This session began with a bunch of book keeping, introductions (for new and old players) and some catching up as we saw some folks return to the table after some absence. We found out that Pawnshee, our itinerant halfling, had gotten together with his cousins and started a cheese factory in Headwaters. This actually made Hamlen and Dn. Goram rather happy, because it meant more business for their parents (who own several milking animals, including a camel). Much fun was had at the expense of the camel, who was even interviewed using a Speak Animals spell.
Hamlen took advantage of the rules I put together for paladins as a subclass and this has allowed his brother to double his effortts to make sure Hamlin keeps to his vow of only using the magical hammer he found in the catacombs underneath the Monastery of St. Urheim. We also took advantage of Fedorsha's death and raising to experiment with the thief as a sub-class.
In addition, there is a new member of the party — Dn. Lucius. He has been sent by Bishop Iova to assist Dn. Goram in his quest to recover the Two Swords. The player deserves some kudos. He is a friend of our youngest player (Dn. Swibish) and took up the challenge of rolling his stats in order using only 3d6. Rather than complaining about his 3 Dexterity, he has chosen to see it as a challenge and is determined to see how long he can have his character survive and advance with such a handicap.
The adventuring began with preparations to go to the dwarves to the southwest. Dn. Goram bought a wagon full of cheese from the new factory to bring in trade (and possible tribute) to the dwarves. While the party did not get lost (they made sure they had good directions and were lucky on their rolls), they did have a couple of harrowing combats.
They were ambushed by some orcs under the banner of the Blighted Fist. This almost immediately went south for the players because in a surprise round, several players were hit by clay pots full of rot grubs and the attack happened during the day so no fire was ready. Fortunately, the party eventually figured out that Cure Disease would stop the grubs from burrowing into the heart and they had three party members who were able to cast it: Dn. Goram, Hamlen (with his new paladin abilities) and the NPC Orysus who also had paladin abilities. The time taken to deal with the grubs made them vulnerable to charge attacks, and things were rather dicey until the party members on giant eagles figured out what was going on and started in with a Lightening Bolt and some well placed Molotov Cocktails. Some time was taken to try and find the orc lair, but the morale of the prisoners proved to be too much. As an aside, one of the more entertaining bits of this encounter was a battle cry from Pawnshee — "No one insults a halfling's cheese and lives!"
After fighting off some lycanthropes and convincing a roc to hunt elsewhere, the party arrived at the mountain range that is home of the dwarves. The northern-most peak sparked some interest in the group, because it matched a map Akhmed had in his possession. The party was well aware of its existence, but never paid much attention to it. They quickly realized that the riddle on the map suggested a mirror was necessary to find the door to the dungeon the map was all about. No one had a mirror. A very funny argument ensued — "You mean you dragged us 7 days into the wilderness unprepared!? Seven days away from the nearest mirror!? I showed you map! I thought we had already solved the riddle!"
Thus, one of the goals for the rest of our session was to find a mirror. Using some spells, they eventually did find one, inside a monastery whose original occupants (dwarves) had been replaced by various species of apes. The session ended after a battle with a giant winged ape similar to one the party had fought earlier in the campaign. They found it protecting a hidden library which contained an eldritch tome. When they attempted to read it, they had the distinct feeling that the tome itself was resisting them. Finally, Ahkmed succeeded in determining that the tome included a pair of formulae that would allow for various biologicals (specifically severed limbs) to be preserved in a viscous liquid and another that would allow a dimension hop lasting about 4 hours.
4 hours ago