It never fails. The Sun goes up, the Sun goes down. Seasons change, babies are born, people die. Whenever a superhero goes into a bank it gets robbed. And whenever my birthday rolls around, it storms. Not rains, storms. With hail, high winds and the occasional tornado.
This weekend’s Birthday Storm managed to wait until after I came home, however. But the yearly shit didn’t stop hitting the fan until Tuesday. Of course.
Out of the Abyss; Wednesday 27 Apr
I sped through most of the Menzoberranzan chapter and focused on Gromph Baenre’s tower. The city, thanks to Gromph’s ritual bringing the demon lords to the Underdark, looks a lot like an underground Syria. The once proud and arrogant City of Spiders now looks like the aftermath of a war zone, complete with former highborn drow with thousand-yard stares. It’d give people the impression that Lolth has forsaken her own people.
In a way you’d be right: Lolth did use that ritual to dump eight demon lords into the material plane so she’d get more room for herself in the Abyss. You’d think that a plane of existence would be roomy enough.
This wasn’t the first time she did something self-harmful in the name of self-promotion: In the latter stage of the 4th Edition Spellplague era, Lolth sought out other planes to incorporate into her Demonweb. Those who played DDO’s Menace of the Underdark know what I’m talking about. In my Foxfire Forgotten Realms, she did this to several other realms, including one that was a mirror image of her home realm.
A Forgotten Realms where Lolth didn’t become Lolth.
In this particular realm, Lolth met her former self, Araunshee.
The two looked at each other, thought each was a twisted abomination of the other, and they’ve been having a cold war with each other since.
Araunshee wants revenge against her demonic version of herself for destroying her world, and what better way to do that is usurp her role as deity of the Forgotten Realms’ drow? Through a secret alliance with several native drow deities, and some meetings with Corellon Larethian (patron deity of the Elves, which Araunshee became in her old world) she founded the Council of Spiders. These are a group of drow mages, fighters, rogues, and possibly Jaraxle Baenre and some of his Bregan D’aerthe company. They wish to rebuild Menzoberanzan to their ‘proper’ deity’s image.
Which makes Vizeran’s plan of setting the Dark Heart ritual there problematic to some of the group. Right now Menzoberranzan is in ruins thanks to the first meeting of the Demon Lords. The Second Meeting will wipe it off the map. Dare the party force me to make a second massacre in the Forgotten Realms, or would they go up and try to convince Vizeran for an alternate location for the ritual, like Neverlight Grove?
Something tells me I’m going to add another name to the list of Forgotten Relams deities pissed off at me.
Lost Mine of Phandelver; Saturday 30 Apr
Remember what I said about the birthday storm. It often choses the time that it’ll do the most damage. This year, it showed up when I was starting to stream this session. I had to log off for about 90 minutes.
Was I laughing or crying? I think both.
Fortunately for me, other players were offline with work and it was one of those off sessions. Those who stayed managed to do some shopping and even beefed up Linka with eight Rings of Protection +2, they are Attuned as a single item, giving the Pandaren Drunken Monk a whopping AC of 37!
Yep. She’ll be the fluffy tank. A tank that can leap up in the air with Daggers drawn (now including a +3 Dagger and another that deals Chill Touch damage) spread eagle and yelling out “LOVE ME!!!” I do so love playing her.
Of course that tactic don’t work when leaping on top of a dracolich who can cast Hunger of Hadar. A female panda dressed like Katsumi from Dead or Alive; a spell that created a darkened area filled of tentacles? Sigh. Why does my sessions go into Hentai sessions all the time?
Hoard of the Dragon Queen; Sunday May 1
Just when I thought I was through with crap on my birthday, when I started to stream this session, Infiniscene Code 101’d on me! (Code 101: Disney Castmemeber slang for technical difficulties-slash-out of order. Even though I’m not CM material, I adopted some of their lingo by friends who were CMs) While others in the group did suggest that I use more traditional means of streaming, like OBS, I just don’t have the ability to use that program properly. I do have multiple machines to have one do the table while another streams, but getting video from one computer and into another computer that’s a foot or two away is problematic. There are cables and cards that will send video from one computer to another directly, but they are currently cost-prohibitive. Anyone who would help me out here, like what Spacehampzter Boo did with Tabletop Simulator, will be greatly appreciated.
Over at the session then. The party is split, with Grumzer the dwarf in the bushes after attempting to rescue Leoshin from the Cult. Meanwhile, the rest of the party was inside the Luggage as it was carried away by a Cultist’s wagon train.
Justin figured out a couple things while he was in there. One, the Luggage’s inside is much larger on the inside. Two, it might be a good idea to set up some variant of Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion into the Luggage, for circumstances like this. How to do that without making something like putting a Bag of Holding into a Portable Hole is up in the air though.
And finally, with the mouth ajar, he was able to at least peek out and see what is going on. Getting off the wagon, scampering to the bushes and waiting for the party to leave is no problem for Justin’s trained Mimic. What it needed is a diversion, and that took some doing. There were some options, including setting fire to a wagon and letting dragonborn monk Malakai breathe fire out the hole. In the end, a discrete cut of a rope and a bump on the trail was enough to free the Luggage, and the party.
They returned to the Raiders camp to find it more or less deserted, with only the cave to the Dragon’s Hachery guarded. Ildar was useful in getting some guards to leave, but eventually everyone in the cavern caught wise and the session ended in a classic 300 scenario where the heroes funnel the bad guys through a narrow passage.
Will they prove more successful than Leonidas? Will my computer hang-ups subside? Can I have a May 2 with a clear sky?
….do I have to shank Mr. Murphy in order to answer yes to all three questions?