July 11th, 2010

St George

The Ongoing Adventures of the Juma Gang, 17th Session: The Old Mill

Here's what happened in this afternoon's game. Six encounters in one session of 4e is a record for us! Each PC gets 835 xp.

3rd Iunius

The PCs head back into the city and sell their excess loot. After this, they travel back down the road towards the old mill. Just as they are about to turn off the main road, the party spot a corpse by the roadside being fed on by an unkindness of ravens. Juma scares most of them away with a hellish rebuke and Ulthar steps forward to investigate. When the warlord gets close up, he realises the body is that of Latimer – the half-orc member of the Crimson Hand who originally sold the Dev’shir necklace at Girik’s. The ravens attack - among them is one with several red feathers. Hrothgar rushes up and kills the red-feathered raven; Gil and Sora kill the others. 

The fight over, Sora tries to speak with dead using a ritual scroll but fails to learn anything from the corpse.

The PCs approach the windmill, heading into the corn fields surrounding it. Up ahead are several sinister-looking scarecrows - two of them struggle free from the posts they are strapped to and attack the party. Hrothgar sneaks through the corn at speed and then charges one of the living scarecrows who turns out to be an unliving ghoul. Gil casts fireball, blasting all five of the scarecrows. Unfortunately only two are ghouls - the other three are two regular mannequins and an innocent farmer who is burned alive. Obviously, the spell also starts a nice fire which sets the cornfield ablaze.

Further into the fields, the PCs run into some more scarecrow-ghouls. Gil sets fire to another lot of growing corn with fire shroud and Hrothgar charges up to a restrained scarecrow, cutting its head off. Only at the last minute does he realise it’s not a ghoul - instead, it’s another human captive, this time a woman. He shrugs to himself and apologises to Sora.

Outside the windmill, the PCs encounter the third bunch of scarecrows but these ones are clearly animated creatures rather than ghouls dressed up. Hrothgar charges in, followed by Ulthar and Juma  once they’ve shrugged off the effects of their opponent’s frightening pumpkin-head gaze, leaving Sora to stand guard over Gil. Ulthar shouts out “are you going to abandon him or do your duty, Sora?” when it looks like the paladin is contemplating moving. After a short battle, all three scarecrows are destroyed and the PCs head towards the sliding doors at the side of the windmill.

Hrothgar checks the doors but still manages to trigger a glyph of warding, which sets fire to Sora and Ulthar. Gil cast knock but doesn’t get the doors open; however, Juma is able to pick the lock, revealing a metal grain chute heading down into darkness. Securing a rope, Ulthar bravely heads down with Gil’s light spell shining forth from his greataxe. As the warlord arrives in the cellar below, he is jumped by three giant spiders. Luckily, all of them miss him and two scuttle away to the dark corners of the room. Ulthar strikes back, hitting first with a critical and then spending an action point to follow up with another hit which kills the spider stone dead. The others come below to help out and attempt to corner the spiders but their death from above leaps allow them to jump past the other PCs to attack Gil repeatedly. The wizard’s comrades are keen not to see their friend fall though: Hrothgar kills the second spider and Sora slays the third.

After searching the room, the PCs enter the grist chamber. Juma pulls the lever to activate the grist stone mechanism while the others search the small storeroom, finding a secret door. Beyond is a natural-hewn passage heading downwards. Hrothgar takes the lead and the others follow, coming into a large cavern with an underground river bisecting it.

As the party enters the cave, zombies step out of the water; across the stream, the PCs spot Cadavra the witch and a corruption corpse. Cadavra attacks first, striking Hrothgar with her lightning serpent spell as the zombies move in to engage with the party. Gil casts flaming sphere at Cadavra and Jihad teleports across to strike the necromancer with dual lightning strike and burning blade. Hrothgar leaps across the river to join in the attack. His movement draws an opportunity attack from a zombie which triggers Jihad’s aegis of assault! The swordmage pings back and kills the zombie but the barbarian fails to hit Cadavra. Meanwhile the corruption corpse hurls gobs of necrotic filth at the gnoll. Sora, Ulthar and Jihad finish off the remaining zombies as the witch dimension doors away from Hrothgar, hits him with a necrotic blast and then disappears! The gnoll charges the corruption corpse with the other PCs hot on his heels but it’s Hrothgar that delivers the killing blow. Unfortunately, the undead creature explodes as it’s struck, showering the barbarian in unholy goop!