When the Tower fight was over we were hailed by a group from the other building, where we could just make out a small figure flanked by two larger figures. Wolff hailed them in draconic, and after we failed to convince them that everything was okay, they told us to stay where we are. We pretended to misunderstand them, put the lizard skins back on and used a raft to get over to the other building. Our bluff and disguise worked again and we got within twenty paces before they caught on and Raughnall blasted them with lightning. Tor summoned his divine C.H.U.C.K and we got to work.
There were four ogres guarding the outside – figuring this was probably the last combat of the day (har, har, har), John blew through his dailies. We finally beat down the ogres, but the last one escaped into the building. When we got inside we found an Ettin and a hobgoblin mage. John did a sweet ninja move to jump down onto the last remaining ogre and knock him prone, then John cornered him and finished him off with (ta-da!) bluff to hide. Unfortunately at this point the mage dominated Orrin, and Orrin started attacking Wolff. The rest of us kept attacking the Ettin. Orrin failed his saving throw time after time, until finally (deciding not to push his luck) the mage ordered Orrin back into his room, where he disarmed him and locked him in a cage. After we dispatched the Ettin, we cornered the mage in his room until he decided to make a run for it. Note to selves – in future instances of cornering foes in rooms, whenever possible one of us should BLOCK THE DOOR. It’s also worth noting that despite Tor being dazed for 5 or 6 rounds and being knocked unconscious twice, somehow the combat-advantage grantin’ divine C.H.U.C.K. (sustain minor) managed to keep going through the entire fight. Gee, I wonder who had control of Tor’s character sheet? In any case, eventually Trellara got Orrin out of the cage and gave him his sword back, but the mage escaped onto the roof, until finally he jumped onto the docks, where he called for “his pretty.” We killed him shortly after that, but the damage had been done.
Out of an adjoining building came one of those same mutated half-dragon thingies that killed Trellara’s brother, with no pause to let us catch our breath. With all of us concentrating our fire on the dragonspawn thing, it actually went down pretty quickly, not nearly as bad as in the swamp. I think Orrin killed him with a crit on an opportunity attack. After the last fight was done Allan told us that this sequence was actually designed to be 3 separate encounters, where we healed ourselves in between each one. Whups. The good thing about continual combat was that Tor’s divine C.H.U.C.K. stayed with us, but the bad thing was that we burned through brownies like nobody’s business. Also, as a side note Tor was a monster this session – in addition to C.H.U.C.K. he must have crit at least 3 times, and he did essence of life down to 4HP to get Orrin back up and running.
After the final battle we divided the labor – Orrin and Trellara stabbed the eggs hidden in the dirt in the dragonspawn’s nest, John and Raughnall ransacked the building for treasure, and Tor and Wolff decapitated all the defeated foes and put their heads on pikes out front (each team playing to their strength). Then as the lizard men converged on us we arranged ourselves so as to be as impressive as possible and did a bluff check. It was long, drawn out and a very near thing, but in the end we managed to convince them that their god (the dragon) had deserted them and that they needed to follow him. They departed to the east with all due haste, and once they were out of sight we made tracks in the opposite direction. WHEW.
Among the treasure we found the following: - Lots of gold/silver, and a bracelet with a gem (non-magical) – Mark, could you tell me exactly how much gp so I can add it to the loot table? - Two silver cases (non-magical), one with a necklace in it, one with the imprint of where a necklace had been resting. We found a related note indicating that the necklace may be the phylactery of a Lich (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phylactery). Allan, my memory is hazy here – there are two necklaces, right? Did we finally work out that one is the real phylactery and one a decoy? Or do we not know exactly what’s going on yet? - A set of fancy bracers (magical) that gave John deja vu when he wore them. Maybe they give the wearer a second chance to do something? In any case, Orrin is wearing these now… - A cloak (magical) with lots of pockets that are deeper than you’d expect. John is wearing it, and for now he isn’t telling the others about the pockets. He is however going to practice surreptitiously placing objects into the pockets and taking them out again, to see if he could do that as (for instance) part of a theivery check or during combat. Almost certainly the cloak is some kind of bag of holding (woo-hoo!). - Plain, somewhat stiff leather armor (magical). John is also wearing this, but we don’t know what it does yet. The rest of the group is just happy that he’s finally covered up the codpiece. Allan, anything to add here?
In any case, about an hour after we left the lake we heard a draconic scream rend the night, which Wolff translated roughly as “F*CK!!” A little while after that we heard beating wings and John lead a group stealth check which we passed with flying colors. The dragon didn’t see a thing and flew on. We found a good place to rest and we made it through the night (thankfully) unmolested. DING!!!
Now it’s the next morning, and time to regroup. We all agreed that we need to go back and defeat the dragon (and his wyrmlord rider) before we can truly feel like our job here is complete. To that end we convinced Trellara to write a note back to the elves with the following: - A summary of the battles so far, including a description of the lich’s phylactery - A request for assistance with the dragon, specifically sending a few owlriders to force it to land and face us on the ground. - If possible the owlriders should bring a crapload of healing potions (whatever they cost, we’re good for it). - Oh and while you’re at it, could you also bring our wicked-awesome bad-ass dragon-hide Wolverine-claw guantlets?
Then while we wait for a response from the elves we’re going to scout out a good place to engage the dragon. What we want in particular is something with plenty of space for us to spread out, and not too much difficult terrain. Raughnall will prep his ritual to lower the water, so it’s not so swampy. Then we’ll lure the dragon out, and have the owlriders force it down to the ground, where we engage it. Now this is totally open to revision, if the owlriders think that would be too risky (if they’re likely to get killed doing it) then we can ask them to just drop off our supplies and then hang around to pick up the bodies in case of a TPK. It doesn’t really affect our strategy too much – if the dragon stays flying then we’ll use ranged attacks, it just means that Orrin in particular won’t be at his most effective.