Dark Squad in the Secrets of Saltmarsh
Session #105: Die Hard.
Dark Squad (in alphabetical order, no egos here).
Daktari/Dak (played by Haggis) Male Human Uthgardt Sky Pony Barbarian Lvl 8
Fellowyn Silverstream (played by George) Male Eladrin Wizard Bladesinger Lvl 8
New Tricks/Newt (played by Bear) Male Tabaxi Warlock Lvl 8
Ramshambo/Ram (played by Kev) Male Half-Elf Rogue/Fighter Lvl 7/1
Vincenzo/Vinnie (played by Haggis) Male Shifter (Wildhunt) Druid Lvl 8
Ubmo (played by Goonalan) Supreme Being Lvl 1 (When we remember)
*Trapped in the Land of the Bad Dead Ancestors.
Gerald (Bat/Giant Bat) servant/mount of New Tricks
Owly (Owl) Vinnie’s familiar
The Dark Squad’s to-do list-
- The De La Crane Manse is on The Leap, and Anders Solmor would like the Squad to check it out, it's also the ancestral home of the De La Crane family, and the Squad are looking for Antonio De La Crane- see below.
- Bonnie Bowspirit, grand-daughter of Rambles, will show the Squad to the missing halfling killer's tomb, on the 6th of Flamerule- see below.
- Find the other four Symbols of Ub, one was left in Deepbridge (Duergar fortress in the Underdark). The others need to be found, they belonged to- Rambles 'Shambles' Bowspirit (halfling killer from Lowhill), Antonio De La Crane (posh kid druid alchemist) & Giggles (crazy wood elf). All of these folk lived in the Saltmarsh region, the Dark Squad have found the De La Crane Manse (in the Dreadwood) and the De La Crane Crypt (in Saltmarsh Cemetary).
- Nightshade is in the Deep Dreadwood- except she's not there any more, but a big red dragon is?
- Blackedge and the Goblin Stair?
- To join the Pact of the Wild Flame prepare the Witch's Tor for the coming of the starfall, the Witch's Tor is in the Drowned Forest, in the Mere of the Dead Men.
- To join the Pact of the Wild Flame track down the last member of the Pact, a wild elf adventurer called Giggles- and finally put her spirit to rest, and also recover her maze button. Location unknown. SEE 2. ABOVE.
The Dark Squad make use of a rowboat, the exhausted Daktari had been dragging the vessel through the swamp for the last five or so hours, but Ram was right to insist that they bring it- the tide is in now.
So, first oddity, Ram is the first to clamber (silently and sneakily) onto the wet rocks here and discover a barred (actually chained) blowhole style-pit, a place for prisoners to be kept. The pit looks to be empty and yet moments later a voice comes from within.
“I thay! Are you the here-ohs? Have you come to fwee my mithtress?”
Twenty minutes later, when all of the Dark Squad have assembled, they start to make sense of their new interviewee- the speaker in the pit is a very big crab. Long story short, the big crab- Thir Bwian (Sir Brian) is in reality a Sea Elf, who while investigating this place with his mistress (we'll get to her) was transformed into his present condition. Thir Bwian paves the way for a chat with his now dead mistress who is, well... some sort of terrifying ghost.
Note, Vinnie tries to Dispel the Magic on Thir Bwian- it doesn't work.
Lady Miraal, she's really not very happy about being (un)dead.
Another twenty minutes of knife-edge chatter later and the spirit of Lady Miraal eventually agrees to allow the Dark Squad to pass- although the adventurers have sworn to recover the ghostly Sea Elf's magical conch- now held by the mad Talos priest, resident of the lighthouse- dead ahead.
Note, we got close with the above conversation- Lady Miraal was looking for any excuse to punish the Dark Squad for their intrusion, the spirit it seems seeks vengeance on all that live, keep in mind that any form of diplomacy, with Newt present, is often protracted and not without it's moments...
“Mademoiselle, we are tres zimpathetic to your plight- we will return to you zis conch shell you seek, and free you from zis undead indignity.” Vinnie concludes.
But in the silence that follows, as Lady Miraal considers the druid's latest honeyed words.
“Now get out of the way you watery bint or I'll immolate you and turn you to steam!” Newt adds with a snarl.
Which, obviously, necessitates another helping of honey from the druid and his friends.
It goes back and forth for a while.
But eventually the Dark Squad pass on (and now with Pass Without Trace in action)- and they've been told that the mad Talos priest is at home, as are his harpy minions, so quietly- cautiously.
Up a winding path to the rocky summit, and keep in mind with the mist and fog the Dark Squad can't see very far ahead.
Ram, as always, leads the way- into a low building at the base of the lighthouse, very cautiously the rogue heads the gang in.
A foyer leads to a temple dedicated to Talos, atop the altar a stone statue/representation of jagged, arcing lightning bolts. Odd, there's a buzzing sound coming from here.
The various members of the Dark Squad continue their investigations, while Ram presses on- into a walled compound- exposed to the fog and the night. There's an ancient tree here, and in its treacherous spiked branches are half-a-dozen harpies, on their nests.
Note, the above screen shot was taken too soon, the harpies not yet on screen.
Also note that Ram's stealth check at this point was '38' (Pass Without Trace remember), and so the rogue slips in, and then back out again.
He tells his friends.
Newt doesn't hesitate, he rushes towards the newly spotted enemies.
It's about to get Firebally!
And here we go again...
Newt's Fireball severely wounds all of the harpies, all of them are left mortally wounded, and in the ensuing short fracas- as the various members of the Dark Squad (mostly with higher Initiative) pop in to the exterior compound to shoot or spell another harpy or two dead.
The Players are in hog heaven, and there's much giggling- they got me, but they really haven't- because I know what comes next.
