WotBS Bill T's Second War of the Burning Sky: Shelter from the Storm [more spoilers than you can shake a stick adorned with ribbons and kerchiefs at!]

Bill T.

Dramatis Personae
  • Basel, an Innenotdaran (aka grey) elf evoker who has been attending Gabal's school and previously made his living as a baker.
  • Dämmek, a human swordswoman with keen senses and a great sword.
  • Gusle, a seela bard who recently escaped captivity from a circus. This player has been through the first few chapters already, so she's aware of the seela and can fill Torrent's role as guide.
  • Jesús Tillamook, a half-elf cloistered cleric of the Stormbringer Phoenix, a sect of the Stormchaser Eagle that is dedicated to finding the Aquiline Heart so that they can reincarnate the Eagle.
  • Crystin and her pet rock Crystal.
  • Tiljann.
This is just a summary of the notable points, based on the assumption that the reader is familiar with this adventure. I'll post any players' notes if they type them up.

There was a fair amount of fuss and bother about how the heroes were going to get down the Glaskeel cliffs. Ultimately, the seela bards batted their eyes prettily at one of Timor's experienced underlings to run the HALO jump with them (and gliding the last dozen or so feet on their own), Basel held hands with Crystin and Dämmek, bringing them safely and stylishly to the ground -- but Jesús took a flying leap before anyone could give fair warning, used the West Wind style to immediately catch himself, and then discovered that the descent was much longer than he had anticipated. Oops! Well, another quick application of West Wind style kept him from injuring anything other than his ego.

The heroes buy a sleigh that gets them almost to Bresk, and from Bresk they take a barge to the mouth of the Nasham River. There they learn about a fleet in the Gulf of Dassen. Given their total lack of sailing skills, they forego purchasing a boat and decide to walk instead.

The first people they met in Vidor were the poor refugees -- I figured the refugees would park themselves there in order to get people's attention before they got into Vidor. It worked! The first person they met was a half-giant making tea for the other refugees, and they were able to play on the heroes' sympathies. They decided they needed someone who could deal with wandering the swamps, so they hired Jazelle, a refugee ranger. Since that meant they needed a third boat, they decided to bring along another couple of people. The half-giant warrior (Homer) was their first choice and, since their Goodness got the best of them, they decided they wanted to bring an orphan along -- to which I obligingly declared, "We're all orphans!" The orphan they ended up with was a young soldier who had deserted the Ragesian army and was fleeing to Seaquen. We all decided that she had been nicknamed "Bubbles" by her fellow soldiers, much to her ongoing dismay.

The rest of the session was consumed by the battle with H'andrea, H'andrea, and H'andrea. I ran the encounter fairly closely to what the adventure suggested. The one major change I made was to have H'andrea use her darkness SLA to hide the boat rather than obscuring mist (the mist should sit still, not stick with the boat). Everyone on watch was affected by the enthrall spell, so the boat got close to shore unimpeded for H'andrea to start casting spells.

The battle started as brutal as the last time I ran it; between the slow and the stinking cloud, several people were severely incapacitated. H'andrea and Crikey probably attacked too soon, but they were able to bring several people down. Most of those went down in the water, which had me worried -- I had assumed that Indomitability's Boon would keep them from getting killed, but I had forgotten about drowning. Jazelle did drown (so now they're lost in the middle of a swamp in the everlasting drizzle), but after a miracle dice roll, Jesús managed to resuscitate Bubbles after nearly drowning himself, only surviving thanks to a implausibly fast dash into the water by Crystin. Basel, meanwhile, got caught out by himself near the witches' boat. He got banged a couple times with the torchstaff but managed to grease the interior of their boat, causing both witches to lose their footing. He then foolishly set the grease on fire, partly because he mistakenly thought the boon would protected him and because he didn't know that these witches weren't made of wood.

Eventually, H'andrea and Crikey succumbed to the heroes' blows, and the witches ran out of useful spells. They tried to make it around to the far side of the island in order to try a final casting of sleep in hopes of salvaging something useful from the night's expedition, but Basel cleverly positioned an earthen grasp in their path that arrested their boat, and Homer and one of the seela were able to wade in and knock H'andrea unconscious, which lead H'andrea to surrender.

For those who read my description of the last time I ran this encounter, since destroyed by the web site upgrade, the score was very similar -- one redshirt and the attacking druid dead, the attacking cleric unconscious, and the attacking wizard surrendered.

Frustratingly, I forgot H'andrea's prescient sense -- again! -- when I ran this encounter, but I also spaced Gusle's use of Spellbreaker's Song. Equal-opportunity amnesia, I guess.

We probably won't play again until March.

Edits: WotBS prefix, grammar, layout.
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