Let's Play #9 4e Goodman Games DCC55 Isle of the Sea Drake Enc#9 The Watch Tower WITH PC PICs

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Let's Play #9 Goodman Games
DCC55 Isle of the Sea Drake (Level 1)

Session 2.


Encounter #5a Back to the Coyomi Village (Area A-5)

[sblock=The Map]


The Map- obviously the guys don’t get to see this, obviously.


Area A-5. The Coyomi Village…​

[/sblock]

Back at the Coyomi village the guys decide to call and end to today’s adventures; they are the heroes of the hour- a celebration is soon in full swing, another meal prepared, the Coyomi men have been much missed by their women.

“So, you are heroes” Snake Sister states, this time with a grin.
“Then perhaps we should talk of other tasks?” She finishes, to nods and smiles- the adventurers are eager for more action, to be set other tasks.

During the meal and celebration Snake Sister is on hand to talk and translate, as needed.

Just a note to say we organised another meal for the kids here and ran the session pretty much the same as last time, the kids attempted to stay in character while eating crisps (chips) and cake, and questioning Snake Sister.

To begin with the adventurers are told the legend of the devil-temple, this from the module book…

Many generations ago, there lived on the larger island a village of twisted men, our ancestors. These men learned the secret of stone-working from devils that dwelt below the waves. These men commanded a sea-drake with a crown made of coral. With this knowledge, they built houses of stone, a mighty kingdom, and a great temple to honour the deep-devils. These men and devils mocked the gods with their stone house beneath the sky and above the sea, until the gods grew angered at their impiety. Eventually, the Great God of Thunder smote the temple with a terrible shout, cracking it in half and burning the devils with sky-fire. Also, the Great Goddess of the Sea threw wide her arms, and the ocean flooded the stone village with such force that the walls tumbled, crushing those who did not drown.

Those that survived knew that the gods had punished the audacity of daring to build in stone and the foolishness of worshipping devils, so they vowed to do neither again. They fled the larger island, cursing it as Comiqui, or the Island of the Dead. In their catamarans, they came to the smaller island, naming it Coyomi, or Island of the Living. They raised a new village of reed and wood and lived as men should.

But some men remained on Comiqui, and kept with the ungodly practices of old. They are our enemies, seizing our people and making them corpse-slaves. So we wait for the gods to finish punishment and destroy the last of the Comiquí.

It seems the two sides have been in conflict ever since.

And so Snake Sister sets the adventurers the following tasks, describing in general terms the location of each, see the map below for details, obviously the adventurers are not given this map. Although at this point I fetch out the beautiful fold out map that comes with the module- much to the delight of the players.

The adventurers are given three tasks-

1) To travel to the Island of the Dead and defeat the “Shell-Blower who calls the eagle-cats”, the Shell-Blower the players discover is a great Comiqui warrior, the eagle-cats alas remain a mystery. The Shell-Blower is located at the “Stone Tree” (C-2) just beyond the totem poles (C-1) (Quest with 100 XP reward).

2) To destroy the Comiqui Undead Plantation (C-6), a strange place, in which the dead grow from the ground. To destroy the plantation the adventurers must first find the body of Owl-Brother, the Coyomi Priest, who concocted a special Potion which will purify the land; and thereby prevent the Undead from ‘growing’ there (Quest with 125 XP reward).

3) To locate and defeat Thirsty Grandmother, a terrible spirit- the remains of an ancient hag who killed and ate children, or so it is said, she is said to lair on the south westerly tip of the Island of the Dead (C-4) (Quest with 125 XP reward).

Snake Sister indicates that the adventurers should also kill as many of the Comiqui as they can, safely that is. The adventurers further learn that there is a boat hidden on Coyomi island (A-4), although only a small catamaran, certainly not big enough or sturdy enough for extended journeys; it can however be used to sail to the western isle, the Isle of the Dead.

They also learn that a causeway stretches between the two islands which can be traversed at low tide, although it is said to be a dangerous place (B-1).

Finally Snake Sister reveals the location of the Pool of Life (C-3), if the adventurers need to rest they should make their way there, the waters are said to aid the healing process; she further directs them to “kiss her guardian spirit there”, most odd.

