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The Dark Squad in the Secrets of Saltmarsh #137 Into the Mere of the Dead Men Part 2.

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Good on you for trying something new, the slog is real.
And we played the Dark Squad last night, and it was glorious... although, that bastard Newt crippled my just short of 8,000 XP encounter. I went from pulling my punches to trying to just save one of my bad guys in a matter of moments.

It was excruciating for me, although the players seemed to spend a lot of their time laughing like drains.

Cheers goonalan.
 

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Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Lol, as my players like to tell me. Okay, blame me.. you don't get the heroes you want, but the heroes you deserve.
Bastards the lot of 'em
If it weren't for my players this game would be just perfect... tbh failed saves (multiple/repeated) did me in.

I'd upped the threat significantly because Nicky, the Cleric, is just jam-packed with healing goodness and the like, but... Newt, the miserable cat-bastard...

Cheers goonalan
 


Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Dark Squad in the Secrets of Saltmarsh

Session #090: Underwater Dark Squad.

Dark Squad (in alphabetical order, no egos here).
Daktari (played by Haggis) Male Human Uthgardt Sky Pony Barbarian Lvl 8
New Tricks (played by Bear) Male Tabaxi Warlock Lvl 8
Nicholai Barbaros Kostyiev (played by George) Male Dhampir Cleric of Twilight Lvl 8
Ramshambo (played by Kev) Male Half-Elf Rogue/Fighter Lvl 7/1
Vincenzo (played by Haggis) Male Shifter (Wildhunt) Druid Lvl 8

NPCs
Inverna Nightbreeze (played by George) Female Wood Elf Fighter Lvl 8 (Sidekick) RETIRED
Garumn Male Mountain Dwarf Paladin of Moradin Lvl 5 RIP*
Tarbin Tul (played by goonalan) Male Human Bard RETIRED
Ubmo (played by Goonalan) Supreme Being Lvl 1
*Trapped in the Land of the Bad Dead Ancestors.

Servants/Familiars
Gerald (Bat/Giant Bat) servant/mount of New Tricks
Owly (Owl) Vinnie’s familiar

The Dark Squad’s to-do list-


  1. Warn Ashby & investigate Salt Cave, the Soggy's are coming!
  2. Vinnie needs to be back for the next Saltmarsh Council meeting on the 1st Kythorn (June).
  3. Awaiting new answers to new questions from the priests at Fallowstone Holy, info will be sent to Saltmarsh for around the 10th of Kythorn (June).
  4. 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).
  5. Nightshade is in the Deep Dreadwood?
  6. Blackedge and the Goblin Stair?
  7. To join the Pact of the Wild Flame you need to find the hidden weapons left to fight Ashardalon, these are in a dragon-in-flight shaped barrow in Farrow Woods.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
This is session 90, and it was glorious... for them. The players that is. The bastards. Although, tbh I bloody loved it too. It's great to be back with the Dark Squad, but- shush, don't let the players hear me saying this.

So, we're back in Ashby- and Daktari (& Newt) have had a dream/premonition- the Soggy's (sahuagin) are coming, the pair (in their shared vision) saw a sahuagin baron lead his troops ashore, to pillage Ashby, only- here they are, the Dark Squad to the rescue.

I'm happy to inform the players, they're ahead of schedule, I had planned for the visioned event to take place in around five days from now (I have a calendar of disasters planned, or something similar). So, they're ahead of the game, for now.

Therefore, after another half-an-hour (or more) reviewing (again, but we've been away from the DS for a month nearly) the rules for underwater action/combat, and figuring out what each of the PCs are doing should they (when they) head beneath the waves. Well, it takes a while, for info-

All the PCs have at least one Potion of Water Breathing.

Daktari is going to get a Freedom of Movement spell courtesy of his pal, Vinnie.

New Tricks has a Helm of Underwater Action.

Nicky has nothing else to contribute, note Nicky- in his plate armour, is a Bottom Walker and also incredibly slow, but he doesn't intend to get involved with the hitting of things (combat). He has however got a trick up his sleeve- which we will get to see in this session.

