4 May 08
Amber is under a tarp, with 4 part-drow children and 1 gloaming child in chains. The gloaming is quite bright & hurting everyone’s eyes but quickly, frightened, turns down the light when Amber asks. The gloaming is scared of the dark & of drow. [Amber’s darkvision also reaches 60’ farther]
Meanwhile, Dratsab asks the sword for its name. It replies: Razorsedge. Everyone else is ready to leave. Once he’s gotten his answer they head south, away from Waterdeep. Since Phaedral is the only one with a good sense of direction, they just follow him. Once they’ve travelled about 15 minutes, he casts Pass Without Trace on everyone as they make a big curving u-turn to circle around the dead body & the glowing sword that could see which way they went. On the second try, he successfully casts the spell and Heals everyone. And the sun briefly flickers in the sky; did it wink?
Dratsab mutters to Ao in the tablets. Darvin knows that Ao does not live in the tablets but doesn’t bother to correct the tiefling.
Back at the half-drow, Amber can hear the undercommon speakers talking about putting “George” – common Drow name – on guard. One whiny voice says that they should post watches because they have valuable cargo. You can almost hear the rolling eyes as someone replies that George will be fine and ‘you need your rest, you now how you get without your rest.’ Then someone slaps the tarp telling the gloaming to shut it off and she blinks out. Amber squirms in the spidersilk ropes as she tries to escape them.
Amber almost gets out of the ropes but not quite. The kids indicate that silence and stillness is a good idea. They’re frightened.
Back at the rest of the group: Darvin & Rejanon recognize the nearby castle as Dragonspear Castle. The outer walls are in ruins and the castle was once inhabited by monsters, until a group of heroes cleared it out. There are still some internal walls intact. It has been snowing off and on and there’s ice on the ground. As they past the forest, a big wave of heat pours over them. It does not melt the ice but it is followed by a purple mist rising from the ground. Swarms of tiny, fluffy bunnies emerge from the mist and the entire group heads for the castle. Dratsab takes off into flight. The bunnies appear to be running fright but they are biting everything in their path. The mist dissipates and there are more bunnies running out of a crack in the ground.
There are about 25 bunnies in everyone’s square.
SR) Darvin reflexively slices into them as they overwhelm, until he only has 20. Four bunnies are killed when they bite at Rej’s backpack. [Rosemary is overwhelmed by laughter at the thought of bunnies attacking, boiling up from the snow]. Everyone except Dratsab is scratched by bunny claws [1 pt of damage] and takes a little damage from their cold, cold fur [he has cold resistance, too]. They are apparently underbunnies because Phaedral gets his minions of Lolth benefits.
1)Darvin mounts his gryphon and they take off, up forty feet. Bunnies drop off behind him. Bunnies continue to swarm, clawing and biting cold. Rejanon tries to invoke his ring of flight. He goes up in the air drawing his sword, but the bunnies with him are also in flight but there are only 17 as the daggers kill four more. Dratsab grabs a bunny to put it into the stirge cage. The bunnies bite him but he doesn’t care. Phaedral casts Speak with Animals (after considering pulling his bow and trying to clear a path with blow-through) from his wand. For 30’ around, the bunnies fly up ten feet as gravity reverses. But the charge for the spell remains and not cast. Everyone falls down and the bunnies are woozy but conscious. Phaedral heads for the Dragonspear.
2)Darvin flies over Phaedral and he kills one of the new bunnies around the elf. Razorwing brushes bunnies off. The bunnies continue to claw and freeze people but there are no more bunnies coming out ahead of the group; they are all coming from the snow behind the group. Rej’s daggers kill four more and he kills two more as five more continue on their way. Dratsab grabs another bunny to feed the stirges. They start sucking. He also heads toward helping Phaedral, who manages to successfully cast Speak with Animals from his wand. He tells them to head for the castle, ‘there’s safety there.’ The bunnies are screaming ‘run away, run away.’ His words calm them a little. They don’t like Dratsab & he tells them to bite the stirges. He continues to run toward the castle.
3)Darvin brushes more bunnies off Razorwing. Half the lapines tumble to the ground as he reaches into the outer wall. Dratsab notices that the bunnies are looking him. Bunnies leap at the tiefling, trying to reach him. One successfully reaches and bites, doing no damage (not cold iron teeth). The bunny gnaws, hanging off. Rejanon brushes off bunnies, too, as he notices that it’s more effective. He gets rid of two as the flying daggers kill off the other four. Dratsab follows everyone else to the ‘wretched castle.’ Phaedral continues toward the castle, momentarily suspicious that they have the taint of Lolth (it’s not them, it was just the crack in the ground). There is no gate in the outer wall, there’s one in the inner wall. The gate is open and will take two people to close it. The bunny sea is parting for the woodland elf.
