Here’s what happened in last night’s game in which we welcomed back Georg and probably said goodye to Rob for a bit. Each PC gets a massive 2,600 xp.
17th December (contd.)
As the PCs head back through the forest to find the Black Prince, they run into a familiar face - the wizard-hating genasi swordmage Mal’uk, last seen chasing after a thieving kobold in the tunnels beneath Zobeck. Their former adventuring companion has come to the forest in search of the Shadow Courts, having heard that a copy of a rare ritual he is after can be found in the library. The PCs shrug their shoulders and allow Mal’uk to tag along as they join the Prince and his entourage at their camp in a forest glade.
Here, Lord Chelessfield, Master of the Alpine Marches, finally deigns to duel with Brave Ella and is quickly taught an archery lesson, losing the duel before he can land a single blow. After listening to the Prince’s hunting stories and enjoying some roast boar, the party set off after the White Hart (a hart is a mature stag). As they wander the forest, they spot a smouldering nest up a tree. Krivinn climbs up for a closer look and catches a glimpse of the legendary golden Firebird in the distance. The PCs, having decide earlier not to hunt the bird, change their minds and go after the creature. When Ella drives the Firebird towards the other PCs, Krivinn teleports next to it and grabs hold of it. With help from Saethus, the paladin bundles it into his bag of holding.
Returning through the woods to the Prince’s lodge, the party are attacked by a group of centaurs and firbolgs led by a satyr. The centaurs fire volleys of arrows into the PCs as the satyr gives three of the party living nightmares. The centaurs don’t survive very long though, as Saethus takes them down with a storm cage, followed by a fireball, after Khuma’s opening attack. Krivinn, Mal’uk and Khuma attack the three firbolgs as Ella fires arrows into the fey giants. Khuma charges and falls over, but despite this, the PCs are victorious. Only the spellcasting satyr survives, slipping away to fight another day.
Back at the lodge, Krivinn opens the bag of holding to let the Firebird have some air; its screeches are masked by Khuma’s awful fiddle playing and Ella’s even worse “Nee Ha” song.
The hunting trip is over and the Prince’s party returns to the palace. The PCs go back to their living quarters to make themselves presentable where they are met by the antenna’ed servant of the Demon Lord of Roaches, Akyishigal. They are invited to meet the demon “at the bottom of the Black Well tonight at moonrise.” The party have more pressing business, though, and head for the Great Hall to present the Firebird to the Queen.
The Queen of Night and Shadow is delighted with the party’s gift but is not impressed when Krivinn turns down her invitation to become the royal consort and her lover. The ungrateful paladin is sent packing and the Queen is then not mindful to listen to Ella’s entreaties. The PCs have no alternative but to leave the hall.
Meeting Krivinn at the top of the Black Well, the party descends into the darkness. At the bottom, Akyishigal awaits and asks the party if they are servants or food. The paladin replies with “no, we are your killers” and battle is joined. The demon lord is defended by seven roachlings who are either hard to slay or explode when the PCs deliver one a fatal blow. Akyishigal is even more fearsome, grabbing the PCs and engulfing them in hundreds of biting cockroaches. When bloodied, he splits into nine separate swarms which the party have to destroy one at a time. Saethus flees in terror but the other PCs stand firm and Mal’uk finally brings down the Demon Lord.