Karazikar’s Maw was a very large open spherical chamber (nearly 150 feet in diameter) with side channels headed outwards like spokes. It almost looked like an imprint of a beholder. Bridged made of wood planks and rope connected the tunnels together, creating a criss-cross web of bridges. Many of the bridges held various humanoids – slaves of the beholder. Such a site irked Ron to witness. On one of these bridges, the party was led by the man in purple robes to speak to Karazikar itself. The beholder, purple in hue with a giant eye and many eyestalks – looking much like the chamber they were currently residing – hovered about 20 feet above them, demanding they tell it what they know of the Maze Engine. As Cicero lied about it, they had a difficult time telling the beholder anything.
Enraged, the beholder told them to tell it what it wants to know, or die. As they planned on killing the beholder anyways to harvest its eye, they chose to go on the offense.
Cicero grabbed Ron and cast Dimension Door to place them above the beholder, and dropped Ron on top of it for him to ride and stab. Unfortunately, beholder skin is much harder than Ron expected, and his sword seemed to bounce off the hide. The beholder fired off its Death Ray right at Cicero, killing him instantly.
Cicero’s body fell to the ground nearly a hundred feet below.
The beholder rotated to knock Ron off and moved its main eye towards Aryndren while firing a disintegration ray at the bridge he was on. The bridge collapsed and Aryndren and the man in purple robes both fell. The man cast fly on himself. Aryndren tried to cast featherfall, but was prevented due to the anti-magic field. Once he was out of the field, he wildshaped into a giant bat and flew to a bridge above the beholder.
Ron, meanwhile, grabbed onto a bridge to prevent the fall down to the bottom of the cavern.
The beholder to turned to fire a charm ray at Ron, but he was immune to charms. It fired a petrification ray at Aryndren, who was still a giant bat, and he started to turn to stone.
Aryndren, trying to get out of the magic, wildshaped back to his elf form and then cast Polymorph on himself and became a T-Rex. As a T-Rex, the petrification completed the transformation, and he because a Huge sized T-Rex statue. The massive weight of the statue snapped the bridge it was on, landing on the Beholder. The statue and the beholder plummeted down, snapping nearly every bridge on the way and causing Ron to fall as well.
As they fell, Ron threw the Throwing Sword he stole from the Troglodytes and enhanced it with a powerful smite. Between Ron and the stone T-Rex’s weight as it slammed into the ground, the beholder broke open splattering its insides all over. The statue broke off an arm and a giant crack appeared throughout its body.
Ron landed hard, but managed to survive. As he got up, the flying man in purple robes roared in outrage and threw a fireball at him, nearly killing him.
Ron pumped as much as he could into his Lay on Hands, healing himself, and fled to a nearby tunnel, hoping to draw the mage in. It worked, and the mage took chase (even tried casting Suggestion on Ron), but this time Ron was ready. Dawnbringer in hand, he strike and empowered it with another smite. It wasn’t quite enough, and it allowed the mage to cast a Cone of Cold before Ron could swing again, killing it.
Ron, glad to be alive but devastated at the loss of his two closest friends, walked out of the cavern to see what could be done. As he did, over a hundred people came out of the tunnels to celebrate their rescue and Ron as a Hero. Ron was on an emotional roller coaster.
He decided to stay the night there, as many of the slaves wereexhausted and injured themselves, and would not be up for a multiday trek across dangerous purple worm country.
He developed a plan:
1) Get the slaves out of the wormwrithings.
2) Get to Vizeran and see what he could do to get a stone salve to bring Aryndren back
3) Get to Gracklstugh to see if the Stone Giants could cast Ressurection on Cicero
4) While in Gracklstugh, free the Derro, the Red Dragon, and collapse the slave society.
He told the slaves of his plan, and asked them if they would help him in any way. Every one of them said yes, they would find a way to help. Even the goblins and the drow.
The next day, they raided Karazikar’s Maw for food and supplies, and during which Ron discovered a modron who thought it knew a way to get Cicero back. Cicero was a part of the force against Chaos, and the Orderer would set things right in a time of chaos. It needed to get back to its unit and get to the Orderer.