[sblock=The Map]


The Map- obviously the guys don’t get to see this, obviously.​

Areas of note-
A-1 The location the adventurers came ashore and were attacked by the Comiqui et al.
A-2 The location the adventurers caught up with Zochi and battled the Spiretop Drakes.
A-3 A cave in which the Coyomi men were being kept prisoner.
A-4 Another cave which should contain a hidden Coyomi catamaran.
B-1 The causeway, land-bridge which appears at low tide and joins the two islands.
C-1 The Skull Totem which marks the start of the Comiqui territory.
C-2 The Watch Tower, home to Shell-Blower, and the terrible eagle-cats.
C-3 The Pool of Life, it’s waters are said to heal.
C-4 The location of Thirsty Grandmother.
C-6 The Corspe Plantation, where the Comiqui grow the undead.

[/sblock]

The guys spend the rest of the evening at the village, plotting and planning their next expedition in to the jungle. We take it in turns to go through all of the new information that Snake Sister has told them, and I get the kids to think of any questions they have, or else discuss each point a little.

Snake Sister is on hand, of course, to answer any questions they have, and comment when needed; the kids draw up a list of things to do- basically they decide to accomplish all three of the tasks and then return to the village. They’re not going to use the hidden catamaran; they’ll cross to the Isle of the Dead via the causeway.

In a startling piece of Insight Leena points out that since Owl-Brother was killed they should check any dead creatures they find, even the ones still moving about like the Zombie Corruption Corpses they fought earlier. Snake Sister thinks this is a great idea, and remarks that Owl-Brother has a large tattoo of an Owl on his back.

The following day they head out- ready for action.

Just to say almost all of the above was accomplished via roleplay, as with the previous session.

Comment: They love to get fed, if the kids have to do a little roleplaying to make it happen- then so be it.
 

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Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Let's Play #9 Goodman Games
DCC55 Isle of the Sea Drake (Level 1)

Session 3.


Encounter #6 The Tidal Bridge (Area B-1)

[sblock=The Map]


The Map- obviously the guys don’t get to see this, obviously.


Area B-1. The Tidal Bridge…​

[/sblock]

The adventurers head out early the next day, refreshed and ready for action, this time the guys have two Coyomi guides with them, the men will fight if need be but have sworn to return alive to their women.

Snake Sister has likewise made the adventurers promise to return with their guides safe, I like giving the players a little extra responsibility, and the kids are always keen to demonstrate that they’re the good guys.

The first part of the journey is relatively uneventful, the guides lead the adventurers across the Isle of the Living to the Tidal Bridge, and their arrival coincides, as planned, with low tide.

After observing the causeway and the far shore for ten or so minutes the adventurers, with the Coyomi men following behind, head over- at speed, they don’t want to get caught in the open.

They don’t however bargain for the Zombies buried in the sand.

Bad Guys 500 XP Level 1 Encounter
Trap- Buried Zombie Level 2 Obstacle x1
Zombie Level 2 Brute x3

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


[/sblock]

It starts when the trap goes off, the trap in this instance is a buried zombie, only its head and arms above the sand- it looks like a partially buried body, which it is- of course; Brevill spies it and goes to investigate, he gets too close and the flailing undead grabs the Warforged’s legs and yanks him off his feet.

At the same moment three Zombies, submerged in the shallow water to either side of the causeway suddenly reveal themselves. They reveal themselves by suddenly lurching to their feet and rushing towards the adventurers.

Several of the kids are a little scared by this turn of events.

Just to say I thought about playing this encounter with plenty of horror and terror, I did a little of this but, this isn’t the audience for horror and terror; I’m not going to make a four year old cry. Therefore I quickly changed tack and made the Zombies comical, with appropriately placed starfish, barnacles and sea urchins covering the three in the water. The buried Zombie, I explained, flails wildly because it has an octopus wrapped around its head- eventually it gets the thing out of its eyes but wears the tentacled monstrosity like a hat for the rest of the encounter.

The Zombie trio are surprisingly sprightly, they charge, as best they can, flailing at the adventurers- Lia is slammed and knocked down in the rush.