Moesko, ugly half-orc priest of Talos, slams open the door to his room, and then fires a Lightning Bolt into the Squad- Ubmo (the Supreme Being) is destroyed instantly.
Point of fact during what follows Ubmo explodes three times in quick succession, each time reforming- perfectly unharmed, hovering just next to Vinnie.
Moesko is an aged and very rough looking half-orc, oddly he's outfitted in a thick rubbery armour- possibly the hide of several octopi. Moesko mostly grunts and makes threats- he's no style-
“LIGHTNING bad you DEAD!”
That kind of thing.
But this is the Dark Squad and so, they take the heat and keep on dishing out the hurt.
Moesko gets desperate, he grabs out a large and beautiful conch shell (Lady Miraal needs this) and sounds it, calling another (far nastier) harpy to the fight.
The newly arrived harpy, situated just beyond the barred window of the Talos shrine, is singing her dissonant song, and yet... none of the members of the Squad fail their saves (thanks to an Inspiration Point for Daktari, and Dark One's Own Luck for Newt), which is a shame as this particular tune would have left them all paralyzed.
You'll also note that Moesko has taken a beating in the above images- four blood drops on his token already.
However, at this point the half-orc priest of Talos has transformed, he has a boar's head and tusks- he looks a lot like Vinnie, the Moonboar, and he can still cast spells.
And we go on for a while...
Fellowyn has Misty Stepped beyond the half-orc, note the bladesinger is also Hasted at this point.
The harpy at the window has already tried another, more charming, song- and yet still none of the Dark Squad have failed their saves. They're mostly ignoring the harpy, because... well, they keep hitting Moesko and the DM keeps saying, or something very similar-
“Moesko, is exhausted- bleeding out, on his last legs, and yet- after your terrifying attack he staggers back, rights himself, shrugs off the hurt and fights on.”
In-game every time the PCs deliver a killing blow to Moesko the DM instantly heals him back to 1 hit point (and removes all conditions).
So, maybe two or three turns later, and...
The Players are really pissed.
Moesko has given ground but... the Talos priest, seemingly, cannot be killed- and the PCs are starting to fret.
Meantime the terrifying (and very tough) harpy has given up with her charms and taken to flying into the Talos shrine to claw at various members of the Squad- retreating every time.
Newt and Ram concentrate their efforts on the harpy, keeping the flying terror at bay.
But back at the front line and Moesko, well- he still cannot be killed.
The PCs/Players were of the opinion that they just had to put Moesko down X times and one would stick, well, that can't be right because at this point Moesko should have been dead six (or more) times over.
He keeps not dying.
The Players are starting to scratch their heads.
The latest idea is that somehow the buzzing shrine of Talos is keeping the half-orc priest alive, Fellowyn shatters the stone carved arcing lightning bolts and he and his two close companions- Ram & Newt are hit by another full-force Lightning Bolt.
The shrine is wrecked.
But still Moesko won't die.
So, that's not it.
Also note the nasty harpy when reduced to not very many hit points has already flown away, escaping into the fog and mist- quickly out of sight.
Moesko and his new found Dark Squad friends are still doing their special dance, note at this point Daktari has stopped stabbing the half-orc Talos priest, he's grappling the boar-headed beast, and dragging the struggling brute towards a filled water butt.
The barbarian (smart lad) is going to drown Moesko.
However, while the fight continues Ram and the Hasted bladesinger, Fellowyn, have made it all the way to the top of the lighthouse, note the image on the right is not quite right (but it was the only map I had to hand).
Within a ten foot metal bowl (fastened to the wooden floor) is a pool of dark blue liquid, the surface of the fluid is sheathed in a layer of tiny buzzing lightning bolts. Liquid lightning, or something similar.
Fellowyn and Ram try to figure it out, while the fight below goes on, the pair quickly discover that there's a copper rod/pipe which descends from the lightning bowl here to the Talos shrine (the altar) below.
The pair work together to severe this connection.
However, Moesko still cannot be killed.
Moesko is in the water butt- face down, and Vinnie is rabbit punching the hog-headed half-orc in the gut, knocking the wind out of their near-immortal enemy.
Daktari is shouting a lot, remember in cod Russian.
“You are cheater! You die now! You die hard!”
Eventually the pair- Moesko and Daktari, are exchanging unfriendly banter, there's also a little name calling, although Moesko has finally to concede that Daktari has 'hair like silky'.
Daktari loves his hair.
Note, Newt is just stuck for what to do for the best, he's tried blasting Moesko, searching the Talos shrine, trying to speed-read the books here...
All to no avail, so far.
Moesko full on transforms into a boar, and during the change manages to escape Daktari's grasp.
Levels of frustration (for the Players) increase dramatically.
Although maybe a turn or so later and the half-orc, subject to Vinnie's Moonbeam, has to transform back into his real (half-orc) form.
Soon after he's also being grappled again, by Daktari, although Vinnie has also applied a set of manacles to the Talos priest's legs, note he rolled a '20' to do this so- it works.
But Moesko still will not die.
Back up in the lighthouse, and it has come to this- the rogue has got pitons and a hammer out and is in the process of trying to hammer an iron spike into the base of the huge bowl full of liquid lightning.
He's been at this task for two turns so far.
Drip [three seconds later] Drip.
That's where he's at, although why he's doing this... your guess is as good as mine.
Moesko yet lives.
But that's all we had time for- more of this kind of thing next time, promise you.
Stay safe and well you lovely people.
Cheers the Dark Squad and goonalan.
Oh, just an aside- we've rolled up some nice WFRP characters, we're going to try to fit a little bit of this (on Foundry) into the repertoire. Just a heads up.