Ramshambow is wearing a suit of +1 Mariner's Studded Leather armour, so that's handy.

While Vinnie is either going to be plodding around like Nicky (but he's not weighed down with heavy armour et al) or else- well, Wildshape may come in handy.

As you can see from the above I've been distributing magic items that are going to come in handy here, there's a plan.

Last bit of news before the get-go.

We forgot all about Ubmo, the Supreme Being, so- he's not in play this session. My bad, but y'know- fun happened anyway. I forgive me, and the players didn't remind me either.

Therefore, 7.30 AM the next day, and the Squad- with Ludwig Clamzucker, Ashby's Priest of the Sea (Poseidon & Umberlee), make the journey by jolly boat to Salt Cave. Remember the PCs are in search of Bobby & Trevor Hopscotch. Ludwig who has also been having bad dreams sent the pair of Ashby fisherman to this spot two days ago- the priest also saw Soggy's in his dreams, and they were in Salt Cave.

So, this is a rescue mission... maybe.

And this session is mostly in pictures, and one or two of them in technicolour, I'm going to do a little less writing than previous (I hope) because life post-Covid (can I say that yet?) is busier, real-world.

9000.jpg

The Dark Squad are water walking (we had a discussion about how that works what with the waves etc.) but save for a few Acrobatics or Dex checks, we're moving quickly now- we want to get to the action.

Ram is, as usual, sent ahead, into Salt Cave. Ludwig and his boat are just off the screen, he's waiting there for the Dark Squad.

9001.jpg

Ram's in, and the water's much calmer in here, although the rogue can't see a way out of the high ceilinged central cavern.

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But then there's a small beach, and it slopes up into caverns proper, and there's light to the north, but not a sound, save the sea and the drip of the cave.

Note, the Dark Squad are being very very cautious here.

9003.jpg

The investigations begin- Nicky & Vinnie find tracks- webbed and clawed tracks, and there's been a confrontation here, bloody... two bodies were dragged away to the west.

And moments later Ram finds the remains of Bobby Hopscotch, the poor fellow has been slashed and cut repeatedly by blades, and then... consumed, or at least his lower half has.

Nicky, Vinnie and Ram are certain now- they are very definitely looking for Soggys here.

The passage continues on, illuminated by cavern fungus here and there, alas there's no picture of the pool at the end of this winding route.

The pool looks deep.

It's time for the Water Breathing Potions (et al), as the Dark Squad begin their underwater adventure.

9004.jpg

Forty feet down and in through the roof of a cavern that is another thirty or so feet deep, and full of sea water, there's just the waving fronds of kelps and other aquatic plants.

Note, there's nothing to the south or west of the chamber that Ram swims down into- there's nowhere to go except up a stepped passage to the north, or else into a cave to the east.

Not all maps are perfect.

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The Dark Squad explore both directions, Newt heading into the cavern to the east- Ram keeps an eye on the warlock's progress. While Nicky, slowly (he's a Bottom Walker, remember) clambers up the stepped shelves kicking up clouds of silt as he goes- to the north. There he discovers the remnants of ancient stonework- and after a '19' on his History check, he notes the style is dwarven.

But still, there are no enemies to be seen.

Note, the PCs entered Salt Cave at 7.50 PM (real world time) they get here an hour later- I did say they were taking things real slow, real cautious.

9006.jpg

Ram gathers the guys and then scouts ahead, down the main passage, there's a constructed stone archway leading into the side of the ravine, this place is very definitely an ancient dwarven redoubt, of some sort.

Note, at this point we've also had a discussion about how to communicate underwater, more than fifteen feet away and the PCs have to mime and gesticulate their 'messages' (on camera, on Discord), which the watching PCs then have to translate. Charades, if you like.

Nicky (George) is very good at charades.

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Ram finds a statue, it's a dwarf- it looks a lot like Ub. Surprise! There's another one in an alcove to the south, found by Nicky. The short section of ancient passages is thoroughly searched but, there's nothing untoward or interesting to be found. The place is a ruin, and mostly collapsed- this was a much larger complex.

