So we left off in a rioting city, with a rough theory of where to find the crystal that was causing the riots: in the fishy area, with the creatureborn shark-boy that we’re here to warn and take away from their watcher.
When morning came we got up and, with an NPC half-orc in tow, headed down to the docks/ lower area of the city, where the fighting (whilst still going on) was somewhat less intense.
Skit our druid is leading the way, and as soon as we reach the shore, she just jumps in. Hindsight reveals if half the population is fishy amphibians, part of their city may be underwater. Guess who didn’t prepare water-breathing?
so Jaros, being in full plate armour, flat out refuses to go down. Instead he stays above and decides to do what he can to rally people and stop the rioting.
Out in the sea we can see the 5 ships of the city’s fleet. The soldiers (in brief moments of sanity brought on by Jaros’ rallying attempts) around the docks seem to be like “Where’s our naval support!?”
Jaros finds out that they’re missing any magic users to do the usual magical firework signals to the ships, but by that point, we’re all underwater.
Skit leads us through the underwater tunnels till we come to a cave place, where there are a bunch of the fish-people. good knowledge (nature) checks reveal that they’re in some sort of hulk-like rage that is stopping the crystal making them go insane.
The advantage is they’re not insane, the disadvantage is they’re ALL ON THE EDGE of epicly losing their temper, and are having to spend all their concentration on not flipping out.
As a pleasant side effect we’re unchallenged as we go through the caves, following Skit, to where she last saw one of the shapechanging Creatureborn that we came here initially to rescue. Her familiar also helped her scout out the route yesterday. We see the guy doing laps around a pool in the centre, and a bunch of elves off to the side.
The elves, unfortunately, have no clue at all where the crystal is, so we’re somewhat stumped about that. They fetch out a chap called Elaborn or something, who is shark-boy’s Wacher. We decide that, since we’re here, to try and get shark-boy out of danger, as he’s next on the list of creatureborn to be taken.
Skit, in a rare show of THOUGHTLESSLY SAYING THINGS accidentally reveals this to sharkboy’s watcher, realizes what she’s given away and that shark boy is now in IMMEDIATE DANGER and attempts to subdue the watcher (let’s just call them Watchers)
So I run over to try and get shark boy to safety, but he flat out doesn’t believe me that there might be a dragon coming to kidnap him at any moment: I guess I’m not as diplomatic as I’d hoped
At which point the Watcher turns INTO the big dragon. Whilst we’re standing ~10 feet away from him. Which is a major “oh… shit…” moment.
The dragon does /one/ acidic breath attack that nearly kills Skit outright and melts the swarm of rats that had been preventing his immediate transformation. Thankfully it just missed me (yay out of range). We decide to run, and Skit’s rat familiar friend bravely sacrifices itself to buy us the time. RIP Rattus
We don’t see the details of what happens to sharkboy, but it looks like he swam down to the bottom of his pool whilst the dragon thrashed at the surface, trying to get at him. Skit slows it down with another entangle spell, but fails to bind it to the ground.
Back on the surface, we let Jaros know what’s up, and he suggests we have our sorcerer, Sevastian, do the Dancing Lights spell to signal the fleet to come in. Seems straight forward, 5 ships with siege weapons vs dragon? Sounds good.
But wait… where’s Sevastian?
Turns out, as he’s still under the mind magic, he stayed behind in the underground chambers, searching for it, so we’ve no sorcerer to summon the ships. Balls. Before anything else happens, Skit spots a shark in the bay, and goes over to communicate with it. Sharks can’t actually speak so that involved a lot of meaningful thrashing around. Shark boy agrees to head down the coast towards Hearthglen, where Lerius (snake man) is headed.
There’s really only one option left. I (who now at this stage REALLY DISLIKES boats as a running joke) gets in a rowboat and heads towards the ships, whilst Jaros does his best to get some archers ready
Sevastian surfaces about half an hour later. No dragon thankfully, and he signals the fleet to come in. I’ve still not actually /reached/ them yet, so it’s a bit “what really guys? Really?” xD
At which point Skit spots the dragon. It’s coming down from the west, how it got out we have no clue, but it did, and it’s coming not for us, but for the ships. She’s got to warn Jaros, but it’s clear she lacks the voice to do so. Solution? She fires a crossbow bolt at him, which pings off his armour, and then another one once he’s looking, in the direction of the dragon.
A single pass over the ships and a conical acid breath that hits ALL of them, there goes our naval support o_o
It then goes to the shore and roars for all to hear: we must return the creatureborn, or he’ll kill every single person in the city.
At which point Jaros decides to take the initiative, and throws some neat alchemical device designed to gum up the dragons wings and bring him to ground. It doesn’t bring him down, but it does gum him up and slow him a little.
So now we’ve a pissed off dragon glaring down at our primary melee fighter, at which point Miles (the player) declares he’s going to engage the dragon in a Test of Wills.
What in hells is that?
Well, the madman intends to pit his intimidate score AGAINST A DRAGON’S ability to intimidate.
He almost succeeded, which is scary all by itself and would have granted us a boost against the thing. After the fight we found out that they both have +25 intimidate, and it was literally down to the rolls.
The dragon takes a deep breath and pours acid all over the docks, killing a hell of a lot of them, catching Krosh full on, but Jaros passed a reflex save and only took half damage.
At which point, I make it to the ships and someone tosses down a rope, who are making their way toward the dragon and shore
up on deck I say to the admiral “Uh, yeah so I’m here to warn you about a dragon attack…”
she just looked at me, looking around at the damage and injured, so witty me says “Do you have any wounded?”
