Well, over a week has passed since our second D&D session, so it’s probably about time I did the write-up. (I started this post a week ago, so now we’ve even had the third session and I’m just getting around to posting the report for the second.)
For this one, the player roster changed a little; two of the players from the first session couldn’t make it and we had one new one who hadn’t been able to make the first session.
The party decided to continue from the abandoned church where the zombies had just attacked without attempting to take an extended rest there. Continuing along the eastern bank of the lake (apparently the group had been heading around the lake to the east rather than the west–the picture which was shown in the first session was wrong), they found it easier to keep to the trail, but were soon ambushed by tiny animate toys.
There followed an enjoyable combat where the ranger Pelyt (Kalen? Who’s that?) stood back firing arrows while Desh stood doing nothing (player not in attendance), perhaps due to a latent fear of children’s toys? The party overcame the attackers and continued on, eventually reaching a moderately-sized two-story house, constructed from what Gavin recognized as the wood of the blood-feeding trees, and now that he noticed it, all the buildings in the town had been as well.
The voice of the gnome greeted them, apparently from the top floor of the house, calling for the group to come in. A few arrows shot through the upper windows only elicited more taunting. Eventually Desh was induced to approach the front door, at which point the welcome mat revealed itself to be a trapdoor, and dropped him out of sight before closing again.
Once the brief surprise wore off, Kezon walked up and opened the front door, careful to avoid stepping on the welcome mat. Everyone immediately noticed a very obvious pressure platejust inside the door and another before the back door which was direclty across, so the party decided to go around and break in through a window. This vandalism went smoothly, and the group stepped into the house. They noticed another two obvious pressure plates, one in front of a different window and another near the stairs. There were two sets of stairs, one leading up and one leading down.
Kezon, now that he had avoided the trap, let curiosity get the better of him, and used his sword to gently press down the pressure plate near the window, assuming the trap would be a simple and non-magical. That assumption proved to be faulty, and panels opened in the ceiling to reveal crossbows, one above each of the four pressure plates, which began actually taking aim and firing at the party. There were a few seconds during which the party members attempted to fight back, but Elarion decided that sticking around to fight these magical crossbow traps wasn’t a good idea, and headed for the stairs. Gavin suggested taking the stairs down rather than up, on a hunch that the trickster gnome might not be where he had seemed to be. Kezon used his dragonborn strength to lift a large table from the center of the room and use it as a shield to protect Pelyt and himself from the crossbow bolts as they headed for the stairs, following the rest of the party.
The adventurers had not expected what greeted them at the bottom of the stairs: a large dungeon-like room of stone, containing four prison cells and a hallway opposite them with a door leading to another room beyond. It was occupied by two fire beetles and three orcs, which the group summarily defeated. After searching the cells and finding a ruby in the boot of a dead human prisoner, they took a few minutes to rest and then opened the door into the next room. It was larger than the previous room, with a long line of tables and matching benches for coarse dining along one wall, a double door leading to another room on the opposite wall, and an enormous cauldron in the center of the room complemented by flames beneath.
The room was full of orcs, and they didn’t look friendly.
Gavin pointed his staff and vines erupted from the floor, tearing apart three orcs at the back of the room before they could react. Pelyt loosed some arrows into the fray, and an orc with a large axe rushed foward to attack Gavin and Kezon. One of the orcs at the back of the room took a torch off the wall and a large trapdoor opened in the floor, revealing a pit ten feet deep and equally wide just before the cauldron in the center of the room. Elarion struck a few times with a lance of faith and kept Kezon healed enough to face the large axe-wielding orc. Gavin hurled seeds of primal energy which burst into flame on impact, causing the the less well-equipped orcs to hold back from rushing in to attack the party in the doorway. And another large orc from the back, this one with only one eye, began directing the enemy side of the battle and glaring at Kezon in such an unsettling manner that he had difficulty defending himself.
Pelyt, at the back of the group, was the first to hear stone collapsing from the room behind. It stopped quickly, but the entrance to this underground lair was blocked off. Kezon was rapidly losing ground against the orc with the large axe, so Elarion used a divine command to daze it send it to the floor. Gavin rushed into the fray, shifting into beast form to attack the evil-eye orc as Pelyt continued to fill the orcs with arrows. The prone orc continued to attack Kezon from the floor, but was soon overcome along with most of the other orcs. One-Eye was the last orc standing, but he soon succumbed to the party’s flagging efforts.
The group was exhausted; Kezon’s body couldn’t handle anymore healing without an extended rest, and everyone had expended their most powerful abilities back at the church fighting the zombies. None of the group was inclined to go any further without resting. They searched the room and the slain orcs, and found a very nice magical fullblade which Kezon immediately began to wield, as well as some more gold. Kezon collected all the bits of the orcs’ equipment which seemed valuable and tossed them in his bag of holding while the group dumped the cauldron of boiling pitch into the pit and used it and the tables to barricade the door to the next room.
It wasn’t long after they settled down to rest that the bashing from the other side of the door began. The party had a scant minute to prepare before a large, angry orc burst through the door despite the group’s attempt to block it, accompanied by an even larger dire wolf and an orc lackey. The group took down the grunt quickly, but Kezon didn’t have the strength left to stand toe to toe with the others, so for the most part he resorted to throwing handaxes he’d gotten from the orcs in the first room while the rest of the group did what they could to survive. Gavin shifted into beast form to attack the enemies with claws and teeth, and Pelyt was beset at close range, forcing him to draw his longsword. Elarion healed and helped with the attack, and in a flurry Gavin dazed both the orc boss and the dire wolf. The dire wolf went down shortly after, but the boss still seemed unfazed by the massive wounds he’d been dealt. The team continued to hit him with all they had, bloodying him, but that only made him more angry.
Kezon, from the back of the group, threw a handaxe to draw the orc’s ire while the rest of the party attempted to keep it from reaching him in hopes that it would be less effective at attacking when focused on Kezon. To the surprise of the adventurers, the orc was so enraged that he completely disregarded the attackers next to him and attempted to run around the pit in the floor to get at Kezon. Fortunately Gavin’s grasping claws prevented the orc from reaching its destination. But this meant it had to focus on Gavin, who was soon incapacitated by the assault. Finally Kezon was forced to take on the boss in melee, knowing that if he went down now, he wouldn’t be able to recover.
Everyone was relieved when the orc was finally finished, with Kezon barely bloodied. Elarion healed Gavin up, and after a short rest the group looked in the next room: a sleeping quarters with several beds for the orcs (one of which was occupied by Desh), and a chest with two power jewels, some gold and other miscellaneous loot. The gnome was there, cowering, saying that he was only a lowly toymaker, not the real threat. He couldn’t explain the behavior of his toys except to say that he had them attack the party because he felt threatened, but he said he was working for a necromancer the group would not be able to find unless they set him free in exchange for the information which would lead them to his boss.
Kezon kicked the gnome and he instantly disappeared, though the party could hear his feet running for the door. Everyone ran to block the door, and they were able to catch him as he became visible again. No one liked the gnome’s refusal to give up the information, but eventually the group promised not to attack the gnome again that day, and the gnome walked back through what turned out to be the illusory rubble blocking the stairs, yelling back to the group that the information was in his journal in the room on the top floor of the house. They didn’t see him again as they headed up the stairs, finding the traps disarmed. The journal was where the gnome had said it was.
The party returned to the town to relate the events of the night and get some much needed rest at the inn, wondering why there had been a garrison of orcs below the toymaker’s house.