Last night saw the swift and oh so painful end to our pixie bard, Flick Thistlebottom.
Let me backup a moment and retell the whole story from where we left off two weeks ago. If you will remember our characters, belonging to the organization called The Dark Lanterns, were on their way to Xen’drik via water elemental powered ship to investigate some ancient artifacts that were imprinted with runes written in the ancient tongue of the giant. We believe that they may hold some clue as to why we keep encountering so many coterminous zones.
You may also remember how a giant ice-squid decided to make lunch out of our ship…and us. After a battle that took us from ship deck, dodging ice-mephits and cheater dagger ice-swirling vortexes of doom, to balancing precariously on icebergs to the clutches of a very angry giant sea mollusk, we were in desperate need of repairs to our ship and bodies. To that end we decided to make our way to a small island that some pirates had used in years past to put in at for repairs.
We are able to limp along without encounters, thankfully, and make our way to the island. The island is moon-shaped with what looks like a bite taken out of part of it creating a natural bay for us to find shelter from the sea.
Not wholly to our surprise, we find the remains of a small cluster of shacks close to the shore near a dock that hasn’t crumbled into disrepair that extends out to the water. We also see what appears to be a dry-dock that might serve our purposes as long as no one objects.
As our landing party makes its way to shore, we see what appears to be reflections from what we imagined to be a spy glass as well as movement among the shacks. We prepare for the worst, hope for the best, ready to set foot on dry land.
We are greeted by a man in tattered and stained robes speaking nonsense. I believe we recognized the symbol he had on his person that said he was a member of the Emerald Claw. He proffered us some red fruit he has been eating on and getting all over his robes. It didn’t look to appetizing. Upon closer inspection the fruit turned out to be some sort of organ from a humanoid. A few moments of looking around the shacks and debris piles on the sandy beach revealed that several bodies of some unfortunate humanoids were strung up and had been the provider of the “fruit” that our would-be host had been snacking on. It was at this time we decided that this guy, whose mind we figure had snapped, is in sore need of being placed in the hurt locker. We were happy to oblige.
We were all over him like a dwarf on buy-one-get-one free pony-kegs of grog night down at the Sandy Oyster Inn. I believe we eliminated him within the first round, well we had surprise on him and then he went later in the round during the first non-surprise round, essentially giving us two rounds of the whole party to do our worst on him. He didn’t make it.
At his demise the shacks along the beach opened up and crazy Emerald Claw followers boiled out to do their worst. None of them seemed to be spouting the same gibberish nonsense the robed man was but they clearly were not right in the head. They seemed like rabid dogs in need of being put down and attacked without hesitation.
Among the almost score of lowly foot soldiers were a few elite personnel. Two melee heavies that hit like sledge hammers and 2 archers that had climbed atop a couple of the shacks and started to rain arrows of doom down upon us in the form of alchemical arrows.
Flick noticing that our need to get rid of the archers and used fairy dust on me to “fly” me to the rooftop where one of the archers was to eliminate while the rest of the party handled the flood of frothing Emerald Claw flunkies meaning to do us harm.
Our plan at first seemed really sound, until it didn’t. It turned out our controller, Yddrio, had moved to the left-side of the dock to handle a group of minions that had just emerged from the center-most shack…and the rest of the party had moved to the right, effectively separating him from us.
This did not bode well for our squishy half elf psion controller, Yddrio. Although he was able to place a well-aimed spell that eliminated a group of 4 minions from the center shack, another group of four emerged from the left-most shack. Spurred on from one of the 2-melee leader-types with bonuses to damage when they hit, they quickly surrounded our controller and started in on him.
We weren’t without our own retribution which came in the forms of our dwarf/invigorating fighter Vistra Ironshield and our half-orc rogue Tarak. While they started to make their way back to our Yddrio, the Emerald Claw minions rallied from the second shack and rushed Yddrio much to his consternation.