The fight back gains momentum quickly, Lia leaps back to her feet, grabs out her magical short sword, and slashes at her attacker. Brevill scrambles up and away from the buried Zombie, he slashes another of the undead with his longsword, which is already in hand.

Arannis shouts and orders, Brevill manoeuvres again and sets the Zombie he’s attacking up for the Eladrin- Arannis cuts hard and leaves the creature staggering and flailing wildly.

“May the glorious light of Sehanine burn the undead abominations!” Heian rasps and thrusts his holy symbol in to the air- a burst of radiant energy smashes in to all of the undead, including the buried Zombie.

The Zombie betwixt Brevill and Arannis explodes in to dust as the radiant energy hits it, the Zombie facing Lia is partially destroyed- its left arm and part of its upper body is incinerated; the last of the walking Undead is only scorched a little.

Shuva’s Witchfire engulfs the partially destroyed Zombie- it roars with flame, staggers off towards the ocean, alas it doesn’t get far, it slumps down to continue to burn and flail forlornly in its death throes.

The last Zombie standing thumps, slams and generally flails wildly at Lia- the Elf Princess is left lurching, trying desperately to keep on her feet.

Lia gasps, slashes hard with her short sword and then back-pedals out of the Undead creature’s reach.

“Help me.” She staggers and sways.

“In the name of Erathis- Fight Me!” Brevill challenges the last Zombie attacker and then gets in its face, he cuts the foul creature in two (a critical hit).

Arannis cries out, “To the shore! To the shore!” Her Inspiring Words cause Lia to forget her wounds, the Eladrin meanwhile blinks out of existence.

He reappears behind the buried Zombie, courtesy of his Fey Step, he skewers the Undead menace, dead (and another critical hit).

Quickly, and at Shuva’s urging, they check the bodies of the fallen Zombies- none of them have owl tattoos.

The adventurers run for the far shore, the Coyomi men following after.

Encounter #6 Complete

Bad Guys 500 XP Level 1 Encounter
Trap- Buried Zombie Level 2 Obstacle x1
Zombie Level 2 Brute x3

The guys get to the opposite shore, a little out of breath but not far to go- a last dash up the beach and they’ll be back in the jungle, under cover and away from prying eyes.

Ahead, on the beach, between the adventurers and the jungle is a grisly totem pole, fifteen feet high and constructed, seemingly, from skulls- ugly!

The adventurers slow their dash, intrigued by the edifice.

[sblock=The Skull Totem]


[/sblock]

“It’s…” Lia recoils.
“… hideous.” Arannis finishes Lia’s sentence.

At which point another Zombie lurches out from behind the totem, grinning- and swinging wildly.

Comment: And I didn’t allow the guys to take a short rest between the two encounters, this is the random encounter I said I’d pull on them some time in the future. A nasty Zombie- a Chief, or at least a dead one.

The Tidal Bridge was never going to be a difficult encounter, after two critical hits though… the kids just blew the Zombies away.
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Let's Play #9 Goodman Games
DCC55 Isle of the Sea Drake (Level 1)

Session 3.


Encounter #7 The Big Bad Zombie (Random Encounter at Area C-1)

[sblock=The Map]


The Map- obviously the guys don’t get to see this, obviously.

There’s no map in the module for this area, I just drew one out on a Chessex Battle Mat.​

[/sblock]

The two Coyomi men gasp and chatter loudly- fear in their voices, the pair fall back quickly, back on to the Tidal Bridge.

Heian translates their words, the Cleric of Sehanine performed the Comprehend Languages ritual shortly after getting up for the days adventuring, he figured someone needed to be able to talk to the two Coyomi men.

Not bad thinking for 9 year old.

“They keep saying something about Eagle-Feather!” Heian shouts out.
“That’s the name of the dead Coyomi Chief.” Lia calls back.
“That must be him.” Heian states.
“Damn! Let’s get this done quickly.” Arannis adds.

Just a note to say that in the module this bad guy is described as the ‘biggest, baddest Zombie on the islands…”

Bad Guys 625 XP Level 2 Encounter
Zombie- Coyomi Chief Level 2 Solo Brute x1

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


[/sblock]

The Zombie Chief lashes out at Lia, who manages to duck and dodge back out of range at the last moment, and a good job to, the Rogue is still badly wounded from the last fight (only a couple of hit points more than her bloodied value).