Ron also found the treasure chamber of the beholder, which helped with his plans to try and get a stone salve and a resurrection spell cast.
Afterwards, they headed out. While in the Troglodyte territory, Ron discovered that the troglodytes were slavers themselves, and he immediately attacked them, destroying their society. He lost 17 of his own, but rescued 6 more slaves in the process.
They stayed the night in the troglodyte camp, collecting as much food and water as they could to keep everyone alive. That night, Peebles mentioned to Ron that he just thought of a way that he might be able to get Aryndren back. He would start researching a way to make a Stone Salve from the beholder’s petrification eye stalk. Ron asked him to get started right away, as it was uncertain how long it would take to design.
|SmiloDan RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32|
We sped up time for ease of play. The stone salve was made and Aryndren revived. The slaves were freed and sent on their way. A new member joined the team:
Harlock, a Svirfneblin Abjuration Wizard, is an apprentice to Vizeran and has been finely crafted to be Vizeran’s magical shield and general gofer. Desperately wanting to be away from under his master’s strict hand, he gladly took up the “assignment” to help Ron and Aryndren defeat the demons.
Having returned to Vizeran two of the key ingredients – the beholder’s main eye and a purple worm egg – they set off to the Labrynth to find feathers of six different angels. On their way, they dropped by Gracklstugh, where they found their companions (and Ron’s donkey!) that was left at Aryndren’s temple before going into Gravenhallow.
The labyrinth was difficult to navigate, to say the least. Days of wandering through the tunnels yielded nothing – not even something dangerous – until they came across a strange black tower seemingly out of place. The entire thing was made of metal, even the doors, and it rose up to a battlement on top where four gargoyle statues could be seen. They knew it was magical due to Harlock casting detect magic. First they tried knocking on the front door, and received no answer. Then they tried opening the front door, to no avail. Finally, Aryndren wildshaped into an air elemental and flew to the top, carrying Harlock with him (we ruled that as an air elemental, he could carry one small sized creature or smaller). Ron summoned his riding lizard and climbed up.
Once at the top, their suspicions that the gargoyles were actually real were validated, and they were attacked. Quickly dispatching the foul beasts, they investigated the rooftop. Just like the front door, the trap door on the roof was made of the same metallic material and would not open. Aryndren, as an air elemental, flew back down and in through one of the windows, where two creatures made almost entirely of shadow pounced on him, nearly killing him on the spot. He retreated out and flew back to the roof to report. Wracking their brains over what this place could be, Harlock finally realized that an identify ritual would help – and that’s when they discovered that this was an Instant Fortress. The spell helped him get the password to open the door, and they did so. Knowing they were up against some sort of shadow creature, they brought lots of light. The bright light helped weaken the shadow demons (for that is what they were) and they were able to easily prevail. Downstairs, they discovered the body of the original owner, thanked the skeletal remains for the new fortress, and shrunk the entire thing with a magical keyword.
Several days later they came across a shanty town, where there were some cultists worshipping Yeenaghu. Harlock didn’t even give them the chance of day and immediately launched a fireball right in the middle of the group, killing many of them. Demon worshipping townsfolk and ghouls came out of the woodworks, and the party made quick work of them. One shanty town utterly obliterated of all life, they decided to move on. As they left, they could hear the sounds of marching feet.
Assuming it was more trouble, they started to head in the opposite direction, but something pulled at Aryndren and he followed the sound instead of fleeing it. Further investigation reveals that it was a lost platoon of Modrons from the Great Modron March! They gain the trust of the modrons (the presence of the mordron they rescued from the beholder was of great help), and they told them they could lead them to the gallery of angels followed by visiting the Great Orderer.
The modrons took them to the gallery of angels, where they saw the horrified petrified statues of the angels. Touching one imparted telepathic thoughts from the Angels themselves – sometimes doing nothing, sometimes harming them, sometimes helping them.