But... we go on, or else.

Back in the lower cavern (on this map) Newt thought he saw some stairs leading up and out of the chamber, eventually he convinces his colleagues to head back to take a look, here it is-

9008.jpg

The stairs head up, east and then north.

9009.jpg

Up, with Ram leading the way, into an air-filled cavern, and out of the water. See those glimmers and twinkles on the floor, they're gems. The place is carpeted with gold, and with spilled-opened chests that have unleashed very many shiny (and valuable) items. At the far end of the cavern (not shown) the gold must be several feet deep.

There is whooping.

Although Ram only just cracks a smile-

“We're going to have to carry all of this.” He sulks.

But then Ram heads a little further in to the cavern, wading through gold, and... triggers a Glyph (of Warding) which unleashes a thundering blast (8d8 thunder damage)- several of the PCs fail their saves, some of them even after expending Inspiration Points to re-roll. See the picture above- check out the blood drops.

Ram somehow manages to avoid all hurt.

The sound of the blast echoes in the chamber, Newt and Nicky are both bleeding from their ears and nose, somewhat deafened.

Worse still the treasure is revealed to be an illusion, winking out of existence after the trap is spent, although soon after investigations continue. Newt & Nicky confirm that the trap was a Glyph of Warding, and not ancient- this trap is new. Newt and Nicky's Arcana checks were '19' & '20' respectively.

But there's nothing else to be found here, and so Nicky fires up one of his healing powers and over the course of the next minute or so manages to pretty much get all of the PCs back up to just about full hit points.

And then, back down into the water...

9010.jpg

But the Dark Squad are no-longer alone here, two swarms of baby sharks come swimming down and are quickly biting Daktari and Nicky.

A moment later and the first of the sahuagin arrive, this fellow is quite a sight- wearing a shell and coral version of plate armour, and with a clam-shell shield, wielding a longblade that curves and undulates like a wave. A sahuagin blademaster.

9011.jpg

The first sahuagin blademaster cuts and slices at Newt, and the warlock is bloodied and beyond in seconds (down from nearly full to approx. 12 hit points- one of the hits was a Crit), Vinnie also gets sliced- but the druid doesn't get cut as often, or as deeply, as the warlock.

Suddenly there is bubbled screaming.

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But then... Newt hits both of the revealed sahuagin with his Hold Person spell, and... two failed saves.

Note, one of the baby shark swarms has also been repeatedly Eldritch Blasted (by Newt again) and sent swarming away from the rest of the Squad (he's using his Repelling Blasts here).

Also note the circle shown is another one of Nicky's life-saving powers, each PC gains 1d6+8 Temp HP at the end of their turn (if they're in the circle).

9013.jpg

Vinnie conjures a Hunter Shark which rips into one of the two paralysed Soggys, and remember hits are Crits for paralysed folk.

At this point we also had a discussion about the nature of the Hunter Shark that Vinnie has summoned, I asked the question because sahuagin (as you probably know) have an affinity for sharks. But, from the text of the spell-

You Summon Fey spirits that take the form of Beasts and appear in unoccupied spaces that you can see within range.

So, it looks like a shark but it really isn't.

Note Vinnie and Newt are keeping out of the way.

9014.jpg

Oh! But this is how the Hunter Shark sees the world, it's Blindsight (in Fantasy Grounds Unity) paints the world blue/purple (I'm colour blind, help me here).

The bastards (the players) have tamed my two very tough sahuagin in seconds, so... here's two more- another sahuagin blademaster (that's three) and a high priestess.

The two already in situ sahuagin blademasters both fail their saving throws again- and so they're both still paralysed.

Players = Bastards.

The newly arrived sahuagin blademaster tries to communicate (telepathically) with the hunter shark which is ravaging his paralysed colleague.

That doesn't work.

