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Exiles of Zirnakaynin, with Special Guest Stars
Thursday, August 26, 2010
After a long hiatus because of convention season, the drow nobles game continued with a hunt for the kidnapped acting matron of the House Azrinae—and split into two groups of PCs when Ylvirixna (Rob McCreary) and Alivora (James Jacobs) decided the matron (decerebrated by mi-go) was no longer in charge and ran off with her body. Confounded by this betrayal, Rackutio (Josh Frost), Phyxafein (Tim Nightengale), and Verandia (Jodi Lane) returned to the drow city of Far Parathra to plan their next move. Or so they thought.
The group couldn't find Zwimessa (Crystal Frasier) when they left to find the matron that morning (Crystal missed that session). Zwimessa, meanwhile, couldn't find any of the others when she woke—their rooms were empty, and the drow commoner prisoner they had taken from their occupied house was dead in one of the rooms. Hiring a diviner in Far Parathra, Zwimessa found that her family members had been kidnapped, and paid the mage to teleport her to where they were held, bringing two mage-called demons (Kelly Marie and Troy Siefker) with her for extra muscle.
Zwimessa, Fumerott (Kelly), and Poograh (Troy) arrived just outside of a strange laboratory where three mi-go had Alivorah, Phyxafein, Rackutio, Verandia, and Ylvirixna strapped to tables, with needles in their skulls connected to strange metal canisters. After routing the mi-go, Zwimessa's team freed the others, though Ylvirixna's brain had been removed and had to be put back in her skull with some powerful healing magic. Retrieving their gear from a nearby nook, the drow followed an escape tunnel (with a comatose Ylvirixna riding Alivorah's snake-like phantom steed).
The tunnel opened up into a cavern with several mi-go crates (each marked with magical runes) and a strange underground lake. While investigating the crates, they spotted movement in the murky water, and something hurled a rock at Zwimessa.
What followed was a furious battle with a pair of giant fish-men and two mutated, skinned ghouls. Fumerott grabbed and hurled one of the ghouls to the shore so Alivorah, Rackutio, and Verandia would have something to fight. Rackutio cast hungry pit on it, pulling in the wounded creature as well as two of the crates, which exploded on impact. OM NOM NOM! On the other side of the battle, the two giant fish-men deal horrendous damage to Poograh, but the stubborn demon continues to fight.
Fumerott and Zwimessa make short work of the remaining mutant ghoul, prompting the demon to eat her fallen enemy. Delicious!
The giant fish-men turned their attention on 20, Rackutio's eidolon, and managed to tear it apart, sending it back to its home plane. As the rest of the group converged on these foes, Rackutio summoned a greater water elemental (represented by a fire elemental in this picture, recolored blue with the magic of photo manipulation) to pound on the slimy things, and Verandia ended the fight with a controlled burst of channeled negative energy. Time to rest and loot... which, in Poograh's case, included eating the dead fish-men!
Tip: If you have players who are new to the Pathfinder RPG (as Kelly and Troy were) or gaming in general, all the choices for a classed character can be overwhelming. Sometimes it's easier to have them play an allied monster, which has fewer options for the player to learn. In this case, I copied the stats for a hezrou demon onto a character sheet, removed references to rules they didn't need to know about (like Improved Initiative, which is built into the stat block), summarized other complex abilities (like greater teleport), and didn't include other abilities they wouldn't need (like summon). This let them focus on playing their monster characters and dealing with dice rolls for attacks, damage, skills, and saves. Because these players are only present for this one high-level session, using conjured monsters allows them to play without devising a complex in-game story for why these two characters would show up and leave after a short time.
Sean K Reynolds
Exiles of Zirnakaynin
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
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