The first angel touched yielded a psychic backlash and mental pain. The second tried to mentally control them and convince them to kill each other, but Ron’s aura prevented such mind control. The third simply repeated the phrase “kill me” over and over. The fourth gave them a short term boon and told them not to lose hope. The fifth tried to impart nightmares upon them. The sixth tried to make them go mad, but they were protected by their pact with the chaos god. The seventh and eight answered any questions they may have had as best they could within the confines of a Contact Other Plane and Divination spell, respectively.
Through these answers, they learned that the Orderer was the same thing as the Maze Engine, and they asked how to destroy it (by making it go into the magma).
They collected their feathers, and then tried to grant the wish of the one who wanted to die. They smashed the statue down to powder, but even then the dust of the angel statue repeated the phrase, “Kill me.” They collected the angel dust in a bag, intent on making it a weapon of some sort.
Leaving the gallery, they made their way to the Maze Engine. Once they arrived, Ron and Aryndren immediately recognized it – they saw a vision of it when they were back in Gravenhallow. The device itself was huge – easily 30-40 ft diameter, and it was set into the cliff edge 40 feet down from the ledge they were standing on. They would have to climb down to see what they could do.
Climbing down was easy enough; Ron mounted his riding lizard and climbed down the wall, while Aryndren wild shaped into an air elemental and carried Harlock down. As they were on the device trying to figure it out, a Nalfeshnee came out of the blue and assaulted them. Air Elemental Aryndren took to the air to fight it, while Harlock cast Mirror Image and tried to hide. The demon flew up to the top of the cliff and grabbed one of the modrons up there, throwing it down into the lava below. Aryndren flew after it, saving it from death, but soon realized that he wouldn’t be able to save them all. Ron urged his mount to head back up to defend the modrons.
The demon flew down to meet Ron on the side of the cliff, and tried to grab him and throw him off the lizard, but Ron was able to keep steady. The demon then got a bright idea and tried to shove the riding lizard off the cliff edge! Success! The lizard when tumbling down to the lava below with Ron attached to it. Ron managed to jump out of his saddle and grab the wall as his mount dropped below him. Knowing there was nothing he could do, he swore to kill the demon.
At that point, the demon spotted Harlock and took chase after him. His mirror images managed to save his hide, but they wouldn’t last for long! Knowing this, he took a mighty risk – he cast Banishment, hoping to send the demon back to its home. It worked. The demon was banished. They were then able to focus on repairing or destroying the maze engine. Harlock and Aryndren figured out how there was no way to repair it, but if they turned it on, it may loosen itself from the cliff wall and fall naturally into the lava. They turned it on and then everyone made their way up to the top of the cliff.
As soon as it turned on, two magma mephitis flew out and beelined it to the party to attack. Aryndren met them in the middle, while Harlock used a frostbite spell and Ron used eldritch blast to hit them from afar. Meanwhile, the maze engine started spitting out valuable gems; Aryndren left his post to grab as many as he could. He wasn’t really worked about the mephitis.
Each round, two more mephitis came out, but by this time they had a routine and were able to dispatch them easily enough. As the rounds went on, the maze engine healed all lawful creatures, played some calliope music, and even tried to electrify anyone standing on the device itself (fortunately, all of them were on the cliff side above the maze engine itself). But the most amazing thing it did was send every extra planar creature within 100 miles back to their home. The mephitis were sent back to the elemental planes. The modrons were sent back to Mechanus (allowing them to finally rejoin the march as proper and complete their mission!). Ron’s earth elemental companion went back to the elemental planes. Every demon disappeared, and even Yeenagho himself was sent back home (one more demon reduced from final battle, although the PCs don’t know it). The final thing the engine did before it dropped into the magma below was to throw out a belt of hill giant strength (which Ron managed to acquire).