Arannis stabs and skewers the Zombie Chief, Shuva engulfs the thing in Witchfire and then surrounded by shadow she moves quickly in to cover, behind the creepy totem.

Lia gets behind the Undead Chief and plunges her magical short sword right between its rotting shoulder-blades, the Zombie lurches and moans.

That was a critical hit from Lia, and with Combat Advantage- a whole hunk of damage.

An intense beam of radiant light sears the Zombie, Heian strikes a pose with his holy symbol at full stretch.

“In the name of Erathis- Fight Me!” Brevill challenges, and then cuts hard and takes another chunk out of the Undead creature, the thing flails wildly but Brevill ducks and dodges.

It tries again- this time connects with the Warforged with a flailing slam.

Brevill staggers backwards clutching at the spot, unsteady on his feet- left dazed by the strike.

It was at exactly this point (see below) I realised that my big bad Zombie was going to die very quickly; in-game I borrowed three six-sided dice from the players, I had my own but I wanted the effect, the kids were not happy to see me rolling 3d6 (actually +5) for the Zombie Chief’s damage.

Particularly Spider, who plays Brevill.

They needn’t have worried.

The first roll for damage was a ‘1’.

As was the second.

And the third.

For eight points of damage in total.

Whoopee!

Still enough to bloody the Warforged however.

Arannis meantime strikes again, skewers the Zombie Chief and leaves it staggering.

“Fight on Brevill! Fight on!” Arannis inspires the Warforged, Brevill’s wounds are soon forgotten.

KERBOOM!

A great thunder clap bursts above the Undead creature, the Zombie Chief staggers some more, almost falls, Shuva grins.

Lia stabs the thing in the back again with her magical short sword, full force; at the same moment a beam of radiant light burns and crisps the foul creature’s flesh, Heian continues to pose.

Brevill, still dazed, staggers backwards a little way, gets a grip on his senses and manages to clear his head. The thing lurches after the Warforged, and somehow contrives to flail and miss, not once but twice.

And that was my second Action Point spent for the Solo Zombie, I’ve hit once so far- for minimum damage, while the guys have been rolling close-on maximum damage for all of their attacks.

Arannis stabs and skewers the Zombie again; Lia repeats her trick and buries her short sword in the small of the creature’s back.

Next up the Brute is caught in Shuva’s Eldricth Blast- scorched and seared some more; Heian fires another beam of radiant light- the Zombie clutches at the smouldering wound, lurches forward, and then slowly collapses- the Chief is dead, again.

They figure this isn’t the body of Owl Brother, but to be sure they check quickly- again, no owl tattoo,

The kids inflicted 200+ points of damage in something like three rounds there, they never missed once- I made something like six or seven attacks, and hit once, for the minimum possible damage. I was (playacting) my anger and frustration at the time, while the kids were laughing and grinning all the while.

“Behind the totem!” Arannis shouts.

The adventurers, and the Coyomi men, slump down on the sand in the shade of the grisly construction; they breathe hard and take a well-earned short rest.

Encounter #7 Complete

Bad Guys 625 XP Level 2 Encounter
Zombie- Coyomi Chief Level 2 Solo Brute x1

Lia recovers quickly, the Elf is curious, she investigates the totem, finally- with help, she climbs to the top, although she takes care not to expose herself to view. The guys are very conscious that their enemies are in the jungle ahead, they wanted to get off the Tidal Bridge quickly, and now they’re on the beach they’re making sure they can’t be seen.

Lia spies the beach ahead, the adventurers are in luck, it’s empty.

Luckier still, the Elf Rogue spots two things, the first- in the distance a tower squatting atop a low hill; the second thing Lia spots is much closer, in fact in reach- a worn and ancient looking satchel, resting atop the totem, she grabs it and drops it down to her colleagues.

In the satchel are a bunch of sodden papers, all ruined.

Except one.

Which Arannis reads aloud- “treasure, then there’s a bunch of stuff that’s impossible to read, followed by- swamp tower. My guess is there’s some treasure in the swamp tower, wherever that is.”

