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{spoilers} RoTRL "Cinematic" Tower Encounter

Rise of the Runelords

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder PFS RPG, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This one's just to say thanks for a scence I'll remember for years to come.

I'm running RoTRL for family & friends, using the Pathfinder playtest materials (now into beta stage) and the clocktower scene is afoot.

The Cast:

Adenian Male Elf Bard 6 played by Robbie
Iloryn Female Elf Wizard 6 played by Cheryl
Milva Female Half-Orc Rogue 6 NPC/Guest PC, played this night by Julie
Nuna Female Shoanti Fighter 6 played by Jen
Runik Male Dwarf Druid 6 and his Ape companion played by Corey
Shalise Female Varisian Cleric of Desna 6 played by Dorene
Talue Female Elf Rogue 6 played by Gwen

preface one: I've used the journal entries made by another friendly neighborhood board member somewhere around here. With the bard's knowledge skills, they determine that their enemy has sorcerous power with access to clerical spells,and will probably be difficult to hurt with magic. They decide to beef up Nuna with as many long duration spells as they can before they go in.

preface two: I slipped up and had Ironbriar's ledger let them (and the mayor) know about the planned hit before they went into the clocktower, and they spent a week and a half or so spending the cash and having Iloryn magic up their armor and/or weapons. This also gave Xanesha time to have her Faceless goons rig another bell and do some research on the party. Xanesha knows who she's up against, and is familiar with the party’s tactics to date.

The party sneaks into the clocktower, only to be spotted by the Scarecrow. About half the party sees it as well, and a surprise round ensues. The Scarecrow does minor damage before being dispatched. But enough noise has been made that the Faceless Ones above drop one of the bells on the deceased scarecrow and a few hapless party members. The party knows their secrecy is blown, and a few of them hear casting above. They debate the merits of fleeing and allowing the Mage Armor spell they heard and any other buffs Xanesha may be planning run out before re-engaging her. The consensus is that as a Sorcerer, she could probably just cast them again and the party may run out of buffs before she does. As they argue, the Faceless Ones drop another bell.

Seeing the crumbling staircases, they decide to try a more direct route, and Runik summons 2 Hippogriffs to fly the party up to the rafters above, keeping their flight path out from below the 2 remaining bells. The Hippogriffs can carry 2 party members each trip, so Nuna, Milva, Runik, and Talue are carried up on the first go, and Iloryn and Adenian will be brought up on a second trip. Shalise levitates the Ape while he holds onto her, making her the slowest member up the tower.

With the first four up on the rafters facing down the Faceless Ones (who appear as Lord and Lady Foxglove and Justice Ironbriar,) they realize two things. First, if they want to move or fight, they will be making balance checks. Second, one of the spells they didn’t hear cast was Silence.

Milva and Talue(who is ALWAYS high in the initiative order) move to attack the Faceless Ones. Then, just before Nuna can move, Xanesha appears before her, eyes glowing green. Nuna turns to stone (Nat 1 on the Fort Save- all buffs completely useless.) Runik, terrified of falling, opts to stand very still (Corey was completely put off from his usual summoning tactics and decided there was nothing he could do. Poor choice, but I had a game to run and other people who felt like doing things.) The Hippogriffs drop off Iloryn and Adenian.

Talue attempts to attack Xanesha while Milva fights off Lord Foxglove. Xanesha shoves Nuna off the rafters. Iloryn jumps down after her, and when out of range of silences, casts feather fall on both herself and Nuna. While Runik backs up slowly, his Hippogriffs each grab a Faceless one and drop a few feet. Adenian attempts to disarm Xanesha with his whip, failing spectacularly.

Xanesha now turns her attention to Talue, dropping her like a bad habit. Iloryn, still falling, casts Feather Fall on the dying Rogue. The Ape and Shalise catch her and grab onto some railings to pull themselves over to the stairs. The Hippogriffs disappear, and the Faceless Ones plummet to their deaths. Milva is struck by the last remaining Faceless One and –oh oh- it’s a Crit. We use the Critical Hit Deck, and it is not kind to Milva. Cut across both eyes, she is now blinded. In revenge, Adenian finishes off the last Faceless One with a successful trip off the Rafters. Milva, a very experienced sailor, decides to drop and hug the rafter for dear life. She can’t hear, she can’t see, and she’s pretty sure she’ll be dead very soon. Shalise heals Talue, bringing her back from the brink, while the Ape clings to a crumbling corner of the staircase. Runik realizes that Wild Shape is a Supernatural Ability unaffected by Silence and transforms into asmall air elemental.

Xanesha moves on to Adenian, finishing him quickly and bloodily. Runik flies and catches his broken, lifeless body in a whirlwind. Iloryn casts fireball at the far wall away from Milva, catching Xanesha in the blast, but failing the Spell Resist roll. The rafters are now on fire.

Xanesha flies down to where Shalise, Talue, and the Ape are, and amused look on her face. Shalise tries to attack her, failing. The Ape doesn’t do any better. Iloryn looks about the tower, trying to determine what it would take to bring the whole damn thing down. She makes a reasonably good Knowledge Engineering roll, finding an appropriate beam. Runik flies Adenian’s body down to a “safe” perch on the staircase.

Xanesha alternates between throwing killing strokes “Didn’t I already kill you?” at Talue and mockingly slapping Wisdom drain on Shalise “Aren’t you the Cleric?” Iloryn casts Shatter on a very important support beam. It is determined that the tower will collapse at the end of three rounds.

Round One: Shalise takes more Wisdom drain, and her and the Ape Jump down, not taking enough damage to kill them. Nuna comes back to the flesh and moves to clear the building. Milva, feeling the heat up on the rafters, begins crawling towards the ladder she saw earlier.

Round Two: Xanesha floats down as the tower crumbles around her. Iloryn prepares to keep her from escaping, no matter the cost.
Shalise prepares to recue Iloryn. Nuna uses a magic item to Enlarge Person on herself and the Ape joins her in blocking the entrance. Runik, now outside the upper area of the tower, searches frantically for Milva, who has climbed up into the clock’s gearwork room. He spots a hole big enough and begins casting a summon.

Round Three: Xanesha realizes the tower’s collapse is imminent and casts Dimension Door. Iloryn attempts to interrupt by using her Hand of the Apprentice lonsword strike, but misses. Shalise grabs Iloryn and uses her Travel Domain Dimension Hop ability to get them out of the building. Runik finsishes summoning his Hippogriff, which grabs Milva as he reassures her “It’s me, I’ve got you.” The Hippogriff flies out of the crumbling building with Milva in tow.

And the Tower falls.

Nuna, itching for blood, spots Xanesha (who at this point has taken so little damage and done so much in return that she overconfidently DDed to the street level) and charges her. Xanesha returns the attack, doing similar damage to Nuna in return. The ape runs away. Shalise runs away. Runik, not even seeing the combat, flies away with Milva towards the temple of Desna, hoping the others have survived and will join him. (At this point, Jen is so pissed at everyone for running away she is in tears… sigh.)

Nuna and Iloryn remain to face Xanesha without the rest of the party. And they successfully drive her away, although she escapes by flying and turning invisible.

She’ll return… but as of right now, Runik is retiring, and Adenian and Talue are dead and buried in the rubble of the clock tower.

Joining the party will be a Scout from Nuna’s Shoanti Tribe (Corey), Milva’s sister Grizla (Gwen), a Half-orc Barbarian, and another unknown person (Robbie)…. Although Cheryl is trying to work something out where she takes over Runik and Robbie takes over Iloryn to keep more of the same people in the party….

To quote Chris Berman "This is why they play the game." Great story thanks for sharing.

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