After leaving the area, they heard yips and howls, which everyone immediately identified as gnolls. Following the sounds, they found a group of gnolls feasting on a dead Goristro. That’s exactly the type of creature they need! They charged down and killed off all the gnolls (even let the one who ran away live), and extracted the heart. Aryndren then came up with a good idea – they also needed some Timmask that was grown in the footprint of a goristro, as well as some demon lord blood. They managed to figure out which of the pools of blood in the local area (it was the scene of a major battle) belonged to a demon lord and collect it. Then they determined which of the footprints belonged to the goristro and sectioned it off.
Aryndren then went on some foraging missions, looking for timmask mushroom. It took him two days to find it, but he finally did. He planted sections of the mushroom in the footprint, and then cast Plant Growth. He now had some timmask grown in a goristro footprint.
With three more ingredients secured, they started to head back to Vizeran.
One of the players called in sick this session, so the other two decided to stop by Gracklstugh before going back to Vizeran's tower.
There, they sold and bought equipment, and checked out what magical items were on the market.
While sleeping, they all had a peculiar dream. Bassida, the same leader from Neverlight Grove, contacted them in their dreams.
He told them the wedding would start soon and the Myconid March was underway as nearly every Myconid in the underdark was now under Zuggtmoy's sway. He asked them to get to Aromycos as soon as possible to stop the wedding, before Zuggtmoy gained control of an organism larger than most over-world countries, and gain more power than any single creature in all the realms.
Our heros now need to make a choice:
Delay the ritual to summon all the demon Lords together for an ultimate brawl (including Zuggtmoy; which could even stop the wedding) or go to Aromycos itself to stop her (and then back to finish the ritual).
Sorry, folks – this session happened several weeks ago and I’m just now getting to writing it up. I’m going to bypass a lot of details, because I can’t remember every little thing that happened and I’m limited on time at the time of this posting. I just want to get it posted.
The heroes decided to follow Basidia’s request and head towards Araumycos. They were told to look out for the marching myconids to determine the path, but at the same time they had to avoid the myconids lest they get sucked into the sway of Zuggtmoy.
The group decided that a fast assault with minimal troops was best, so they left everyone back at Gracklstugh except Kinyel, the drow assassin (also known as Ron’s girlfriend). They moved fast, and due to such almost ran right into a group of Vrocks. There was a definite threat here, and Harlock learned just how valuable Mirror Image was. The vrocks were encountered in a large open cavern, giving them plenty of room to fly, which put Ron at a bit of a disadvantage, but Aryndren just wild shaped into an air elemental and was able to confront them on their own turf. Eventually, they succeeded and continued to head towards Araumycos.
Once in, they were again visited by Basidia to tell them where to go. A short distance afterwards, they were attacked by two black puddings. “Easy!” they cried, having faced these creatures before. But despite Ron’s smites and Aryndren’s air elemental form, they found these two seemingly intelligent oozed much more difficult. Once they discovered that fire was the secret to stopping their regenerative abilities, they were able to kill them.
As they slew the last one, a puff of spores erupted, knocking them all unconscious. They found themselves in a dreamscape, floating in space and moving with the power of their minds. Harlock was unused to such speed, while Ron and Aryndren were oddly uneasy with being so slow!
While in the dreamscape, Basidia contacted them once more. He told them they had to travel to the brain of Araumycos and destroy the infected sections. The wedding was in progress, and Zuggtmoy was slowly taking over the mind of the world fungus.
Upon reaching it, all three of them opted to blast it from afar, and as soon as the first strike hit, a booming voice called out, nearly shattering their minds, “WHO DARES INTRRUPT MY WEDDING!”
Zuggtmoy was now locked in on them, and she instantly recognized Ron. Her essence in the dreamscape was powerful, and she was about to divert her full attention on obliterating Ron when Juiblex appeared back in the real world and started attacking her! Her attention split, the heroes dove in to the brain of Araumycos and went full force trying to destroy the infected sections! As they did so, Araumycos itself retaliated, its own bodily defenses unable to determine friend from foe when friend and foe alike sought to injure it.
The three of them were able to overcome the defenses and destroy all of the infected sections, which greatly weakened Zuggtmoy. This weakness allowed Juiblex to consume her mortal form, sending her spirit back to the Abyss, seriously pissed off at her rival as well as Ron. Ron became the embodiment of everything that stood in her way, and she would get her revenge.
