Session report - the party comes close to a split, but not quite


We got in a 4e session today.

A the end of the last session, the PCs were negotiating with Oublivae over trading information for their chaos barge. Those negotiations were resolved with a successful Initimdate check: Oublivae agreed to give them the information as to the location of the Raven Queen's body in advance, in exchange for a promise to give her the barge once she told them.

The PCs agreed, she gave them the information, and they kept their promise. She then boarded the barge and immediately headed down towards the bottom of the Abyss. The player of the drow emergent primordial, whose PC had been tempted by the Heart of the Abyss while in primordial form in Orcus's throne room, immediately worked out that she was making an attempt to get to the Heart.

This led to some discussion of various enemies dead and still living, who might be trying to get to the Heart of the Abyss, etc. The list they came up with of those who might try to go for the Heart of the Abyss was Demogorgon + Dagon, Oublivae, and Pazuzu (who had entered the Abyssal rift in the Demonweb Pits when they fought Lolth).

There was also some discussion of what to do with the Raven Queen's body, with different PCs having different views about whether the purpose was to strengthen or undermine the Raven Queen's power. Those differences became more pronounced as the PCs (after 7 days trudging across the Barrens under the protection of Endure Primordial Elements) arrived at the mausoleum of the Raven Queen, now exposed due to the dissolution of the Abyss, after millenia of being buried on the Barrens.

As I put it to the players, the lot of all heroic archaeologists is to have the Nazis just beat them: in this case, the "Nazis" were Kas (with a death knight underling and a couple of zombie hordes - huge swarms with a reach + restrain attack) having mostly got the best of Jenna Osterneth (who was flying above the Mausoleum, out of reach, her skeleton hordes defeated and scattered).

Kas approached the PCs, leaving his death knight to command his hordes, to rebuke them for not having delivered him Jenna as they had promised. Then Jenna flew over (but just above 20 sq, to avoid spell casting) and opened negotiations - at first in Giant, correctly guessing that that was a language that only the invoker/wizard, who is also something of a Vecna worshipper, would speak - and then shifting to Common. Her basic pitch was that the Raven Queen - who had got the domain of death by killing Nerull, then fate in a bargain to help Corellon against Lolth, then winter in a bargain to help the other gods defeat Khala in the War of Winter - was now trying to take over the heavens by having the Rod of 7 Parts restored, and then the Lattice of Heaven remade, with her domain being the only divine domain outside the Lattice (because on the Shadowfell). She urged the PCs to join her in defeating the Raven Queen (using her body to learn her name) and thereby to maintain balance among the gods, and hence in the world.

She also cast doubt on her loyalty to Vecna, by stressing that the most distinctive thing about Vecna is that his most loyal servants always betray him!

The players (as their PCs) were debating back and forth about what to do, and then it somehow (I now can't quite remember how) became clear that we had to roll initiative. Because of the division among the PCs I made the players write down initial action declarations - or at least general approaches to the situation - blind, before rolling initiative.

The result of that was that the drow sorcerer and elf ranger-cleric launched their attacks upon the flying Jenna, while the dwarf fighter found himself solo-ing Kas, and then the death knight and the two hordes as they closed the distance.

Some unity then emerged as the PCs' focus turned to Kas, and Jenna - after getting in a few good blasts against the PCs who had attacked here - held her fire.

One of the more interesting things was that, at the end of his first turn, the dwarven fighter had Kas prone before him (successful Footwork Lure attack buffed with various feats). And I decided - given the prior discussion of taking over various divine portfolios - that now was the perfect time to offer him the chance to take over Torog's domains of jailing (and torture, pain etc as side benefits). I stressed that jailing was important to keep the imprisoned primordials in check.

I think everyone at the table was a bit surprised when he decided to take up the offer, somewhat changing the flavour of his Eternal Defender epic destiny. (Eternal Jailer?) The immediate effect of this was that I granted him a +2 to hit against the Kas-ites for the rest of the combat, as a result of his divine power up. I'll have to think of a more permanent benefit later.

The session ended with the combat still underway, and the PCs fighting Kas (who had forced two of them to use their "when dropped to 0 hp" abilities) while Jenna looks on. I had Kas statted up as a 28th level solo, with lots of abilities to regain hp, AP and throw of conditions - he is proving tough to take down, which is always fun for a solo.

Once Kas is defeated (which I think will be the ultimate outcome) I'm curious to see what they do with Jenna, and then with the Raven Queen's body.

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Once Kas is defeated (which I think will be the ultimate outcome) I'm curious to see what they do with Jenna, and then with the Raven Queen's body.

Tie Jenna to the Raven Queen's body and the Sorcerer nukes the whole site from orbit atop the flying tower. Its the only way to be sure.

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