Redundant questions much?
I stabilise the crew as best I can and we make sail for port, loading up every single functioning ballistae on board, and releasing them at the dragon
Skit and Sevastian are doing what little they can, but most of their spells and crossbow bolts respectively basically just bounce off
Jaros is the star of the show, and when the dragon charges at him, he uses some obscure ability to PARRY THE DRAGON and stop it dead in its tracks. He then does some other super attack thing and hits it for like… 60 hp (which is almost double what I’ve got total)
The dragon just laughs at him, and then attacks.
the DM says “okay so… the dragon attacks with a… bite, two claws, two wings, one tail, and a slam attack…”
Jaros uses another ridiculous ability, blade barrier, and manages to parry all but 3 of the attacks, which combine drop his HP to ONE, thankfully avoiding the negatives.
Jaros turns and wisely seeks cover
at this point one of the ships breaks apart from the acid damage, but the others are continuing to fire as rapidly as possible, stinging the dragon with a barrage of ballista bolts each round.
Sevastian and Skit are by this stage almost COMPLETELY out of spells, all except for a couple. So Skit decides to cast her super-jump ability, and leaps onto the BACK of the dragon, and casts her mould ability (does non-lethal damage over time) on the thing.
Our DM informs us that we’ve now passed 200 hp damage done to the thing, and it disregards the fled Jaros and flies up over the city, and makes good on its threat. Cone of Acid into the unprotected rioting populace
That high up, it’s out of range of the ballistae on the ship, and as we’re close enough myself and the admiral of the ship leap ashore and head towards the upper city, as we pass Jaros and Sevastian I apply minor heals.
Skit, on the back of the dragon in the upper city, uses another Mould spell on the dragon which FINALLY tips over its HP limit, and falls unconscious in the middle of the city.
With the dragon unconscious, she coup-de-graces it in the head with a crossbow bolt. Dragon slain yay, but city in ruins
at THAT point I realise “shit, I forgot Krosh!”
I literally ran past him on the docks not noticing him, and by the time I get there, he’s definitely dead.
Tired, heavily wounded in Jaros and Skit’s case, emotionally distraught in the case of myself, Skit, and Sevastian (currently going through a “oh god what have I done” state) but alive, we realise that even now we’ve not really /won/. The city’s still affected by the crystal, and it’s only a matter of time before the shock of the dragon wears off. Nothing dampens Jaros’s spirits who tactfully congratulates everyone on such a glorious battle. It doesn’t go down well, I think everyone just glares at him for a round.
No rest for the weary, back into the underwater caves, and this time Jaros comes with, but leaves his armour so he can swim.
Sevastian leads us to the palace of the fish people things, and it’s /ringed/ by unmoving, fiercely concentrating, FURIOUS fish people. We stroll past without incident and get to the underwater gates of the palace where there are two guards. (These guys really like the pool in the centre of the room concept)
Lacking sleep spells (Sevastian is completely out of magic), Jaros does the simple thing and intimidates them. Given we now we know just how scary he is: on par with an adult dragon, the two fish people swim off in terror.
We enter the palace, and find their king/ruler person
we’re like “give us the crystal, we’ll take it far away, your people will be fine”
Surprisingly it works, and we leg it before the compulsion takes effect on the fish-king again (it seems to wear off if you’re the one holding it, so we give it to Sevastian)
The only condition is that we take it to the rift, as was Krosh’s original plan, and toss the crystal in, in the hope it’s destroyed. There’ll be scouts in the sea watching us to ensure we actually succeed, and we really don’t want to piss off a city of these guys.
On getting out, we see that the two guards Jaros scared off have started fighting the ring of guards in fury, and we’ve got a domino effect going on here, but the exit’s clear, so we just /run/.
We pass by the place where we met the dragon, and loot its hoard:
6,600 gold pieces, 2,000 gold in semi-precious gems, one mysterious glowing potion, 1 set of prayer beads (yoink), and 1 mysterious untitled book.
We get some horses, donate gold to the city reconstruction fund (about 2.5k between us, skit giving away her entire share as it’s in character) and make our way away from the city.
At some point we discover that putting the crystal into a Bag of Holding makes it stop affecting us
and therefore everyone else around us. I do feel sorry for the suckers in the Astral Plane, but we don’t have the knowledge (planes) to recognise any threats to the crystal. We don’t have to worry about it anymore, and we spend a week travelling and make it to a city further down the coast where we get all our magic items ID’d. Skit spends a day meeting a new familiar in the jungle where Tessa was. It’s a tiger. The rest of us spend the time unwinding: Jaros drinks heavily, Sevastian lightly and sits around morosely, I stroll around the surrounding area in solitude, and comfort Sevastian.
We travel down the coast for about a week, nothing particularly exciting happens, we pass a desert and arrive in a major city. Our first port of call is the temple of Heironeous for rest, shelter, and getting our items identified:
My ring from a few sessions ago lets me breathe fire/lightning/ice/some other things once a day (like a dragon can, but a 30ft cone), and passive resistance against the same type of breath. Whenever the breath is used, it selects a different metallic dragon type for the next day and the resistance changes to match.
My prayer beads give me a couple of extra spells free, and a neat +4 spellcasting levels for 10 minutes at a time.
Oh and the book gives +2 intelligence to whoever reads it, but we haven’t decided who to give/ sell it to yet. We forgot about the potion in the excitement of breathing fire.
All in all, we gained ~3000 experience from that, and Skit levelled up, the rest of us are (At current rates) perhaps 2/3 sessions away from it.