The high priestess- she targets her wild gesticulating at, well... who is missing from the picture below-

9015.jpg

That's right- it's Daktari who, even after expending an Inspiration Point for a re-roll, fails his Charisma saving throw, and he's Banished.

A hush falls.

The tank has gone bye-bye.

But look at the above image again, at Newt- and those arrows are the targets of his next spell/warlock power, and of course- all three sahuagin fail their saving throws, and now the two new arrivals are Blinded, as is one of the already paralysed blademasters.

But here's the thing- can you see that innocuous looking vertical line that seems to split the image in two? Got it? It's in the middle of Nicky's healing circle (or whatever it's called).

Well, everything to the left of the line is- well normal (underwater etc.), while everything to the right of the line- well, the water has gone away.

Nicky, I said he had a trick up his sleeve, has just cast Control Water and managed to drain the entire area to the right of the aforementioned line.

Nicky, as already stated, is a Bottom Walker in his platemail. The paralysed (and blind) sahuagin blademaster is less fortunate- he drops from over twenty feet and hits the deck hard. The baby shark swarms are also suffering, they tend to very heavily favour the aquatic, they're out of their element and drowning in air (is that right?).

9017.jpg

Check out the Wall of Water.

Vinnie swims down and climbs out of the water and into the air- and then unleashes D&D's most devastating spell- Produce Flame. The targeted swarm of baby sharks is mostly flopping around and dying, now it's also a little burnt. The second baby shark swarm however manages to flip itself back into the blue, alas it's only got one hit point left.

The sahuagin?

Oh, they're getting taken apart- although slowly, the blademasters have 120+ hit points each, the high priest something similar.

But Ram's stabbing up the priestess.

And... she fails her concentration check and BLINK- Daktari is back in the room.

Note, FGU does all of the concentration checks automatically, so... BASTARDS!

9018.jpg

Daktari takes down the high priestess, the hunter shark finishes off one of the blademasters, both of the baby shark swarms have been blasted (or just plain drowned).

The sahuagin blademaster that was paralysed and blinded, and then dropped twenty plus feet onto its backside when Nicky removed the water from the cavern, has now thrown off the paralysis and managed to dive back into the briny. It is however wounded, and still blind.

The last sahuagin blademaster, also blind, is hacking and screaming (bubbling?) at the hunter shark that is trying to tear him to pieces.

9019.jpg

Ram and Daktari double team one of the blind sahuagin blademasters, this after Newt Eldritch Blasts the creature and smashes it into the far wall.

The hunter shark is getting hacked apart- the sahuagin hits hard, but it's still biting the foe.

Note, except for the sahuagin blademaster that threw off the paralysis (leaving it still blind) my bad guys have failed every saving throw, so far...

9020.jpg

But then, at bloody last, the sahuagin that the hunter shark was eating regains its sight, and it's off- up through a narrow passage to the north west and back into the main passage. Note the small five foot circle (next to the shark) is Nicky's Spiritual Weapon, he's been clobbering stuff from afar.

The chase is on!

Note, Ram and Daktari have now accounted for the other sahuagin blademaster, like I say... the chase is on.

9021.jpg

And after expending all Move/Actions Ram, Daktari and the Hunter Shark catch up with the last enemy.

But none of the PCs have anything left with which to make an attack.

The sahuagin flees again- and it's fast, eighty feet/turn, and all of the opportunity attacks generated are... misses.

There is cursing.

9022.jpg

The image on the left shows Daktari and the Hunter Shark, now joined by Newt, left in the wake of the fleeing sahuagin. Image on the right connects to the north edge of the left image- yes, I know it's the wrong way around but use your imagination.

Ram catches up with the last sahuagin...

But he's out of actions, again.

9023.jpg

As do many/all of his friends, they're all just waiting for the blademaster to flee again, and...

I'd be a fool to disappoint them.

9024.jpg

The sahuagin tempts fate and flees, and keep in mind it's on approx. ten hit points and so hanging around to fight these two murderous bastards (Ram & Dak) and their shark, well- that's not really an option.

