinn ran in to the fog to find out what was going on. Inverted by the Reverse Gravity in the safest place for that to happen, he caught hold of a sconce and began climbing around the wall. Once he was eventually free of the spell effects, he moved closer to the fight, keeping the pillars between him and Mokmurian and staying out of view while singing his courage inspiring song… which is funny.
Mokmurian’s plan to get distance between him and his opponents had failed and that’s bad news because that’s about the only plan he had. Albedon caught him in a Wall of Lightning, which forced him to Bull Rush some monkeys out of the way and then Arradin hacked him to pieces. Nerves damaged, an artery pierced then brutalized at the rate of 8hp Bleed. Torgor had got in on it too, doing respectable damage with the Kobold’s short spear. One brave monkey had done 1 point of damage too; brave, brave Corporal Poopflinger.
To add insult to injury, and there was a lot of injury by this point, Dagfinn cast Grease and Mokmurian failed his Reflex save, causing him to slip and fall. Don brought down a Flame Strike, igniting the Grease and pummeling the Stone Giant with divine fire.
That wasn’t what killed Mokmurian though. Humiliated and on the edge of defeat, Mokmurian’s limbs stiffened and eyes filled with a bluish light. A glowing nimbus surrounded his body and he began to float upright. Arradin and Torgor took stabs at him, but when they did so, it was as though their weapons had struck dull iron.
Whatever force that held Mokmurian up was not gentle. They heard his bones grind as he moved and his limbs twisted unnaturally. Mokmurian’s mouth opened, but it was not his voice that spoke. Dagfinn recognized the voice. He had heard it once before, deep beneath Thistletop. In the Thassilonian level, he had watched a pale, flickering image of a man’s face calmly issuing final orders to his subordinates. The man’s voice at the time was calm, authoritative.
Now, he spoke with a hint of amusement. Dagfinn was the only one who could understand what he said, given that he spoke in Thassilonian. The jist, past on by Dagfinn was that he didn’t think much of the party or of the entire epoch that spawned them, but most old people think that way. He did impart that the slaying of those marked with the Sihedron rune hastened his, Karzoug that is, return and thanked them for offing so many marked giants. He also intimated that he would awaken the armies of Xin-Shalast and sweep down, conquer the world etc etc pretty standard bad guy stuff.
Mokmurian’s soulless body dropped to the ground and the nimbus of light faded as a cold mocking laugh echoed around the empty hall. Conna had asked them to kill Mokmurian, but who actually got the kill is kind of up for debate now.
Of the three proper nouns mentioned in the speech, Sihedron was the most familiar, the Sihedron being the seven-pointed star that they’ve seen everywhere for a long time. Xin-Shalast rang a bell with Dagfinn too, as a mythical lost city full of wonders, high in the Kodar mountains. Karzoug didn’t ring any bells, but since the voice was Karzoug and the voice also belonged to the face under Thistletop which was also on the Storval Stairs, they have a good idea of what Karzoug sounds and looks like. They’re just sure what he is, although Albedon believes he can rule out Being From Another Plane.
They began looting the body while some healing was passed out. Mokmurian wore a Robe of Runes and Fogcutting glasses and carried a Bag of Holding, a Scroll of Contact Other Plane, some nifty (how nifty? shiny nifty!) Bracers of Armour and a Defending Spell-Storing Club. Also, he had a chest full of tens of thousands of gold and platinum coins and some Objets d’Art that need appraising.
Everyone sat down and counted it as it went in the bag of holding.