While all this was going on I was trying to keep one of the archers occupied so he couldn’t bombard our party with his alchemical-cheater arrows. My luck against him was not great and we went back and forth for many rounds it seemed like without much success. I guess I did manage to keep him focused on me instead of our other four party members.
The fight going on the beach worked its way to the dock where it remained for the rest of the fight. During all of this Flick was doing his best to keep the other Dark Lantern members up and fighting.
Back and forth we went for a couple of rounds until all the minions had filed out of the shacks and joined the fight. Once that happened we could better plan our strategy and start to overcome the oppositions numbers.
Once the minions were eliminated we could start to double-up on the elite fighters and eliminate them which only left the archers. I was joined by Vistra and in short order we had eliminated the remaining combatants.
We searched the bodies and discovered some coin and a couple of items of note; a shield that Vistra quickly snatched up like it was a buy-one-get-one free pony-keg of grog down at the Sandy Oyster Inn. Other items went to appropriate party members (I forget what they were).
After the battle we get our ship over to the dry dock and start to make ready for repairs. What we need now is some supplies which the jungle should provide for us. A small skill challenge ensued and we collected our materials for repairs.
On the first night after the beach combat we starting hearing noises coming from within the jungle, just far enough away that we might think whatever was making it would move on. The second night the noise was starting to get closer. Picture the sound of the T-Rex from the original Jurassic Park movie…amplified. That is what we started hearing. Shadows also started to grow more and more as if supernaturally occurring. The third night 2 of the ship’s crew were missing. The shadows were really starting to get darker and more dense now as well. The crew started to really freak out and not be able to work effectively. We decided to head into the jungle and face whatever it was that was causing all the ruckus.
It didn’t take long to find what was causing it; it came in the form of what at one time must have been a T-Rex but was now some sort of hybrid. It had the body of a Rex with differences to the tail, having spikes growing out of it and the shoulders that had some sort of short tendril like things protruding from it. The worst though was the head. Where it’s impressive maw used to be was now a mass of writhing tentacles. The dreaded Cthullu-saurus Rex was now upon us and our minds as well as our bodies were at risk. Our bodies maybe survive the fight but our minds might get shattered in the process. I think we found what had shattered the minds of all the Emerald Claw we fought earlier.
There were the little tendrils that came off it’s back to settle around it, represented by blue dice in the image below, that attacked you if you either ended near or moved by them (I believe).
We spread out so we all wouldn’t get attacked with group attacks it would likely have. Unfortunately for us it had a burst/aura’s of 5 each and made it near impossible to stay out of range. All except Yddrio who was able to position himself strategically out of its effective range while being within his.
To start the round off we rolled for initiative and were happy to find out that it rolled a 7, super low compared to the rest of our party who mostly landed in the 20’s. We weren’t so happy to find out that this thing had an instinctive charge that happened every turn at his initiative +10, so at 17. This meant not all of us did get to go before it and thus not able to space out as much as would like.
It charged and hit 3 of the 4 Black Lanterns it attacked, scoring a critical hit on Flick, before we could respond. We did and did well however this fight was far from over. During the course of the combat, it was able to control both Tarak our half-orc rogue and myself, a dragonborn barbarian and sent us charging over to our pixie Flick to give a beat-down. I avoided hitting Flick but no such luck from Tarak who squarely smashed Flick. Now octopus-face got his regular attack and attack us all again with a group attack. He rolled a critical hit on Flick doing max damage and after doing more than 90 points of damage through its actions in 1 round, extinguished our pixie’s life force.
At seeing this, we all rallied with a ferocity I have only ever seen at a buy-one-get-one free pony-kegs of grog night down at the Sandy Oyster Inn, we felled the mighty beast. It was a bitter-sweet victory for lying between the talons of one of the creatures clawed feet was our poor Flick Thistlebottom like so much toe-jam waiting to be scooped out.
We gathered our fallen comrade and made our way back to the ship hoping that there wouldn’t be anything nastier than the awesome might of the Cthullu-saurus Rex we would have to face before we made repairs and set sail.
Here are our characters for you to associate name to faces with.
More to come…