The sahuagin blademaster doesn't get far.

There is cheering- so, uncouth.

That however is the end of the session, the bastards done me, stitched me up like a kipper.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Cheers the Dark Squad and goonalan.
 


Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
I've got players like that ... :rolleyes:
Afterwards I went through the chat and discovered out of 17 total saving throws made my five guys passed just three of them.

The last one was the sahuagin blademaster that briefly got away, and he was bloodied already.

The one before that was the high priestess saving against blindness, she had six hit points left.

The first, was one of the sahuagin blademasters who saved against the hold person spell but that just left him blinded and bloodied.

I had them fretting in the next one though... and Nicky had a tough ol' time of it.

Cheers goonalan
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Dark Squad in the Secrets of Saltmarsh

Session #091: The Great Big Soggy Fight.

Dark Squad (in alphabetical order, no egos here).
Daktari (played by Haggis) Male Human Uthgardt Sky Pony Barbarian Lvl 8
New Tricks (played by Bear) Male Tabaxi Warlock Lvl 8
Nicholai Barbaros Kostyiev (played by George) Male Dhampir Cleric of Twilight Lvl 8
Ramshambo (played by Kev) Male Half-Elf Rogue/Fighter Lvl 7/1
Vincenzo (played by Haggis) Male Shifter (Wildhunt) Druid Lvl 8

NPCs
Inverna Nightbreeze (played by George) Female Wood Elf Fighter Lvl 8 (Sidekick) RETIRED
Garumn Male Mountain Dwarf Paladin of Moradin Lvl 5 RIP*
Tarbin Tul (played by goonalan) Male Human Bard RETIRED
Ubmo (played by Goonalan) Supreme Being Lvl 1
*Trapped in the Land of the Bad Dead Ancestors.

Servants/Familiars
Gerald (Bat/Giant Bat) servant/mount of New Tricks
Owly (Owl) Vinnie’s familiar

The Dark Squad’s to-do list-


  1. Warn Ashby & investigate Salt Cave, the Soggy's are coming!
  2. Vinnie needs to be back for the next Saltmarsh Council meeting on the 1st Kythorn (June).
  3. Awaiting new answers to new questions from the priests at Fallowstone Holy, info will be sent to Saltmarsh for around the 10th of Kythorn (June).
  4. 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).
  5. Nightshade is in the Deep Dreadwood?
  6. Blackedge and the Goblin Stair?
  7. To join the Pact of the Wild Flame you need to find the hidden weapons left to fight Ashardalon, these are in a dragon-in-flight shaped barrow in Farrow Woods.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
This is session 91, and again- it was glorious... for all concerned this time, let's get right to it, but just to say in advance- there's no chatter here. The fight got going real world 7.50 PM time (the session started at 7.30 PM) and... we went slightly over time for the session (end 11.15 PM) when the last Soggy died. Although, the players were all still on Discord another fifteen or twenty minutes later with their braying voices oft repeating, “Do you remember that bit when...”.

Yes, they won, but we went close to the wire again, so the secret's out, but here's how it happened.

9100.jpg

The Dark Squad retreat into the previous cavern to lick their wounds (Newt?) and for Nicky to spread some healing around.

Then, after the briefest of chats, we press on... and keep in mind the Dark Squad, or at least some of them, are on the timer here. A water breathing potion lasts an hour, although the PCs have only been sub-aqua for less than twenty minutes so far.

Oh, but just to say, more pictures than words- again.

9101.jpg

And soon after (actually, soon after Ram rolled a '1' & '2' on his with advantage Stealth check) the Dark Squad have spotted, and been spotted by, a lone sahuagin guard.

Note this place is a massive multi-level cavern, the ceiling nearly sixty feet above. Ram has swum his way over to the northern area, scouting ahead- and from a natural cavern opening in the north west a soggy with a spear comes.

Remember Nicky is a bottom walker, he's given himself a chance however- he's spider climbing places, gripped tight to the walls, although with no fear of falling.

Ram duck's back into cover- passes the message on, an enemy approaches.