This session was a short one. Everyone showed up late and we had to quit early. But there was enough time to get one major battle in! This was the fight against Juiblex.
After defeating Zuggtmoy and saving Araumycos, the PCs awoke strangely refreshed (counted as a long rest). They could hear the sounds of battle going on, and they moved to investigate. Sure enough, there was Juiblex fighting Zuggtmoy, and they witnessed the huge sized ooze and the giant fungus lady – the two immortal enemies locked in battle. Juiblex won, but was significantly injured in the process.
That’s when Ron charged. The battle field was strewn with bodies – not only Zuggtmoy’s, but also many myconids, spore servants, oozes, and demons. The myconids, not mentally recovered, joined in the fight against Juiblex.
Despite Juiblex’s injuries fighting Zuggtmoy, he was still powerful. He saw Ron’s charge and immediately readied against these newcomers. Aryndren turned into an Air Elemental and attacked, slightly injuring the ooze lord, and it immediately retaliated. Ron ran up and hit as hard as he possibly could (nat 20 plus highest level divine smite he could manage, plus a second attack, total 81 damage in two hits). Harlock came in with a spell that created a barrier against demons – any demon attacking someone inside the barrier had disadvantage to attack. This put a damper on Juiblex’s chances to hit, but with his +14, he still was able to lend out some serious injuries.
On the second round, Aryndren got two more hits in, and Ron did a second smite with another attack, killing Juiblex.
This was, by far, the fastest boss fight I’ve ever ran. They defeated Juiblex in two rounds.
After that, they were given a boon as a gift from Araumycos. Then they took the trek back to Gracklstugh to meet up with their allies, and then back to Vizeran’s tower to return the ingredients for the spell focus and prepare for an assault on Menzoberranzan.
We spent the rest of the evening discussing the city itself.
They also leveled up, so we discussed character options. The PCs are now level 16 (level 12 of their normal class and level 4 warlock).
|SmiloDan RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32|
|SmiloDan RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32|
I've been lurking here for a while, and debating doing something like this for my Curse of Strahd campaign. We play every other week and are about to kick off the 14th session, and they are very talented at running away.
We're just now at the point where they have been almost everywhere except the deepest lore areas tucked away in the maps, and now realize that this place is really crappy though they have gathered some friendly NPCs. The only death has been a player that left the game died as an NPC, and they've gone form 3rd level to 5th or 6th now. Very soon they should be jumping two levels and can start to take on the world more directly.
I'd only recommend writing a campaign log for Strahd if writing is fun for you. I mean, that's the point that if this hobby, right? To have fun. :) If it's going to be a chore, don't do it. That should be your only consideration - will this be fun.
For me, writing this has been a blast. On that note, I'm about two sessions behind. I had a hand injury earlier this month, which makes it difficult to write as much as I normally do. I've decided to hold off on writing too much until my hands heal.
The party made their way back to Vizeran’s tower to return all the ingredients for the ritual and discuss their plans. It took Vizeran a few weeks to prepare the Dark Heart, and in that time, they studied up on Menzoberanzan – the best entry points, their plan of attack, the best spells to prepare, etc.
Vizeran also introduced a new ally – one Grin Ousstly, a drow who can guide them through a secret tunnel made by Vizeran over the centuries and can get them into contact with Vizeran’s secret allies in the Mage Guild in Menzoberanzan. Vizeran also recommended that they travel as light as possible – no extra personnel. So they each only brought with them a single NPC ally.
They discussed the merits of the secret tunnel vs other locations – and how they would have to deal with guards or with spiders. The secret tunnel made it so they didn’t have to deal with guards, but it brought them to the city via a crevice that was full of giant spiders. They discussed the best entry point and what allies they could expect to acquire while in the city – and the best location to place the Dark Heart. Vizeran wanted them to place it in Gromph’s study, but they toyed with the idea of placing it in the home of the Mizzrym – the slaver drow family that captured them (except Harlock) in the beginning of the adventure. In the end, they decided that the tower was the best bet.