Arannis looks at Heian.

The Cleric of Sehanine repeats the words on the paper in Xulmec, the language of the Coyomi, both men point towards the interior of the Island of the Dead- west and perhaps a little to the south, on mention of the word ‘swamp’.

Five minutes later the guys get back to their feet and the quickly scurry up the beach and in to the jungle, under cover, and away from spying eyes.

The Coyomi men are consulted- next stop the tower they saw in the distance, which should by Arannis and Heian’s reckoning be home to the Shell-Blower and the ‘eagle-cats’, whatever they may be.

Comment: That was… pathetic. The dice hate me.

I love the fact that these guys have no idea whatsoever what the ‘eagle-cats’ could be, they have no D&D or Fantasy RPG history, everything is new to them.
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Let's Play #9 Goodman Games
DCC55 Isle of the Sea Drake (Level 1)

Session 3.


Encounter #8 Stalked! (Random Encounter)

[sblock=The Map]


The Map- obviously the guys don’t get to see this, obviously.


[/sblock]

The adventurers head off through the jungle, the Coyomi men pointing the way, although the pair are kept back- in the middle of the group, the kids are determined to bring their guides home safely.

It’s refreshing, at times, to see how nicely they treat NPCs, and in particular the good guys.

They’ve not gone far however, maybe forty-five minutes in to a journey which they estimate will take another hour or so, when suddenly…

Heian and Arannis both scream a warning.

Two ferocious looking large cats- Panthers, leap and lunge out of the dense jungle.

Bad Guys 350 XP Level 1 Encounter
Fey Panther Level 4 Skirmisher x2

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


[/sblock]

Arannis is clawed and knocked to the ground, Brevill somehow manages to avoid the same fate- the Warforged is completely unaware, taken by surprise, and yet manages without trying to step aside at the last moment.

The Warforged grins as the ferocious predator slinks past him.

His grin doesn’t last for long, the first arrow whizzes by his head, the second THUNKS in to his chest.

“What…” Brevill starts up.
“Archer.” Heian shouts, which is obvious really, none of the adventurers spot the sniper however.

Bad Guys 750 XP Level 3 Encounter
Fey Panther Level 4 Skirmisher x2
Human Comiqui Veteran Hunter Level 5 Elite Artillery x1

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


[/sblock]

Arannis scrambles back to his feet.

“What’s going on?” The Eladrin asks.

Brevill’s attacker turns and circles back, rushes at the Warforged.

“Fight Me!” Brevill challenges the beast, although the creature had no intention of fighting anyone else, “Strength of Erathis!” Brevill intones, and then slices and cuts. His longsword slams in to the Panther and deflects the beast, opening up a great gash on the cat’s head; then comes again and opens another gash on the Panther’s flank.

The great cat lands awkwardly, it looks sickly, terrified even.

BLINK!

The creature suddenly disappears.

“What the?” Brevill shakes his head, confused.

At which point we roll Monster Knowledge checks.

“Fey Panthers”, Lia yells, “… they can teleport short distances- watch out!”

BOOF!

A section of the undergrowth bursts momentarily in to flames, the second Fey Panther dashes out, unharmed.

“Damn!” Shuva screams and stomps her foot.

BOOF!

And again the second Panther avoids Shuva’s fire.

The creature pounces and slams in to Brevill, the metal man seems to be particularly favoured by the felines, he staggers (Brevill’s down to 7 hit points).

Heian has better luck than Shuva, his Sacred Flame catches the second Panther moving away, the other feline is long gone- back in to the jungle to lick its wounds.

“Sehanine’s spirit heal thee!” Brevill’s wounds all but disappear.

The Cleric grins, and then ducks as an arrow misses him by inches.

Arannis manoeuvres quickly and blocks the remaining Fey Panther’s exit; the Eladrin stabs the creature, skewering it badly (a critical hit!). The creature backs off, clearly distressed, Arannis is in the hunt however- he moves forward and spears the great cat again (and rolls maximum damage).

The remaining Fey Panther mewls and makes desperate sounds, which only increase in volume when Lia spins a dagger in to the cat’s flank.

