Saturday, November 1, 2014

New Pantheon 4: Killing Skeletons and the Trip to Salton

Norb bursts out of his cell with all the pent up aggression of an Orc Barbarian with nothing to kill but beetles for 6 years. Our heroes are taken by surprise, and nowhere near at full health. One punch, claw, claw, bite later, and down goes Semprona. Another attack and down goes Jephthah. However, the crew is finally able to drag all 77 health out of the lunatic, and then wear him all the way down to negative constitution with him still on his feet.

Our heroes take stock of the rations, and realize there is about enough for 50 people for 7 days. They release the level 3 prisoners, swelling their numbers to about 60. A crazy, blabbering gnome named Sven is placed in the cell next to Patrick Corinthian, and blamed for Balthazar's death.

The remains of the burned down warehouse are looted, and a masterwork guisarme and 3,000gp are found.

Our heroes go off to find the mining crew that went left the previous morning. Jephthah tracks them through the jungle, and the group finds an abandoned Narset Colony. The see evidence that the missing guards and prisoners are taking refuge in a temple, but before they can take a closer look 24 skeletons (6 squads) appear in the alleyways of the various stone buildings.

Deciding that this CR 8 fight is a bit too much, Our heroes retreat back into the jungle and make some plans. After discussion, they decide to hole up in a small building to bottleneck the skeletons and gain protection from the 24 bows and arrows. The battle goes almost according to plan. Aislyn and Rache make it inside before a squad of skeletons follow them in. Semprona and Jephthah decide to move to the alleyway behind the house, and destroy skeletons that get too curious. This formation means that most of the skeletons waste their turns, unable to fire at any valid targets. After a few good hits from the crew (after determining dr 5/bludgeoning) and 5 burning arcs from Aislyn (after painfully determining that cold spells don't work), our heroes down the skeletons.

The guards and prisoners are safely recovered, and brought back to gallowhall (although Aislyn suffers a wasp sting on the way back).

After some deliberation, it is determined that Mildan and the Apocolytes should be the first major target. But first, to the small town of Salton to get some supplies. The trip takes 7 days, and the fish caught by the massive net in the back of Gallowhall are enough to feed all 100 inhabitants.

Some of the nights, the tounge-less, scarred elf Krannick plays a flute made of a human femur, to the enchanted delight of all.

Salton is a small, semi-autonomous village (2-3 thousand inhabitants) just off the main coast of Mildan. Our heroes "dock" on one of the beaches nearby. They are greeted nervously by the mayor and a few hanger-ons. When the Godlings agree not to let the prisoners run wild, the Mayor of Salton agrees to let the four heroes come ashore. This is all done through political speak, of course.

A few purchases are made, and our heroes are finally kitted up in their standard gear. The Mayor's son Joe accompanies them and makes small talk. Although most of the town worships Maven, there are some Apocolytes wandering around. Without doing a close inspection, our heroes guess that there are anywhere between 30 and 150 guards.

Our heroes then spend most of their remaining gold on an alcohol free party for the prisoners. Bread, milk, cheese, eggs, bards, the works (but no fireworks)! Semprona pays a few kids to distribute verbal invites to the townsfolk, and the heroes leave town.

Night rolls around, and the party begins. "Surprisingly" few townsfolk show up, only a couple dozen teenagers with strange Canadian accents. The Festival, on the 9th of January, is dubbed "Burning Man" in celebration of Jephthah or Thur, god of Fire. The man of the hour himself leaps into a bonfire and emerges unscathed. When the ritual is attempted by somebody else, the result is less than satisfactory.

Semprona Coras and Rache give a few speeches encouraging safety, then speak with the teenagers from Salton. They quickly realize that these teenagers are Apocolytes. Semprona and Rache turn up the heat, and ask for the name of the Charismatic Leader. The teenager pales, says he doesn't know, but gives them a name of a higher up Apocolyte in a major city in Mildan. The teenager then leaves.

Aislyn spends the party running up behind people, waiting for a break in the conversation, and shouting "Yeah!" Some of the time this adds the the conviction of the speaker, and sometimes it takes away from it. She seems to enjoy herself either way.

The party is going full swing. Krannick harmonizes with the bards and all seems to be going swimmingly.

But, the bloodcurdling in-human scream of some giant beast puts a damper on things. Moments later a massive, lizard with wings erupts from the water behind gallowhall and opens his mouth as if to spew...flame?

It is the night of January 9th, 15 A.C. Our heroes played this session at Level 4, Ascension level 1. They gained an Ascension level at the end, from the worship of the 100 or so Gallowhall prisoners.

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