When the time came, they embarked through the secret tunnel. Upon arrival at the crevice (called the Westrift), Arydnren cast windwalk, which turned the entire party into wisps of clouds and allowed them to travel by walking on air. They bypassed the giant spiders, walked over the entire city, and made their way directly to Gromph’s tower, disguised as wisps of clouds high above the darkvision of the drow.
Once they arrived at the tower, they realized they couldn’t windwalk right in. There were too many magical protections. Fortunately, Grin was with them and was able to contact Vizeran’s secret allies within the tower itself. With their drow mage allies escorting them in, there would be no issues with trying to sneak in.
When I first read through this chapter, I thought they were going to be challenged to get into the Sorcere, and would have to at least meet up with either Jarlaxle or House Baenre. Or at the very least, Vizeran’s secret allies would be located somewhere else in the city and it would still be a challenge to get into the tower itself. But nope – going with Vizeran’s plan leads to direct, immediate, and easy access right to the tower itself.
Also note that Wind Walk is a 6th level spell, so you would get it at level 11. Going by the natural level progression of the book, PCs should have access to the spell. It’s a spell that allows the players to bypass nearly all of the challenges of this chapter. I know my players are a little higher level for where the book recommends, but even still they should be around level 12-14 at this point. I’m not sure why they went into all the details of the city when an average party can just bypass it all and go right to the heart of the challenge.
All my city plans ended up being cancelled because of a single spell.
While walking, Ron saw the market and decided to take a visit before they started the hard part of their mission. He headed to the market while the party was waiting for Grin to contact the secret mage guild. Ron browsed around the shops, meandering through the market seeing what was there. He picked up some new armor. As he walked, he noticed he was being tailed. He ducked back into a back ally and caught his tail by surprise. It was a drow who claimed to have seen him as a cloud turning into a man right when he went to the market. The drow said that, based on Ron’s abilities, he wanted Ron to meet with his employer, Jarlaxle. Ron was skeptical, but was eventually swayed. He promised the drow he would meet this Jarlaxle (seriously, none of my players knew who this was) the next day. With that, Ron took off back in cloud form to meet up with Harlock and Aryndren.
Back at the mage’s tower, they were escorted in and made their way to Gromph’s Sanctum.
But before they were, Grin made a request of them. He asked them not to place the Dark Heart in Menzoberanzen. It was his home, and while he agreed with Vizeran and the secret alliance of mages, he didn’t want to see his home destroyed. He just wanted to see the matriarchy destroyed. He asked them if they would place it somewhere else. Maybe in the Mazes or just outside of the city. They said they would discuss it further with him after they retrieved the Grimoire.
The door to his sanctum was locked – of course it was – but fortunately, Ron’s new warlock path taught him how to open locks. He pulled out his lock picking set and finagled the lock until it opened.
Once inside, they saw a room that was larger on the inside than it was on the outside. The room was light with candles of continual flame, and there was a large desk with a high-backed chair facing away from them. To the side of the table was a four-armed statue. Harlock, fearing there would be someone sitting in the chair awaiting a dramatic reveal, rushed in to turn the chair around. There was no one there, to his relief, but unfortunately, as soon as he touched the chair, the statue animated and a pair of fire elementals jumped out of the flames in the room.
Note: the book says a single fire elemental pops out to attack anyone who doesn’t speak a pass phrase as they enter the room, and the stone golem animated when someone other than gromph touches the desk. I had the golem be an Iron Golem, and a pair of fire elementals attacked all at the same time.
The fire elementals turned out to be easy. Aryndren wild shaped into a water elemental and doused one of them right there and then. The Iron Golem was more of a challenge, and was actually able to get passed Ron’s defenses fairly regularly. But in the end, they prevailed.