“Should we try to save it?” Lia asks, clearly upset at the sight of the forlorn kitty-kat.

WHOOSH!

Too late.

Brevill spins around and decapitates the beast (with another critical hit).

The adventurers try to stay low, all the while desperate to spot the Hunter, but the jungle has again returned to silence- the skull-faced Comiqui has fled.

Encounter #8 Complete

Bad Guys 750 XP Level 3 Encounter
Fey Panther Level 4 Skirmisher x2
Human Comiqui Veteran Hunter Level 5 Elite Artillery x1

The kids, after a short rest, do the best they can to find the trail of the fleeing Comiqui Hunter, which mainly involves shuffling around the jungle for ten to fifteen minutes, not even the Coyomi men can find the path.

“To the Shell-Blower.” Arannis states, “and quickly, we don’t want news of our arrival to spread.”

The adventurers head off, taking special care this time to keep an eye out for other ambushes, or else ferocious beasts of the jungle.

Comment: And so endeth the third session of play, and another meal eaten, and again the kids are having fun. The Island of the Dead seems to be considerably more dangerous, they like the challenge- and they love fighting, at least when they’re winning.
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Let's Play #9 Goodman Games
DCC55 Isle of the Sea Drake (Level 1)

Session 4.


Encounter #9 The Watch Tower (Area C-2)

[sblock=The Map]


The Map- obviously the guys don’t get to see this.


[/sblock]

The adventurers continue through the jungle- this time they’re left in peace, they duly arrive at the Watch Tower, which is situated in a clearing. The tower is around forty feet tall, and twenty five feet wide- it looks ancient, although there are signs that it has been repaired of late, clearly this building is one of the stone constructions Snake Sister spoke about.

The adventurers, and the Coyomi men, remain hidden in the jungle, they observe the scene.

There’s a skull-faced Coyomi atop the tower, a male- Arannis thinks the fellow has a conch shell hung around his neck.

“Shell-Blower, he could sound the alarm!” The Eladrin states.
“We need to get to him quickly.” Heian confirms.
“I’ll go.” Lia replies, her words are lost however.

SCREEEEEE! SCREEEEEEE!

The adventurers look up, way up, high in the sky above are two flying creatures, it’s difficult to tell their size and shape however.

“The eagle-cats?” Arannis asks, to grunts and murmurs- the adventurers are uncertain.

They watch a little while longer, the next thing they see however takes them totally by surprise.

It’s Lia, the Elf Princess has made her way unseen to the base of the tower, and is even now climbing the construct.

“What the…” Arannis starts up.
Brevill moves forward, in to the clearing, and is duly grabbed and dragged back in to the jungle by Arannis and Heian.

The Warforged fumes, silently, and watches on- as do the other adventurers.

Very quickly, and without any false steps, Lia is at the top of the tower.

She looks back at her companions; they look tiny way down below, then creeps silently over the edge and to Shell-Blower, a massive Comiqui male.

Bad Guys 200 XP Level 1 Encounter
Human Comiqui Shell-Blower Level 5 Brute

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


[/sblock]

Lia plunges her magical short sword into the Shell-Blower’s back, immediately the Comiqui Brute’s armour glows emitting a protective shield- it takes all of Lia’s effort to cut through it, but she succeeds and digs her blade in deep.

Shell-Blower screams in agony, attempts to turn to see...

And is slashed again, a Torturous Strike which leaves the Comiqui staggering- clutching at his wounds (Lia’s first hit did 21 damage, her second 29- that’s brutal, the kids are cheering).

Shell-Blower grabs out his nasty-looking stone-hewn axe and slashes at Lia, the Elf is much too quick, the Comiqui’s eyes flash red with rage- he gabbles in his strange tongue.

Then grabs the conch shell hung around his neck, and blows.

ARRRRRROOOOGAH!

For good measure he cuts again with his axe again, but Lia is still far too quick.

The flying creatures overhead have clearly heard the call; they’re descending at speed, one is closer than the other- it swoops towards the tower- set to smash in to Lia.

