In which the party’s problems of fighting at range become apparent. Hit points are optional, right?
Finishing up at the Faery Circle
Victa points out some ruins about two weeks to the north where something, but not fey, is wrong. However, Kizen reminds the party that Lord Damien expects the party back in Karinith in a day or so. Apparently there is a mission for the party to do.
Speaking of which the party returns to Karinith to take care of the usual sort of things. i.e:
1) Menander disposed of the loot (the Miser’s Mask and the Headband of Counterspells) for 1,916gp for each member of the party
2) Yangrit heads to the Temple of Iomedae to get that nasty strength damage healed
3) Ferus goes shopping, and picks up a posse of adoring kids. The flowers growing in his tail are the trick there, especially when they change colours.
4) Treffen organises for the disposal of the teleport stone by passing it to Alysia.
What a Coincidence
The party is duly summoned to report to Lord Damien to be assigned the mission of exploring the very same ruins that Victa pointed out. There is clearly some sort of curse on these ruins, one that fogs memories of people visiting there.
Damien has already lost at least one unit to the ruins, and it is for jobs like this that the all too expendable party were recruited in the first place.
The ruins predate the apocalypse by some hundreds of years, with no records as to who built them. Damien speculates that these would have been Dwarven built.
Damien also reminds the party that making a habit of restoring faery circles will bring Menander to Deandra’s attention sooner or later.
Kalmar spent some time talking to a unit of paladins that recently passed the ruins. They could sense the wrongness of the place, but were on a mission and couldn’t stop to investigate. One of them claims to have seen a flying imp. Kalmar also finds out that the Order of the Sword will be marching in force to Ryx, there has indeed been a new tunnel found in the children’s quarter.
Some analysis, mostly by Treffen, concludes that the ruins are probably cursed to make people forget that the ruins are there, but that the curse is weakening. The curse is probably tied to a focus object that can be destroyed.
A delegation from Ryx also believes this to be an ancient dwarven settlement from long before the apocalypse.
That business of Menander coming to Deandra’s attention sooner or later? Try sooner. Menander hasn’t met Deandra yet, but he did report to her second, a Samsaran named Eliza, to provide instructions on how to restore the faery circles. Menander also advised her to turn over the teleport way points to Lord Damien (for the entertainment of Alysia if nothing else).
From here the party headed off to the ruins, which was two weeks on uninterrupted travel.
Scouting out the Ruins
The wrongness started to be felt about a half day away from the ruins. The party once again headed for the ruins in the morning, and confirmed that this was a dwarven settlement once.
The main entrance is sealed from the outside, and there are four bodies just outside. It looks like a last stand, and although the bodies have been looted by goblins, the damage was done by something much more powerful than goblins with flaming arrows.
Treffen deduces that there is probably a side entrance, and Ferus goes looking for it. This also turns out to be sealed, with the addition of a warding circle over it. The sort that goes with summoning/binding magic, and again intended to keep the Sealed Evil in A Can.
On returning to the main entrance, there are signs of a similar circle, but this one has already been broken.
This is when the party bites the bullet and enters through the main entrance
Well, this could be dicey…
The situation inside is a smallish antechamber leading into a much bigger audience hall. Dwarven construction designed to be impressive.
Unfortunately it is also dark, there are members of the party like Kalmar who can’t see in the dark, oh and an Erinyes hovering 30 feet in the air firing flaming arrows at Kalmar.
Did I mention that the party is maybe a little weak in ranged combat?
Oh, and one of the nasty abilities of the Erinyes, particularly when facing a mostly good aligned party, is Unholy Blight at will as a spell like ability.
Fortunately the party was able to retreat out of the direct line of fire, and the Erinyes followed to where it could be engaged in melee.
Equally fortunately there was a full party of 6 that Menander could buff using the Marshal and Cavalier abilities.
Even so this was a very close fight. Ferus went to negative hit points at least once from the Unholy Blights, Kalmar went negative during the melee, and I think all of the PCs were in single digit hit points during the last round.
Having knocked Kalmar down, it pretty much came down to whether Yangrit could get the final hit in before the Erinyes cast Unholy Blight again. Yangrit managed it, but I think the party is going to drain a fair chunk of its healing before advancing further into the ruins.
That was a challenging fight, and a satisfying one to win. To win it the party had to work effectively as a team, even to little things like Treffen stepping close enough to give Kalmar flanking bonuses, etc.
This fight drained the mythic power of the party hard – I think Yangrit is out for the day, and most of the party would have used at least 40-60% in that area alone.
That sort of teamwork is good to see, and it makes for a fun session. As I’m coming to expect Caitlin handled the Erinyes in a convincing way.
Yes, logically, simply casting Unholy Blight every round would have easily won the fight for the Erinyes, but smacking the paladin down with a sword is probably what it would have wanted to do. This is what gave the party its chance, and it wasn’t wasted. Still a close run thing though.
Although the party hasn’t levelled up, Caitlin has asked for Mythic Tier 2 character sheets to be prepared. So here’s what Menander will look like at Mythic Tier 2, and I’m looking forward to the chance to use it.
Snarky Bits Start Here
 This is not entirely a joke. The fight may well have ended with all PCs on single digit hit points, and at two went negative during the fight at least once.
 That would essentially have been in the gap between sessions 6 and 7. So overlooking it was fairly natural.
 Better Alysia than the party. The last time the party meddled with one of those things involved hell hounds and a Cerberus. Explosions were heard coming from Alysia’s office. Besides, she seems to enjoy it…
 First Saella, now Damien. Same song, different singer. Damien pays better though.
 To keep something inside presumably. So naturally the party will be heading inside at the first opportunity.
 Actually very weak. Menander has a fairly good bow, but it takes time to prepare. In some respects this party is the mirror of the previous Pathfinder group which was ranged combat heavy. Still, if we can hang on to the Erinyes’ bow, and hand that to Yangrit…
 I think Menander is moving up Caitlin’s targeting priorities at the moment. I heard muttering when Precise Strike was called using Tactician, and it will only get worse once Menander adds Pincer Movement from Battle Herald to the mix.
 He was coming back though, Fast Healing 5 for a minute is a fairly awesome Guardian path ability.
 Ally gets 4 + 1D6 AC against one attack.
 Two points of mythic power, and Menander gets 7 of those a day at that point.