Encounters recap 29 Jul 15

Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, low-level dungeons, Mount Mayhem, Winged Elves, Les Yay

The Schematic Map of the Temple of the Elements.

The party returns to the Temple of the Elements Dungeon, this time entering through the Temple of Howling Hatred, Point A in the abstract map. This is the first half of a two-part series I call “I wanted this floor to be easy, but….”

Instead of scaling this floor to fit the party, I used the standard bad guy layout, hoping that the players will breeze through this floor and move on deeper into Fane of the Eye, which is where they were the deepest.

However, I didn’t count on the shenanigans brought on by the players, in what I’d like to call Mount Mayhem. I’ll use that to describe the tendency of all the players to put mounts or their characters, no matter how off the wall they can be. We went form pigs, which someone of the party reduced to bacon, to a giant frog that wasn’t originally in the set-up—don’t ask; it involves speak with animals with the tiny frogs in the game—to the wyvern one of the Skyweavers had, which they flew right into the step pyramid where Aerisi was sitting in.

I know I should never underestimate the inguinity of the players on the table, but they keep surprising me. During the ensuing battle, where I dropped the character—Kyle’s second Wild Mage no less—who had the wyvern mount, another PC tried to wrest it from him. Now I have to deal with a duel in the pyramid for the wyvern…and Chase will return next week with his own Bulette.

And I’ll have some very interesting developments at the start of the next session.

By this time, I see more developments of the Custom Realms while I’m working. I’ve already turned some previous NPCs into their own unique lives, such as Coran in Baldur’s Gate, and Dralmorrer Borngray from Hoard of the Dragon Queen. I’m doing the same to the Cults of Elemental Evil.

I’ve been looking around the net in my spare time for developments in other games. Since I didn’t touch the Believers cult in Red Larch, so I didn’t even have them in my version of Red Larch. The town is still pretty stock with the sole addition of my replacement witch in The Helm in Highsun, who has become the hero—and sweetheart—of the city. Compare that with some campaigns where Harburk turned into Vlad Dracul levels of extremism.

Most of my developments occur with the cultists the party has encountered so far:

Marlos Urnrayle

He’s stuck deeper in the Temple, either in the Fane of the Eye level or further below in the Black Geode. He lost Ironfang, so he’s looking for an alternate weapon for the rematch, something that can equal in his attacks and unlock the node to release the Prince Elemental, or find a way to get Ironfang back.

Aerisi Kalinoth

Four Words: Illusionary Wings My Ass. I gave Aerisi real wings that really lift her off the ground. Because that’s what Aerisi would’ve wanted. Maybe the Air Prince Elemental granted her those wings for her service to said elemental. Or maybe she magically grafted the wings on her own body, fueled by her narcissism and her desire to become a winged elf herself. Anyway, she doesn’t need to convince people that she is an avariel, like in the published module. She really is an avariel.

Savra Belabranta

The Fethergale Nights aren’t a cover for the Cult of Howling Hatred, but a legitimate patrol group created by the Lord’s Alliance. (Contrast with the Sacred Stone Monks) Again, this is to speed up the storyline. But Savra is irrevocably wooed by Aerisi to be her right hand prophet, so loyal to her that she has fallen in love with her. I have her use Windharrow’s stats with Aerisi’s spells, and used Chain Lightning to one round Kyle’s character.

Windharrow

To account for the time elapsed so far, I changed some positions of the Initiates in training, as well as getting those who are with Windharrow some actual skill in those bone flutes.

Unfortunately that skill didn’t save him from one of Bill’s favorite tactics. Open Door, lob in fireball like a Dragon Slave Grenade, Close Door, wait for results.

Windharrow survived this floor twice, first by saving against the fireball, taking half damage, and again as he accompanied Savra in the pyramid, where he used Dimension Door to get himself and Savra out of the action. They’re going to regroup and come back—probably at the Fane of the Eye level—for a big boss battle.

I hoped to see some more developments in my Virtual Table campaign, but I had similar problems with that party—even with the new players—and their desire for strange mounts. Stay Tuned for the Dreams of the Red Wizards recaps.

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