Bad Guys 600 XP Level 1 Encounter
Human Comiqui Shell-Blower Level 5 Brute
Griffon Level 5 Brute x2

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


[/sblock]

Lia sees this, the Princess screams, as Shell-Blower grins wickedly.

At the last moment the eagle-cat, actually a Griffon, is blasted by fire and radiant burns, and knocked off course.

Shuva and Heian stood just beyond the shadows of the jungle share a grin.

“NOW!” The pair scream in unison.

Brevill steps out in to the clearing.

“Fight Me eagle-cat!” The metal man declares.

The Griffon banks and comes in SCREEEECHING, a Thunder Charge, it smashes in to Brevill, who in the collision skewers the Brute with his blade (another critical hit, as was Heian’s Lance of Faith earlier). In the very next moment Arannis charges from the jungle and spears the Griffon, the thing squawks in terrible pain, flaps its great wings to try to lift off again.

Beneath it Brevill is battered, bloodied and bruised (from almost full to 8 hit points).

Heian engulfs the Griffon again in Sacred Flame, the flying beast is struggling to take to the air.

“Fight on Brevill! Fight on!” The Cleric of Sehanine declares, and the Warforged is up again and in to action.

Back atop the tower Lia and the Shell-Blower continue their fight to the death.

“Don’t fail me now.” Lia whispers to her magical blade, which seems to glint in the sunlight in acknowledgement- the Elf Princess dodges left, and then instantly hard right, the Shell-Blower follows her first move and then lunges.

But Lia’s not there, the Comiqui Brute overbalances, Lia skewers him (using her Duelist’s Blade Daily she gets CA).

The Shell-Blower’s breath comes in ragged bursts, the man is soaked in blood- his own, none of it Lia’s.

Lia grins- too soon, Shell-Blower leaps and slashes with his terrible axe and…

Lia skewers him (with her Riposte Strike, and another critical hit, clever girl).

Shell-Blower staggers to the edge of the tower, clutching at his wounds, he stops for a short moment- glances up at Lia and then plummets off the edge.

To his death.

The Elf Princess is quickly to the ladder, her friends are fighting for their lives below, she ducks and descends just in time, the second Griffon clears the tower and circles round to join the fray.

Down below Arannis shouts.

“To the right!” Brevill dances, the pair are now either side of the bloodied and battered Griffon, which is still trying to take flight, they slash and skewer and the eagle-cat is done for.

No time for congratulations, Brevill rushes forward, waving his longsword above his head.

“Here! Here! Fight me!” He yells at the second Griffon, which SCREECHES long and loud, and then banks and dives to attack.

Shuva’s Eldritch Blast catches the creature by surprise, and yet does not alter its course- it smashes in to Brevill, who skewers it in the clash, this time the force of the Griffon’s is not enough to knock the Warforged down.

Heian’s Sacred Flame ignites the Griffon’s tail feathers; it hops and dances trying desperately to extinguish the flame.

Lia is only a third of the way down the ladder, and yet… something is not quite right, as she watches a section of the tower above peels away and cascades down, smashing in to the clearing below.

Which makes all of the adventurers stop and stare, even if only for a second.

“It’s collapsing!” Lia screams and redoubles her efforts to descend the ladder as fast as she can.

Arannis and Brevill are quickly back in harness, working together to flank and circle the second Griffon- the Eladrin skewers the great winged beast, driving his greatspear all the way through the creature’s body (Daily- Lead the Attack for 20 points of damage).

“Power of Erathis!” Brevill shouts and slashes the beast empowered by his Divine Strength, the last Griffon is very quickly bloodied, it tries to flee- flaps furiously to gain height, but is caught in Shuva’s Witchfire.

The Griffon is forced down on to the ground again.

It SCREECHES in frustration, Claws at Brevill- but the Warforged is too quick, it tries again to take to the air, but it’s going nowhere.

Heain’s Sacred Flame comes again, the second eagle-cat is all but broken.

Victory it seems is close at hand.

At which point screaming and gesticulating wildly come a pair of Comiqui- rushing in to the melee from the jungle, a third skull-faced native- in the shadow of the trees, draws a bow and targets the great metal man fighting the Griffon.

