Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Bees and Ambushes

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Faufe Yitaw
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Grerr, Wardog totem animal
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
  • James Morthor, Warlock
    • Doggan, Tiny-Sized Dragon familiar
    • Iodberta, Fighter
    • Frauuara, Fighter
    • Alice, human child
  • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate (more misspelling!)
    • The metal man, level [variable] construct
I'd like to point out that every single (living, non-animal) hireling is female: Luce, Rhea, Iodberta, Frauuara, and Elenora. Faufe and friends are wardogs, though smart ones.

Their business in Slowhaven previously taken care of, the party decided to make haste for the ruin, hoping to find massive amounts of treasure and whatnot. Chartering a river barge, they spent the next several days fishing and relaxing. Not a bad way to spend Brightest Day. They ran into a flock of swans in Riverbend, where Rig heard of a big fish in the lake. They disembarked at Market Lake, and weathered a storm that whipped up in the late afternoon. The next morning, they set out for Wallace, and once through the great Gate began the trek through the wilderness.

They began searching for the ruins they had heard of once they arrived in the general area, and managed to run into a giant tuatara lizard which proved none too friendly. It charged the group, but didn't manage to land so much as a nip before it was beaten to within an inch of its life. Rig gave it the chance to back down, which it accepted. It told them where the ruins were, and retreated to nurse its (considerable) wounds.

The ruins themselves were once a large trading city, with a great road (long since destroyed) that connected the Gate with the forest lands. It was split east/west by a high bank, and north/south by a wide, slightly elevated road. The party agreed to enter the north-east quarter first - what used to be a market and warehouse area. It was abandoned, but for a swarm of giant killer bees! Surprised, the party had little time to react before the 15 speedy bees swarmed them. Gróin was attacked by four bees, but managed to shrug off the sting that broke through his armor. A second bee attacked him as well, and his tough dwarf saves came through again. Rhea, the nightblade, didn't fare as well, and dropped, poisoned! Grimly, the others fended off the bees as best they could, until Morthor the Warlock cast Sleep, dropping the swarm in an instant. Elenora the White Mage quickly revived the fallen elf with Neutralize Poison, and the dwarf yanked the stinger out of himself. Ouch. The moment's pause was no victory, however - a second wave of bees emerged, ten tough guards. Clench the war-dogbadger fell, as did Iodberta. Luckily, Iodberta was able to be revived by Elenora, and suffered no harm; Clench had to roll on the mortal wounds table, but managed a natural 20, and was perfectly fine. The final opponent was the queen bee, but she could only beat ineffectively at Caranthir's tough armor. Finally, she dropped dead, and the sleeping bees were quickly ended. The group decided healing was in order, and boarded up the nest to use as a temporary hideout, discovering 3 potions-worth of royal honey. The sapper, wisely, dropped a trap in front of the door, and boarded it up with planks. He also reinforced the walls with summoned iron plate. That evening, as they party rested and recuperated, Clench leapt to his feet in alarm - something was outside! After a moment, the party heard the whoops and raspy laughter of a party of kobols. A lot of kobolds, actually. Soon, there was a scream at the door as the first kobold ran into the trap and was instantly slain. Then another. And... another. In fact, the kobolds kept coming; blasting through their moral rolls, the idiot kobolds piled their corpses high. Only 22 of the original 62 survived the encounter with the magical trap. In the morning, the well-rested adventurers opened the door (well, wall, they made a new door to avoid the trap) to a grisly scene: 40 kobold bodies, heaped in piles near the trapped door. Shrugging at the stupidity of the creatures, they resumed exploring the area. Finding nothing of interest in this quarter, they moved south - and discovered the kobold warren! The area teemed with kobolds - hundreds of them! After some discussion, they decided to attempt to hail the small lizard-creatures. Only Rig and Gróin could speak the language; Rig parlayed, and after parting with some silver, was introduced to the clan shaman. While he wasn't impressed by the group, he made no move to attack, either. After some questioning, he suggested the group rid him of a problem his clan was facing - a strange, half-woman, half-mountain-lion creature that lived in the south-west quadrant of the ruins. A Lamia! The group agreed, and crept up on the unsuspecting creature. A quick silence spell, and the creature was unable to cast Command Word; surrounded and trapped, she gulped a potion of speed, but was only able to land two blows before she fell to the rapid onslaught of the party. Threat ended, they searched for her lair, as Rig fell to dissecting the creature for its expensive insides. They discovered no small amount of treasure: 6000 ep, 4000 gp, a zircon, a small wrought brass statue, a shield +3, a Scroll of Resist Cold, written in draconic, a Rope of Climbing, and a scroll written in dwarven; they were able to decipher that it’s a divine scroll, but otherwise have no idea. One final item caused a bit of consternation: a Philter of Love, carefully placed on a pink pillow. Morthor and Caranthir had a bit of an argument over who was to keep that particular item, each wanting to keep it out of the other's hands. Hardly scratched from the fight, the group returned to the kobolds...

Treasure and Experience

  • Gold from Treasure:
    • 6000ep (3000 gp equivalent)
    • 4000gp
    • bronze statue, as yet unsold
    • zircon, as yet unsold
  • Gold from Sales: none
  • Total gold: 7000 gp
  • XP From Encounters:
    • 6 swans (5 XP ea) (parlayed)
    • 1 giant Tuatara lizard (320 XP)
    • 15 giant killer bees, 10 giant killer bee guards (6 XP)
    • 1 queen bee (13 XP)
    • 62 kobolds (5 XP) (40 killed by trap, 22 fled)
    • 343 kobolds, plus leaders (5 XP+) (avoided through parlay: 0 XP)
    • 1 lamia (2500 XP)
  • XP From Sales: none
  • Total XP: 10323 XP (7000 must wait until returning to town)
  • XP Per PC: 443 XP
  • *XP per Henchman: 222 XP
  • Treasure per PC: 933 gp
  • *Treasure per Henchman: 466.5 gp

*The metal man and Faufe and friends stuck around at the wagon to protect it (I imagine), so they do not get XP or gold, unless it's shared with them.

GM Notes

Kobolds aren't usually as stupid as that, but they really wanted that honey. And they rolled a LOT of ones, twos, and threes, so decided to keep on pushing, hoping either the trap would jam, or one of them would get through. Pity it was a perpetual magic trap... Meanwhile, the weather has been good - so far. The heat has kicked up, though, and the party is going to be moving much slower on the return trip. If they survive the kobolds, of course; they've done well so far, but there are over 300 kobolds, plus any leaders, in that warren!

Also, that poor Lamia... as tricksy as she was, she didn't stand a chance to the sudden onslaught. She was rushed, surrounded, and taken down in only two rounds. Next time, Gadget... next time!

And, a note on a house rule - I don't like insta-death unless it comes from a high-level monster. The lowly killer bee may immediately die upon a sting, but it has a better-than-half chance of insta-killing. Harsh! Too harsh, I think. Instead, I rule it as an immediate loss of all hit points. Neutralize poison can restore a player to life at 1 HP with no other ill side effects; otherwise, they have to roll on the Mortal Wounds table.