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In which the Big Bad issues a fatal warning to Clora, and “persuades” Treffen to negotiate…

I could have sworn there were more of us…

Unfortunately the players for Yangrit[1] and Ferus[2] were both absent on Wednesday. This meant that the party was down by a third when the fight happened, and it really showed[3].

Signing up with Damien

Most of the party agreed to become a special unit for the High Inquisitor Damien. Kalmar is waiting until he hears that this is OK from the head of his order.

It also turns out that Damien’s heavy crossbow is an intelligent[4] magic item that can cast Greater Invisibility on itself. Neat trick that.

Damien directs the group to return to Karinith, and it turns out that Desi is part of Damien’s Tiefling unit. Desi is as close to a pacifist as can be found in this Crapsack World only fighting in defence, and even then usually through her eidolon or other summoned creatures. The party will also be escorting Saella back to the Order of Iomedae for atonement.

The party prepared for about a day, including Menander making enough rune stones to repair the faery circle roughly between Sirith and Karinith.

On the Road

The first weeks travel is mostly quiet, and brings the party into the massive forests surrounding Karinith. Diverting towards the faery circle the party spots the Silver homunculus.

Treffen waves at it for want of anything useful that the party could do. The homunculus points the party towards a pre-made campsite just when it’s needed for the night.

The party knew this was a trap, but didn’t see any alternatives, so set up camp and set watches.

The Contract Hit

In the middle of the first watch three “elves” appear and attempt to gain information from Clora and Treffen. This is an odd interaction that rapidly devolves into a fight once Kalmar and Menander are woken.

Kalmar is unarmoured, and Menander lacks his shield.

It doesn’t help that the elves are actually Dandasukas who have been contracted by the Big Bad to take out Clora.

Apparently Clora refused to join him/her/it[5] and the Big Bad took offence.

This was a nasty fight – all three Dandasuka’s ganged up on Clora and she went down in the 2nd round. The fight was only won in the end through Saella and Desi intervening at the last.

The willingness of the Dandasukas to chow down on Clora’s body during the fight helped the party regroup some.

Menander’s perfect record of never hitting in combat remains unbroken[6].

Another annoyance early was Clora’s spell resistance blocking one a full strength Cure Light Wounds from Menander[7].

Counting the Cost

During the fight a scroll was dropped by one of the Dandasukas which turned out to be the contract on Clora written in Undercommon and signed “Manx” in Necral. Treffen obtained that information by way of the Comprehend Languages spell[8].

The purple homunculus also showed up at this point and advised the party that there was also a contract out Treffen. A meeting between Treffen and the Son of the Prince might lead to this contract being called off.

Treffen agrees to the meeting, and this will happen at some point in the future.

Under the circumstances the party abandoned the attempt to repair the faery circle[9] and retreated uneventfully to Karinith with Clora’s remains. Lord Damien arranges for her resurrection, but drafts her into another unit.

Commentary

Most of the session was the very nasty fight, and one that revealed that spell resistance as a major flaw in Clora’s build. There will be a replacement character next session, possibly an Oracle of Life, without that flaw.

The rest of the party is surprisingly hard to kill with significant amounts of secondary healing about. If I’m not mistaken all of the surviving three characters from this session have some level of healing available, but that comes partially at a cost of offensive ability.

This meant that the absence of the heavy hitters was painfully obvious, and also dented Menander’s effectiveness as a buff character. The force multipliers from buffing the party work better when there’s more to buff…

The Big Bad taking out contracts like this is a nasty development this early in the game, especially as the party cannot effectively hide from the Big Bad or the contract hitters.

That might become possible later, but right now the best the party can do is to wave at the homunculi and attempt witty banter in their general direction.

I’m heading to Perth next Wednesday so I won’t be at session 7, hopefully I’ll get a recap at some point. If there’s a combat next week it will be interesting to hear how much not having Menander there affects things.

[1] The Two-Handed fighter with a tendency to hand out massive critical hits.

[2] The Ninja with a tendency to hand out massive amounts of sneak attack damage.

[3] There were other issues as well, but more on that later.

[4] To quote Dream Park: “I once had a sword, or should I say it once had me…”

[5] The gender of the Big Bad is still a matter of conjecture.

[6] Not something to be proud of, but it is funny. Even Clora managed to do more damage in combat. 🙂

[7] Yes, Clora had spell resistance that applied to beneficial spells. Let us not speak further of this, lest the post descend into ranting.

[8] Both languages are now on the “Learn Soon” list for Menander.

[9] For now…