4)Squirrels in the forest start attacking the bunnies. Dratsab doesn’t want to go to the castle but it’s getting dark. Darvin finishes brushing off bunnies. The bunny hero (Hazel?) crit bites Dratsab but still does no damage. Rejanon is bunny-free, he heads for the castle at full speed. Dratsab enters the castle outer wall, even though he has a funny feeling that something bad is going to happen in the castle. Darvin convinces the bunnies to stop biting the lizard so he’ll stop biting them. The bunnies are tapering off and they do not seem to want to enter the castle. Darvin and Drevin are inside the outer walls. The bunnies say there the inner part was full of scary, bad people & they don’t go there. Rejanon goes toward the keep, too.
5)Squirrels pelt the bunnies with nuts. Half the bunnies head for the squirrels and the other half head toward Dratsab. Three bunnies are gnawing at Dratsab. He monologues at them. Darvin moves toward the castle. Phaedral follows him, telling the bunnies to attack the stirge cage. Rejanon flies toward the castle.
6)Darvin lands to start pushing the inner gate closed. The hiding under-desert [underground] tortoise attacks him, biting, and it roars. Amber hears it from upstairs. Darvin does not make it to the ground. One of the voices says ‘crap, ‘George’ is sounding the alarm, someone must be coming.’ Whiny voice: “wait, let me activate my ring.” then, “C’mon Lolth.” Other voice “D* it, stop glitterdusting us” and then he leaves. Whiny voice keeps trying to activate his ring. Darvin strikes back at the tortoise but misses. He flies back 5’. Bunnies scream and flee. Rejanon continues to fly toward the castle, ending next to Darvin. Dratsab double flies toward the castle, reaching the outer wall. Whiny ‘good it finally worked.’ Gloaming girl peaks out from under the tarp & whispers, ‘he’s gone’. The kids start assisting Amber to get out of the ropes. Amber escapes the ropes with their help. Phaedral hides behind the wall to shoot at the tortoise once, but misses. Unable to trample anyone, the tortoise takes a step to bite the priest, Darvin.
7)Darvin thinks that he sees some movement by the inner building. Rejanon thinks that it’s someone in armor coming out the door. Darvin backs up five feet and casts Ray of Enfeeble to reduce the tortoise’s strength by five. Bunnies scream and scamper. Rejanon flies up and then down to reach the tortoise from above, getting bit as he comes within range. The paladin misses (complete whiff). Dratsab flies forward and then eldritch blasts the tortoise, using his Eldritch spear to reach it (250’ range on his spell). Amber searches for any of her blades. The kids say that the captors have chests with potions & wands, maybe the weapons are in there. They have a big turtle, as big as a mountain. Amber is in an under room with some rotted casks and some whole ones. She finds her bastard sword in a crate but continues to look for her short sword. The two drow maneuver. Phaedral shoots the tortoise once, the other two shots miss. The riding lizard moves to be less in the gate opening. He’s alarmed by the tortoise, too. Unable to reach the Mystran priest, it bites the paladin. It backs up, provoking an attack from the same paladin, who misses again. Someone casts windwall across the gate opening, across paladin, too.
8)Darvin again touches the tortoise with the ray and drains more strength from it. Then the monk/priest flies through the wind wall and into the courtyard, and up to 30’ off the ground. He spots the plate-mailed female drow. Rejanon goes up to Darvin to ask if he can weaken the tortoise any more. Dratsab repeats what he did last time he moved but the spell rebounds on himself. Amber looks for her short sword, to cut the children free of their chains. Whiny moves, invisibly, across the courtyard. Phaedral to draw the op and the cusidhe gets bitten. Phaedral follows and gets beyond the wind wall, triggering his arrow mind spell and shoots at the big reptile. The tortoise tramples the elf, who tries to leap out of the way. Drevin also tries to leap out of the way. Phaedral triggers the collar of healing on Drevin, to heal the damage the tortoise had just done. The bunnies are panicking and swarming over the horses and the lizard again. The female drow moves again, starts casting a summoning spell.