9102.jpg

Alas, the soggy sentry doesn't last long, beating Ram to initiative is like, well... it pretty much never happens.

The rogues waves/pull faces at the inbound soggy and then ducks behind a pillar (with a readied action) and when it arrives- he guts it.

There is cheering, I know it's early but the Dark Squad are developing a healthy disrespect for soggys, at least the fellers in the last fight were very tough, so- they're on their guard.

9103.jpg

But the soggy sentry has friends, however Dak and Ram are straight into action, while Newt is blasting and the druid- Vinnie, well, let's just say that Produce Flame is a lot less useful underwater, and yet... he keeps on hitting, for maybe 1-4 points of fire damage. He really does need another ranged attack cantrip.

9104.jpg

The soggy's keep on coming.

Why's that you ask? Because the soggy blademaster boss of this group (with AC 21 and Max HP, that's approx. 150 hit points) has sent the soggy guards in to distract from the fact that he has gone to get the soggy priestesses. That's right- priestesses, multiple.

Six of them. Count 'em.

9105.jpg

Daktari is the front line, and the barbarian (now raging) is also taking the time to Intimidate and generally put on a show for the swarming soggys, trying to keep them away from his friends, he goes as far as cutting himself to keep any newcomers pointed at him.

He's my hero!

Just to say, Daktari got MVP this evening, at the end of the session me and my bro checked out the stats generator thing on Fantasy Grounds Unity, and keep in mind the crazy barbarian was raging, with reckless attack (the soggys get advantage on their attacks against enemies not on full hit points anyway, so what the heck) and in a frenzy (three attacks/turn). So, the bastard did over 400 HP damage in the session, the next highest was Ram with just over 200 damage. Here's the clincher, the barbarian rolled eleven crits.

Let's just take a moment and think about that.

He made 34 attack rolls, 31 of them hits (again, 27 of his to hit rolls were with advantage). But, eleven crits!

9106.jpg

But, I designed the soggy guards to stick around- I gave them each 30+ HP, but that didn't help, they barely did their job.

Keep in mind the rest of the Squad (save for the less than fiery druid) were also doing their thing. Ram, you'll note, hasn't lost a hit point- The rogue swims in, guts a soggy- stabs another close by, and then swims away again.

Rinse and repeat for the rest of the fight.

9107.jpg

It's not going well. Perfect world I should have had the soggy's arrive at the fight slower, because...

9108.jpg

I could have got my hit point sponge/tank in earlier, a thirty foot long skeletal shark is spotted silently finning it's way towards the action.

This thing has just short of 300 HP and a great big bite that is difficult to miss with.

9109.jpg

The Dark Squad re-orient south- towards the new enemy, Daktari crits the skeleton shark twice in a turn- the bastard. Note the big orange (maybe, I'm colour blind) circle is the limit of Nicky's healing-doo-dad. Which, the Dark Squad are discovering, is worth it's weight in gold, or else Nicky's weight in gold.

Note, the very tough soggy blademaster boss has been creeping towards the fight, Vinnie's hunter shark spots the foe.

9110.jpg

Daktari gets bitten by the skeletal shark, while the soggy blademaster boss kills Vinnie's conjured shark and then swims directly into action with Nicky and the newly revealed Moonboar (Vinnie).

But there are also a bunch of soggy priestesses that keep popping up, firing Hold Person spells (the PCs keep on saving) and/or Guiding Bolts (several hits).

The priestesses have also got bless spells running, and one on the soggy blademaster too.

The soggy priestesses emerge from hiding for just a moment, fire off whatever they've got, and then as swiftly retreat again, it's getting busy in the combat and the Dark Squad are fretting.

A lot of inspiration points get spent, mostly re-rolling failed saving throws.

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Lovely image of the cavern, the skeletal shark is almost done for- Daktari, remember, was pretty much landing a crit every turn, and Ram's been helping out with Deadend, his undead bane sword (and sneak attack).

