Friday, May 6, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 13

In the final instalment of this season of D&D Encounters: March of the Phantom Brigade, the characters find themselves following the stairways down into a natural cave system.  The tunnel is cold and icy.  The characters are confronted by many signs of battle that seem fresh yet known that they are probably 60 or so years old.  Freshly slain duergar corpse lay strew about, fresh bloodstains against the walls.  It seems that these scenes replay themselves, as magic washed over the characters time and time again.  The magic in the monastery seems to be fading.

The characters approach an entranceway a little further down the corridor and they seem to walk into a suspended mini-minefield.  It seems parts of the roof were collapsing as the time trap was set off, leaving debris in the air.  The characters stare at the objects suspended in the air.  Mesmerized with the floating debris, it isn't until one of the characters notice that they are now staring at the ground, that the wave of magic overcomes their senses and the room seems to start rumbling and the ceiling starts dropping more rocks from the ceiling.

The characters are stuck in a pickle.  They try to rush through, but with all the falling debris, the charactes are greatly hampered.  Rocks fall from the ceiling, armour becomes dented and the characters fall all over the place. Valenae is relatively unscathed by the time the characters emerge into the dragon's lair, having used her fey step to bypass most of the falling rocks.  Three member of the party emerge bloodied and Fargrim uses his remaining two surges during the short rest the party takes after the cave-in.

Having successfully navigated the cave-in the characters are greeted by an awesome sight:
"The icy chamber ahead holds the great earthquake dragon, Actherimos, and several of his duergar supplicants, all suspended in time by the Time Trap.  The magic holding them in time seems to be fading.  Ie looks a though you have a few minutes to rest before the ritual wears off entirely.  The lightest disturbance to the room could speed up the dragon's release."
The characters took this time to rest for a moment and then the familiar wave of magical energy sweeps the room and you see the creature in the room shake the cobwebs from their minds and turn towards you in a very unfriendly manner.

The dragon is a sight to see.  He turns around and the characters notice at this time the corpse of Salazar Vladistone at the feet of the dragon, clutching the Arrow of Time in his hand.

The heroes are in awe of the dragon as it recovers from his surprise first and watches the party closely as his henchmen attack.  The thugs move forward and concentrate their attack on Fargrim and Valenae. Fargrim takes the blunt of the attacks and is reduced to 5 health from the infernal quills attacks and the warhammer attacks.  Valenae takes some damage, and manages to avoid a lot of the blows.

Jarren throws his freezing burst on three of the thugs and manages to drop on in front of Fargrim.  Knowing that Fargrim is in a pickle, he spends his action point to attempt to hit more than one this time.  Three more thugs lose their lives.  Belgos attempts to take out the remaining thugs and his bowsting sizzles and he fires off arrow after arrow.Belgos hits the dragon and he roars and manages to leave one remaining thug for Valenae.  After Valenae attacks there are no thugs left. She then begins to move towards the dragon. 

Fargim wants to help but knows if he sustains another hit he will not be around to help in combat.  He moves within five squares of the dragon and throws his hammer at him.  Good time for a crit and the dragon howls in pain.  Keira follows slowly behind Valenae, not wanting to get hit right away.

The dragon moves within reach of the fighter and bites Fargim and grasps him in his jaws.  Fargrim falls unconcious and the dragon hurls him across the room inflicting even more damage. Suddenly a fountain of flame erupts around the dragon  and scorches is greatly. Belgos attacks the dragon and Knocks it to the ground.  Valenae rushes to Fargrim and uses cure light wound and he is concious yet still unable to move.  Fargrim looks up at Valanae and then turns to stone.

Keira moves over to Valenae and Fargrim and launches her dagger at the dragon and another crit.  The dragon is now looking the worse for wear.  The dragon moves out of the fire and moves within reach of the players and are attacked by rumbling earth and all except for Valenae fall to the ground.  Actherimos then reaches over and tried to bite the ranger and hits, restraining him.  Jarren shoots it with a freezing burst, dealing damage to it.  Belgos spends his second wind and at the end of his turn, becomes stone.

Valenae fey steps next to the corpse of Salazar and grasps the Arrow of Time.  Keira moves into position flanking the dragon and scores another hit, shaking even more scales of this monster.  Suddenly Salazar's ghost appears in the doorway. He looks at Valenae and then look at the Arrow of Time:
"I remember now. I remember how much I wanted to see my Oldivya.  I know what you intend to do with the arrow, and I ask you - please do not send me back.  I could not bear to return to that time and be without her again."
The dragon attacks Jarren with a double attack and hits with both claw and bite.  Jarren is bloodied and low on surges.  He retaliates, shifts back and spends his second wind.  Valenae sends a healing word Jarren's way and he uses his last surge. Valenae moves up to the dragon and says to Salazar that the only way he will get this arrow is to help them defeat this dragon.

Keira moves adjacent to the dragon and strikes it hard bloodying it.  Salazar jumps into the fray and strikes the target with vengeance and knocks the dragon prone.  on this the whole party falls to the ground.  The dragon rumbles the ground again, narrowly missing Keira.  All prone cannot stand up due to the aftershocks of the power.  It stands up and attacks the wizard with its double attack twice spending an action point, hitting twice with its bite and once with a claw dropping him.

Valenae swings her mace from the ground in a fury and hits gaining a little strength.  Actherimos is moving more slowly now, the wounds seem to be adding up.  Salazar swings his sword and slices the dragon.  The dragon is now teetering.  Keira move in for the kill and misses she tried the attack again and still misses! The dragon turns to Keira and bites and tries to claw the rogue seriously damaging her.  The Cleric send a healing word her way, stands up and attacks the dragon, and rolls a one!  Salazar stand up and swings his longsword, decapitating the dragon, his heavy body slowly falls to the ground the whole cave in dager of crumbling.

The party is victorious, but at what cost.  Belgos and Fargrim are turned to stone, Jarren unconcious in the corner.

Salazar approaches Valenae and holds his hand out: "I held up my end of the bargain, now you hold up yours!"  He looks at Valenae reticience to hand it over and continues: "Two problems with your thoughts; you are now only two.  You may have defeated me as a whole, but the two of you would surly perish is you confronted me. Second, Actherimos is dead, the Arrow of Time would no longer have any effect.  On my honour, I will withdraw the Phantom Brigade and cease all hostilities on your people."

Valenae hands over the Arrow of Time and Salazar promptly dematerializes.  Keira and Valenae carry Jarren back to the city and see that Salazar is true to his word.  With the Phantom Brigade no longer present, the town can once again wright itself and things can go back to normal. Salazar is seen entering the Tower of Inverness and returns moments later and the tower fades away to where it once belonged.  He is reunited with his beloved.

Belgos and Fargrim are brought back to town and are transformed back into flesh.  The heroes await their next quest.

This concludes the March of the Phantom Brigade.  What a season for everyone!  I cannot wait to start next season.