And now the end to our thrilling tale...
The Heroes of Ander's Farm vs. The Scaly God, final report (part 2)
Although brimming with purpose after having been given a sub-quest by the pechs, the party surprised me by considering turning on the earth fey and stealing their stuff. But this was not to come to pass, as time will tell...
The heroes marched back up to the troglodyte caves above them, failing to Spot a mountain trog clinging to the ceiling. The trog skittered away, and they saw him as he fled into the darkness (elf, three humans, and a halfling mean no darkvision). The ranger turned into a wolf (using the cloak she found in Halls of the Minotaur) and gave chase...right into a really big ambush.
The trogs, you see, had gotten sick of these humans (and elf and halfling) stomping around their caves, and had decided to do something about it. As a result, the party faced the sub-chief, the shaman, the chief, and a few schmucks all at once.
The wolf-ranger got missed by a ton of javelins, and realized she was in over her head. The rest of the party caught up just as she came barreling around the corner, yipping. The shaman starts off with a beefy cause fear, making the fighter flee combat. Down their meatwall, the fight got serious. The chief waded into the party, believing himself to be bullet-proof (and he kinda was). The rogue tumbled past the fray and set himself up for a flank (eventually taking down the shaman, who failed to cast defensively the rest of the fight), but drawing the attention of the sub-chief. The schmucks hung back and threw ineffectual javelins.
Things continued to go sour for the party. The rogue was dropped to -9 hp, and the sub-chief (extrapolating from the storyline laid out by the module) looted his body in mid-combat (he wasn't threatened) to find steel weapons. On his next turn, the rogue STABILIZED! Amazing.
The warlock shattered the chief's greataxe, but that only allowed the chief to open up the claw/claw/bite routine, which dropped the ranger. By this time, the fighter was no longer afeared, and rejoined the fight. The cleric bounced back and forth between the downed ranger and the fighter, who AGAIN was dropped and AGAIN chose to fight from prone and AGAIN was 100% more effective from that position, eventually killing the chief.
With the chief and shaman dead, the schmucks fled, leaving the sub-chief and his (Small) shortsword. He dropped the fighter (again) and paused to pick up his bastard sword. Now properly armed, it looked like he was going to fillet the warlock when a last-ditch eldritch blast finished him off.
Collecting heads, the party explored the rest of the mountain troglodyte caves, finding little treasure and no more trogs. Returning to the pech, they exchanged the heads for their due reward...that ring of stone tell.
The party returned to the "save point" and rested. By this time the wand of cure light wounds they found during Hall of the Minotaur was expended, but they party decided to press on rather than return to Whitefang Keep.
This decision would ultimately cost them their lives.
[It was getting late, so I decided to excise the rest of the module in favor of getting to Rathulagon...which is too bad, 'cause there was a lot of good-times adventure-meat left]
The party, healed and rested, started marching down into the darkness. A very, very long and winding road later, they entered the final cavern with the waterfall and tricky bridge.
[Everything was reading "boss fight"...the HUGE cave, the waterfall, the really long trek...everything.]
The party crossed the bridge safely and started advancing by torchlight along the cave's far wall...cleanly illuminating them to the dragon's 120 ft. darkvision.
I had the party make Listen checks to hear Rathulagon scrabbling out of his nook, and then they did something I could not believe.
They got in a line.
They had found a blue scale earlier, had seen the lightning damage on Whitefang Keep, and had talked to Otto about the natures of various dragons. Yet, they got in a line.
Rathulagon, being evil and not dumb, couldn't pass it up. KRAKA-BOOM!
One line of lightning later, the cloistered cleric, the warlock, and the fighter were all dead. The halfling saved and survived due to evasion, and only the ranger was not in the path.
At that point we called it a TPK...Rathulagon had been roused and there was no way the ranger and rogue alone could stand against him.
The party had a good run of it, but in the end Rathulagon was too much for them [even after I downgraded him to young]. The party enjoyed the game and the module, and we all immediately agreed to play a new campaign.
So thanks to Rick for writing a badass, fun module!
When we get going again, I'll post more storytimes about other DCCs we play.
Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63
Author: DCC #55: Isle of the Sea Drake, DCC #61: Citadel of the Corruptor, more to come....