And now Newt & Daktari take the fight to the soggy priestesses, the pair go hunting the sahuagin spell-throwing bastards.

Note, this new tactic came about because- a) that's what Daktari does, and b) Newt got so mad at the priestesses swimming out of hiding, blasting something at him (almost always a miss) and then swimming off to hide again. He's jittery under fire the tabaxi, he doesn't like it and he's not used to it. There's usually a meat wall between him and the enemy.

9112.jpg

See Ram there, top left, that's his home for the entire fight- scoot out, kill stuff- scoot back in again.

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Note, can you see all of the various coloured (small) circles? They are a variety of spiritual weapons, wielded from a distance by the various soggy priestesses.

All thumping at various members of the Dark Squad.

They were not enjoying the sensation, and keep in mind I did a lot of missing with the priestesses spells, and yet... they were rattled.

9114.jpg

But the max hit point soggy blademaster is still going strong, and Nicky's very suddenly down- unconscious, and the healing stops.

There is swearing, the Dark Squad have got very used to Nicky, very quickly- they like him a lot, and keep in mind he delivers 1d4+8 Temp HP every turn to the PCs who end their turn within his aura.

That's why the bastards look like they've not taken many hits.

I, of course, figured some of this out before hand, which is why I went big with the enemies here. There's the best part of 8,500 XP in this encounter, and all of the enemies had pretty much maximum hit points.

9115.jpg

There's a lot more fretting going on now from the Dark Squad, particularly as the blademaster has started to cut into the Moonboar, who for two turns in a row fails to reply in kind, and then he spends a third turn getting a Cure Wounds into Nicky.

The dhampir cleric struggles to his feet, and then conjures his spirit guardians in an attempt to keep him safe from harm.

9116.jpg

It doesn't work, the soggy blademaster cuts Nicky down again, but the Moonboar is now hitting hard, as are Ram and Newt, who has returned to the fold.

The blademaster falls, at last- I even had one of the soggy priestesses park herself in hiding behind the blademaster, pumping healing into him, but... not enough.

At this point Daktari is still out hunting soggy priestesses, it's worth noting that during this 'hunt' the barbarian manages to make three Hold Person saves in a row, and Wisdom is his dump stat.

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There's Daktari, bottom left- another soggy priestess is about to meet her end. While Newt and the Moonboar are dashing west after the only other soggy left standing.

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The finale, the last picture, and the final soggy priestess has been chased down, another one of Newt's many victims, he started slow but found his aim in the end.

The soul of the last departing soggy is dedicated to Humphrey Far-Fer-Nar by the exalting puddy-tat, I mean tabaxi warlock. It was Humphrey's turn, that's the third soul that he's had dedicated to him, Newt keeps a list. Some how that fact seems to make the whole enterprise feel, if anything, a little worse.

I get the feeling that Newt is going to be reading this list sometime in the future, while petitioning one of his devilish patrons to come to his aid.

“Hear ME, Lord Belphegor, for it is I- Newt, your most dedicated of servants, for I have sent thee- the two orcs in the frosty forest, the goblin that looked at me funny, the dead hooker, the ogre with the daft hat... and on the list goes, for quite some time. What can he have written in the list? He doesn't know their names?

I worry about Newt.

He's such a wretched soul, bags of fun to have around, but... just incredibly broken inside.

Back to the last picture- it's a wonderful map, and the day after at work Jim (who plays Vinnie) was purring about the fight, apologies for the lack of detail but it really was just all fighting, and not a grind- although we skirted it, it helped that the soggy priestesses didn't get too close to the action.

Remarkably the Dark Squad were incredibly good, tactically, in the fight- concentrating fire on the big bad enemies, and then- when the time was right- sending Daktari and Newt out to hunt the soggy priestesses.

If I could have got a priestess (or two, or three) to the sahuagin guards before the Dark Squad cut them all down, well... the priestesses all had Mass Cure Wounds spells. Different fight, maybe.

But that's all we did, but I promise we'll do some more of it next time.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Cheers the Dark Squad and goonalan.
 



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