Thursday, March 3, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 4

Starting this week's session, we had all six pregenerated character spots filled at the table: Fargrim, Valenae, Keira, Belgos, Jerren, and Brandis. 

Following Brother Splintershield and the caravan into the castle grounds. The settlers are a little rattled with the feeling of dread upon crossing the threashold of the castle. The party approched the cleric of Moradin and asked what the next step was going to be.   He replies that in a few moments, he and his alcolytes will begin performing the cleansing ritual that will hopefully remove the fear of dread upon entering the grounds and protect the area against incursion of the undead.  Malgram, meanwhile is nervously pacing the compound, setting his archers on the walls as guards against any kind of surprise.

While the characters are talking to Brother Splintershield one of the settlers cries out in alarm and everyone on the compound turn to face a ghostly apparition of a magnificent tower.  The apparition, rises to its full height and in another instant, solidifies.  This tower looks unscathed and as solid as the day it was built.  After the initial cry of alarm, one of the settlers reaches out to touch the stone of the building, but Brandis cries out not to.  Too late, the settler's hand comes to rest on the....solid stone!  After Brother Splintershields surprised look at the apparition, immediately cries for his alcolytes to position themselves for the casting of the ritual.

A few minutes into the casting, Malgram races over to the PCs and tells them that there are undead approaching from all directions of the castle.  He says he is a little thin on manpower to be able to defend the whole castle.  The weak point of the castle lies in the entrance, where a ground force of undead may be able to march in with little resistance.  Since the party have proved themselves in hand to hand combat, Malgram suggests that the party guard the gate while his archers protect the walls.  The party readily agrees to this and set themselves up by the gate.

The PCs watch the undead approach and soon make out zombies and skeletons walking up the path towards the castle.  Surprisingly, the undead act first and manage to penetrate the outer wall in the first round, and claws slash and thankfully only manage to catch air.  The rest of the party acts. Belgos climbs the wall in the first round in order to snipe skeletons as they approach the wall like Malgram's forces around the perimeter.  Jerren launches a well placed freezing burst.  One of the 3 zombies caught in the zone explodes in a zone of gore.

Brandis and Fargrim take turns pummelling the zombies and opportunity attack provoked by the skeletons reduce them to dust.  Keira tactically moves to flank the zombie and slices it in half in another spew of gore.  Valenae manages to dodge the skeletons attacks but herself has trouble hitting her opponents.  Jerren unleashes an arc lightning and another zombie explodes reducing the zombies to 1 remaining.  Concentrating all their attacks on the remaining zombie and the wave after wave of the skeletons The party is allowed a respite between the second and third round.  On the fourth round, skeletons rose again and in greater numbers.

The party, confident in their abilities handily defeated them.  Round 6 brought more from the grave, but as the skeleton were breaking the ground, the is a bright light that burst forward from the casting circle, rolling thunderous noise rolls across the hillside and the skeletons crumble into dust.

Thus ends this weeks encounter.  I ended it there. I wanted to showcase Salazar next week.

I wanted to roleplay this aspect of the adventure and will take the time for interaction with Salazar.

My players got extremely lucky this week.  The first round the party dropped two of the zombies.  I threw in another zombie for good measure, but instead found another two critical hits that leveled four of the five zombies in just two rounds with the fifth zombie bloodied by the rest of the party.  I just kept throwing minions at the party to keep them busy till the sixth round.

Next week sees the end of chapter 1 and on the the second one.