This session (11/06/2010) was a fun one. Our group, still shell-shocked over calming a dragon, debated briefly who they would send to go get the dead scorpion carcasses from the last session to feed the dragon. They wanted to send Fips because she was fastest, but then they realized that she was too small and too weak to carry three medium sized insects, no matter how small the pieces she cut them into were. (I’m still not entirely sure I understand the logic of the party wanting to cut things into smaller or more manageable sizes when they don’t have bags to carry things with. I’m guessing they’re using their pockets?) Eventually they sent T’Chak and he went to gather the carcasses (he was not pleased by the necessity, I might add).
As he returned, the dragon started smelling something delicious and wandered down a hallway, the rest of the party in hot pursuit. As the dragon rounded the corner, he startled Alain, a warlock who had multi-classed into rogue. (In fourth edition, there is a big difference between a hybrid [which is what Fips is] and multi-classing [which Alain did]. For story purposes, Alain was trained with some rogue abilities before the Fey made a pact with him, making him a Warlock with some rogue training. Fips’s training taught her to use magic and sneaky attacks in conjunction- she is not a swordmage with rogue abilities or a rogue with swordmage abilities, she is a blend of the two classes.) Alain is played by our newest group member, Chris.
The warlock, in no shape to fight and surprised by the dragon and the humanoids following behind it, backed against the wall and tried to hide, but fortunately for him, the dragon was more interested in eating the rats he’d been cooking than attacking him. The party gave the dragon the scorpions instead and introduced themselves, kinda… I don’t think any of them gave him their names… Or an explaination for why they were in the arena… Or anything really. They just took his food. Okay, to be fair, the party was non-hostile towards him and he offered the food in good faith and Mikal returned his kindness by healing him up. The party proceeded on, fighting some encounters and looting the corpses of previous poor souls who had been lost in the labyrinth. Their fight with some fire beetles was surprisingly difficult because of a rechargeable the fire beetles dished out that knocked T’Chak, Mikal, and I think Alain unconscious. Fips and D’Jee, mostly with the help of the still-unnamed dragon, managed to fend off the insects and heal Mikal, letting him rouse the others. They took and extended rest again at that point to fully recuperate. Later on they discovered the corpses of two warriors, both in heavy armor. Only one was buried and was a fair distance from his ally, who must have wandered off to try and escape. The buried man was, however, wearing the vestments of a Tyrian soldier of high rank, which D’Jee claimed for herself, and a wristband that bore the symbol of Tyr, which Fips snatched and is now wearing as an armband (since her wrist is much too small), and was scarred to the bone with a slave brand. This may or may not end up being significant. They also found a dead mage of some sort wearing jewelry and carrying a rod, which may or may not also be significant. The party continued and stumbled upon a secret door, which, they discovered upon opening it, had a zombie standing on the other side of it. They panicked, slammed the door behind them, and moved on. It was probably for the best since my circular map was quickly showing it’s flaws and I wanted them to just go to the next floor, the ladder for such being down the hall they were already in proceeding down. At some point along the way they also encountered some cavern chokers and ended up making jokes about tentacle rape. Maybe it’s more of a had-to-be-there kind of thing, but they really thought it was funny that Fips was the first one “grabbed” by the enemy. Perverts. T’Chak got grabbed, too, though I guess they didn’t think it was as funny that a giant bug-man had a tentacle around his neck.
On the next floor, they came upon a dwarven caravan guard slumped over and near death. They revived him and he told them some of the map’s layout. Due to some misspeaking on my part, the dwarf came to be known as “The Ran” (pronounced Rahn, not like the past tense of run). Thanks to their goofy behavior, The Ran is going to be a cool, level-headed guy who starts talking like a pro wrestler when in combat. “Oh, miss Teifling, please take shelter while I attack. Ho hum… Raaaargh! The Raaaaaan is going to smash your head innnn, hideous mon-ster!” And my campaign was supposed to be the more serious one. Go figure.
Anyway, they wandered closer to the pit when the dragon started getting nervous and retreated a little bit. This struck the party as odd since the dragon had been growing more fond of them as they progressed (it really likes Mikal, is tolerant of Fips, D’Jee and Alain, and respects T’Chak without actually being fond of him). They listened carefully and could hear deep reptilian breathing coming from the distance. T’Chak determined that it was another larger dragon. T’Chak wanted to press on and fight it, but the rest of the party over-ruled him and headed towards a fight with some shriekers instead- unknowingly heading the wrong way in doing so.
We ended the session before combat with the shriekers because Wes had to work. We’ll be picking up again on the 21st, probably at my house since our local game store closes at 7 on Sundays.
Already I’m starting to get a sense for the characters. T’Chak is aggressive and prefers combat to subtlety. D’Jee is more nurturing and passive, but is willing to fight if necessary. Mikal has a merchant’s eye for loot, but only prefers to fight when there aren’t other options, or if he’s in a strategically superior position (being well armed and armored or having some other tactical advantage). He also likes to be at the front of the marching order, which is surprising to me because he is, at least tactically, more useful at a distance where he can be safe to offer healing and movement to the party, despite his predominantly melee combat powers. We’ll see how it plays out. I still haven’t nailed Fips’ personality, since she’s fairly quiet (yes, I know, she’s my own character, but I’m not sure how she fits in the party dynamic yet). The dragon, I’ve decided, is rather catlike– it will put up with the party, even find them amusing at times, but won’t really act on its orders. Since it likes Mikal, though, it will try and keep him safe– but it’s more like a child protecting her favorite stuffed toy than like a pet defending its master. Alain hasn’t been in the party quite long enough for me to see how he fits in the party dynamic.
The Ran is not an actual party member, as he plans on leaving as soon as they escape the pit so he can return to his life and his job. He’ll probably become a recurring NPC though. Yes, folks, The RAAAAAN will be back! _