They searched the room up and down, and while they took everything of value, they were unable to find Gromph’s grimoire. While searching, Aryndren spotted a secret door – one that led into pitch black. Aryndren and Ron were uneasy with walking in blindly, but Harlock pressed forward and entered. He was sent to a magical maze, but was quickly able to find his own way out and upon reaching the exit he found himself in Gromph’s inner sanctum.
Inside the Inner Sanctum, there was a podium next to a large circle. Inside the circle, a drow woman was trapped. She stuck up a conversation with Harlock as he explored the sanctum, doing whatever she could to convince him to free her. She tried to make a bargain, she tried to seduce him, she tried to threaten him, she pleaded. But Harlock was too smart. He, an expert in demons, immediately recognized that such a circle couldn’t trap an ordinary humanoid – it could only trap demons and devils and things like that. He assumed she was a succubus, and he refused to let her out.
He found Gromph’s grimioir and a few other valuables, and left – leaving the presumed demon behind, trapped in Gromph’s inner sanctum.
While he was in there, Ron placed the Dark Heart in Gromph’s desk.
After that, they left the Sorcere and contacted Vizeran to start the ritual. It would take 9 hours for the spell to complete.
Nine hours had passed since they laid the Dark Heart in Gromph’s chamber. Nine hours of tense anticipation.
And then the first signs appeared – a low rumbling of guttural horror echoed through the city. The Demon Lords had arrived.
The first to arrive was Orcus, with Marilith in tow. He came into the city near House Beanre, destroying their ancestral home along the way – just because he could. The first thing he did was summon two dracolichs and had them start destroying buildings, followed by two mummies.
Demogorgon was the next to enter. He came into the city in the slave district, knocking down any and all building along the way and destroying House Mizrym. He had with him two Nalfeshnees flying above.
The third to enter was Baphomet, with three Goristros. He was hot on the tail of Orcus, and the two started fighting each other almost immediately. The three Goristros managed to fell the Marilith quickly, leaving it to a four on one battle against Orcus.
The last to enter was Graz’zt, and he had with him two Balor.
DM Notes: For this battle, I handed out one demon lord to each player. They did a roll off with d20s, and whoever rolled the highest picked first. Harlock’s player chose Orcus, Ron’s player chose Demogorgon, Aryndren’s player chose Baphomet, and I played the remaining Demon Lord, Graz’zt. I also added extra demons to each team in order to balance their relative power.
The brunt of the battle was Orcus vs Baphomet. The three Goristro’s were absolutely devastating in the battle, making me question my decision to give Baphomet three of them. Near the end of the session, we discovered that they were being played incorrectly – the player was doing their charge attack AND their Multiattack every round!
Graz’zt ended up dominating one of the Goristros, and had the three locked up in battle fighting each other. My biggest issue with Graz’zt is that he has a lot of abilities to control those he charms, but he can only charm one person at a time, because all of his charm abilities are concentration.
Despite Demogorgon being the winner in the book, I feel Orcus is the most powerful demon lord in the game, due to the wand of Orcus.
The Marilith died first, and one of the Goristros was next to go. Orcus was the first demon lord to die – as the other three ganged up on him. But before that happened, his two dracolichs did a number on Demogorgon. Once Orcus died, his summoned undead died as well. The balors managed to finish Demogorgon off, but he killed one of them beforehand. The final battle was between Graz’zt and Baphomet. Baphomet was the stronger, but Graz’zt could teleport, making it nearly impossible to keep him in one location long enough to do any real damage. In the end, Graz’zt killed Baphomet, but he was just barely alive himself.
At this point, the PCs stepped in. Graz’zt started in on Ron quickly, and then teleported away before Ron had a chance to react. But Ron was imbued with the power of a god (his deal that gave him warlock levels) and blasted an Eldritch Blast at him, killing him.
Thus ended the incursions of the Demon Lords.
This is the official end of Out of the Abyss. We will have one more session as a sort of “wrap up” and closure to the game, and I’ll post it here to give an official end to the story.
If you have any questions about the story, background on anything, or any questions about loose ends, please post them here and I’ll bring them up in our next session.
|SmiloDan RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32|