Bad Guys 762 XP Level 3 Encounter
Human Comiqui Shell-Blower Level 5 Brute
Human Comiqui Villager Level 2 Minion x2
Human Comiqui Hunter Level 1 Artillery
Griffon Level 5 Brute x2

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Lia continues down the ladder, leaps the last ten feet as yet another section of the edifice smashes down beside her- the Elf Princess is off, at speed.

Shuva, swathed in shadows, suddenly appears beside Arannis.

“Go!” The Half-Elf states, the Eladrin shares a look with Brevill and then sprints off to meet the newly arrived Comiqui. He spears the first of the attackers, but is clubbed by the second.

Brevill draws back a way, drops his sword and grabs out a javelin- the Griffon is at last gaining altitude, he flings the missile- spears it, and yet the last eagle-cat continues to gain height.

A moment later two arrows THUNK in to the Warforged’s chest, the metal man staggers as sparks fly, he THUMPS hard in to a tree at the jungle’s edge and thereby manages to stay on his feet (Brevill is on 1 hit point- Spider isn’t happy).

Heian is quickly to him, moments later the metal man has got his Second Wind.

At the same moment the escaping Griffon is engulfed in Shuva’s Eldritch Blast, it plummets from the sky and smashes in to the middle section of the already unsteady tower, which staggers, sways and then topples.

Thankfully it collapses away from the adventurers.

Lia spins a dagger out and catches the Comiqui Hunter hidden in the tree-line, Arannis skewers the last Comiqui Villager and then calls out to Brevill.

“Join me my metal brother!” The Warforged is Inspired by the Eladrin’s words, his wounds forgotten, he races forward- towards the last enemy; smashes in to the Hunter (another critical hit) and sends the man sprawling.

The skull-faced Comiqui drops its bow, holds its empty hands up in the air, and babbles in its strange tongue.

“Don’t kill it!” Arannis shouts, at a rush, and then swiftly disarms the Comiqui Hunter.
“We have a prisoner.” The Eladrin declares.

Encounter #9 Complete

Bad Guys 762 XP Level 3 Encounter
Human Comiqui Shell-Blower Level 5 Brute
Human Comiqui Villager Level 2 Minion x2
Human Comiqui Hunter Level 1 Artillery
Griffon Level 5 Brute x2

The prisoner is tied up, given over to the Coyomi men to take care of. The wreck and ruin of the tower is thoroughly searched, Shell-Blower’s body eventually located and extracted from the rubble.

The Brute is stripped of his armour, its magical- a suit of +1 Darkleaf Armour which Arannis lays claim to.


The Comiqui Hunter is dragged off in to the jungle, tied to a tree and made to talk- I improvise a Skill Challenge, although with no XP on offer, only clues to be had. I play the Comiqui, the kids play themselves, with Heian having to do the translating. It’s uproariously funny, the Comiqui is eventually tickled in to submission, which is a twist on the usual bloody frenzy more ‘mature’ players often resort to in these situations.

The Comiqui eventually tells the kids, in answer to their various questions, that his people inhabit the ruins of a stone city to the north of the island; the Coyomi men confirm this information. Also present in the city are a bunch of Pirates, working with his people at the behest of the Pirate leader who is capable of great magic.

Last, and most important, they learn that the Pirates have a ship.

After the roleplaying the kids move to a discussion, basically where next- do they retreat from the island, or else… several of the guys are low on Healing Surges, in particular Brevill and Lia- they’re both down to two left.

Eventually a decision is made, to the Pool of Life next, respite and healing- a place to rest and recover, the guys also have enough XP for level 2, a most attractive prospect, they’ve never played a level 2 PC.

Comment: The kids plan was to go on from here to accomplish their various quests, the amount of fighting they have had to do on the Island of the Dead has put paid to their original idea, particularly the last fight which turned in to a cinematic treat.

The kids seem to have a knack of making 4e feel like an older addition, they don’t really take in to account the range of their powers. The example would be Brevill rushing out in to the open to challenge the Griffon- which was still at a considerable distance, at the time it just felt right- so, as usual, I played along. They’re playing the film, or the video game, of the game- it’s not something on paper, it’s more visceral, more cinema than that.
 

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