Tales of the Sundered Bastion

Session 03: Crystal Caverns

The party descends into the crystal caves and comes upon a cave of corpses. Almost immediately, they are attacked by fell taints that lash at their bodies with tentacled grips. The party defeats their enemies, but while searching the dead bodies for clues, Inferno tries to slip a piece of paper into his pocket unnoticed. Codren puts his hand on his arm and quietly tells him that the whole party should have a look. The paper details several names indicating the deceased are merchants and their group is made out of people headed from Restwell Keep.

Venturing further, a passage of sharp, overgrown crystals blocks the party’s way. The party tries various methods to slip past, barge through, or blow up the crystals. As they slowly make their way, the crystals begin to call to their minds. Codren, convinced he is exceedingly warm, is influenced to remove his armor, but he manages to recover his senses. Willicae throws away gold with abandon, convinced he should purchase a crystal. Inferno, heavily damaged in his attempts, receives assistance from Willicae and Codren, and he finally crosses to the other side with his companions.

There the path diverges. The companions choose to investigate a cubed room with slots in the floor, ceiling and walls. On the ground is a puzzle with glowing rods and a message which reads “When three runes are held tight without waste or want, you will be worthy of a great power.” After some trial and error, the party solves the puzzle, dispelling an illusion of a wall in the far side of the room. There they find a fell beholder gauth who is waiting to devour the mental energies of any being smart enough to pass the puzzle.

The gauth proves a tough adversary, and the party must utilize much of its resources. In the end, victorious, the party loots a pair of magical Boots of Jaunting.

Looking to end their expedition and find the final way into the deep scar, the party encounters a canyon with deep cliffs leading up to more lashers and a gigantic shard golem. One of the lashers warps reality and switches places with Codren, leaving him stranded at the canyon’s highest levels right next to the golem. The golem punishes Codren, battering him to unconsciousness before his friends can rescue him. Eventually, the party turns the tide of battle and shatters the golem, leaving a glowing Chaos Shard, an evil sliver of great power. Willicae determines that he is strong-willed enough to resist its pull, and retrieves it.

Unfortunately, there is no deeper route to the Scar. As the party turns to leave, their summoned dwarf companion Tarloc, desperate to magic powers, finds a Frostwolf Pelt in a murky pool. The party returns to the sorceror Wish-eye where Inferno offers a tale that tells much but omits many items.

Wish-eye tells Inferno to leave and speaks privately with Will and Codren.

Comments

At this point, Inferno is seeing a few key objectives for the group:

- Whatever hook comes out of Wil and Codren’s meeting with Wish-eye… though Inferno isn’t sure he likes making Wish-Eye our Bosley.
-
Figure out the nature of the evilrock. It’s probably powerful, what with being the reactor for the golem kicked out butts so effectively, and we could really use a powerful artifact.
- On that note, Inferno needs to pick up a +1 wand in town – while he’s got the Staff of Earthen Might, Inferno specializes in wand use, so it’s not terribly useful as a weapon for him. In the medium term, he’s looking for a Master’s Wand of Magic Missile to make Magic Missile a little more viable for things other than popping minions and hitting over-leveled things with high NADs.
-
Determine the history, motivations and fate of Tarlok. So far, he’s been dangerous and unpredictable, and while he generally smashes our enemies, that’s not guarantee that he won’t pop out and smash us some day. At the very least, we should find out from Codren where he found the Pokecrystal and where Tarlok goes when he heads inside.
— Find another Leader, and probably a ranged Striker, though we may be able to double up on those. Since Hilk and Blinky don’t scale with level, we’ll probably need to replace them next level or so anyway, and the lack of ranged is creating tactical problems for our group. Plus neither Hilk nor Blinky are offering much in the way of buffing and no real healing – the temp HP requiring a hit is also a little problematic since it means that Hilk has to be in melee to heal (which kept him from getting Codren up earlier).

Session 03: Crystal Caverns
 

Stupid Textile formatting. Those weren’t supposed to be struck out.

Session 03: Crystal Caverns
 

Hilk and Blinkie care not for your metagaming, and circumstances have likely already removed their assistance — and with your less than friendly reputations amongst the people you have met, you may find it more difficult to find assistance than you expect – or at least the type of assistance you want.

Limited magic items are available in the Keep through a couple merchants such as Pung (whom you have royalled pissed off) but getting specific items will be quite difficult out here in the boondocks; if you ask around you may very well find someone who can craft them for you, but they will have their own agenda.

Session 03: Crystal Caverns
 

I’d like to think that Inferno would notice the need for a little more healing (and ranged) in our comp without metagaming – given that on the way back to town, we were still reassembling Codren, and that every time we meet something that shoots at us, we’re at a disadvantage, Inferno’s high intelligence and combat experience with the Bastion prior to joining this company would have probably clued him into the need for a little more diversity. Plus it realistically wouldn’t have escaped his notice that while he and his core companions are getting stronger with every fight, both in terms of loot and our innate abilities, Hilk and Blinky don’t seem to be evolving with us. Now, Inferno probably wouldn’t be able to intuit what exactly we’re looking for in new hirelings (at least not yet), it’s probably not beyond his character knowledge in a world where 1/4 of adventurers are leaders to suggest that one might be helpful.

Assuming that specific magic items are hard to acquire out here in the sticks (we’ve found the one small town that Wal-Mart hasn’t taken over, apparently), Inferno may be on the lookout for a local hedge wizard or enchanter who can provide the “Transfer Enchantment” ritual on his staff into a wand… though he’s also considering retraining specializations later on, since we haven’t been fighting a ton of things with cover.

Session 03: Crystal Caverns
xahlt

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