9)Darvin and his gryphon fly over to the drow woman and he lightning bolts her & her tortoise. The spell fizzles out on the drow, and both the tortoise and Drevin dodge it. Rejanon flies until he’s above the tortoise, out of its reach and uses his ability to cast Daylight. The drow are blinded for a round. Dratsab moves and zaps again. This time his eldritch blast pelts the tortoise, and the area around it, with fiery red blossoms. Amber gives up the search and heads for the stairs. The invisible, male, drow remains in place. Since he’s been pelted with flowers, Phaedral shoots the female drow, hitting her once (but she’s stone-skinned, so it does less damage). She continues casting. Drevin goes out to watch the horses and get the bunnies to leave the other animals alone. A dire wolf appears next to the drow and leaps at Darvin but misses. The drow pulls a wand and uses it to cast lesser vigor on herself. The tortoise moves to snap at Darvin.
10)Darvin dismounts from the gryphon and reaches the drow and casts Balor’s Nimbus, but he still remembers the essence of the spell (retains charge). Razorwing bites and claws the dire wolf. Rejanon flies closer to the cleric and starts to use the Sword of the Dales to attack her. He recognizes the effects of Stoneskin on her so he instead converts the blade to adamantine. Dratsab just flies toward the fight. Amber exits the inner castle and gives her speech, in undercommon, to the two drow. The invisible one comes up behind the dire wolf and does something. No one sees him. Phaedral moves and many shots the female drow, the wolf & the tortoise, using adamantine-tipped arrows. He definitely wounds the drow and badly hurts the wolf. The dazzled drow provokes both the paladin and the monk as she tries to pass through her tortoise. The monk’s chain grabs her and she stays in place. She takes damage from the monk’s aura (Balor’s nimbus). The babau slime on the drow eats into the monk. The wolf circles the gryphon, getting clawed and popped before he reaches the priest. The tortoise tramples Whiny on his way to try and trample Darvin & Phaedral. Whiny dodges out of the way and the tortoise can’t quite reach Phaedral. Darvin fails to dodge out of the way. Oddly the drow druid did not take any damage.
11)Darvin’s maintains her hold, doing little damage to her. But his aura burns at her. She goes limp. He does, too, at -1 hp. Rejanon hovers next to Darvin and defensively casts Cure Minor Wounds on him to stabilize him (& he’s conscious at 0 hp). Dratsab flies through the wind walk, lands and into the courtyard. Amber tells the others about the invisible drow as she provokes the tortoise and misses it. Whiny passes the gryphon, who smells him, as he reaches Amber & the tortoise. Phaedral’s phoenix arrow burns the drow druid again (another 3 hp). Phaedral shoots through the turtle, missing it, but hit the drow behind it all three times. The drow dies without actually accomplishing anything. Turtle grabs the druid’s body & burrows away. Amber and Phaedral miss. – Amber suggests that if Dratsab is so concerned about the disappearing loot, he should follow them. She has swords to look for and children to free.
12)Darvin carefully stands up. Rejanon casts Cure Minor on Darvin & everyone floats up 5’ and then falls down. Dratsab reaches the hole left by the turtle. Amber briefly considers following the tortoise but goes back to help the children. Phaedral casts Speak with Animals to talk to the tortoise, telling it that we’ll help his mistress if he brings her back. If he just leaves, she might die. Phaedral convinces the turtle to trust him; the elf will jump into the hole and everyone else will stay up in the courtyard. Turtle asks about Whiny Butt.
Dratsab casts See Invisibility to search the dead drow, still remembering the spell. Then he casts Detect Magic, hitting Phaedral with it. Phaedral tests dead body with CLW wand – yep, he’s sincerely dead.
Working together they find a magic ring – Greater Invis, 2 different potions (Eagle Splendor & Cure Moderate Wounds), +2 magic black leather armor, +1 magic rapier, MW short bow, and 20 arrows. While Dratsab is trying to peel the armor off the body, Phaedral goes down to heal the druid and take her easily removed magic items (3 lesser vigor wands, different wand [turtle’s comment means it’s Endure Elements, so he doesn’t take it & also leaves one vigor wand], ring of Evasion, ring of protection +1, takes her spell component pouch, pouch of magical pearls – 6 1st lvl, 6 2nd lvl, 2 3rd lvl, 2 4th lvl, & 2 5th lvl)
It takes two tries and he manages to heal her to 0, with her weapons still above. Phaedral tells her in Undercommon ‘you have another chance at living a good life. Maybe you should find another line of work. We have an understanding with the turtle, you’ll leave taking the body with you. My friend is willing to give you a chance to change your ways and worship Ellistraee.” But the drow goes ‘Lolth is here, are you nuts? She’d know’ They part ways with Phaedral suggesting that the turtle could probably eat one of Whiny Butt’s hands, or maybe a little more). The dead guy had the signet ring for the royal family of Myrmidia.
Meanwhile, the paladin and half-drow go check on the children.