Dragons in the Dark

S1E15: Emerald Enchanter Engulfed

 

Tags: H.A. A.B. E.B. S.B. E.C. L.C. A.J. Aranna Weaver, Astrologer Ser Aust Booker, Knight Lane Weaver, Soldier Slane Milos, Charlton Squidward Tentacles, Hedge Wizard Octopus Tentacles, Courtier Perrin Juno, Assassin Ogo Veretta, Apostle Virlan Gonov, Pickpocket Keyleth Gonov, Zealot Coil Mahogany, Zealot Glavas Roh Tentacles, Lower Noble Gary the Snail Juno, Spy DCC The Emerald Enchanter Joseph Goodman


Spoilers Ahead for Joseph Goodman’s “The Emerald Enchanter” (DCC)

Quick Recap: The Snack Club have delved deep into the Emerald Enchanter’s citadel. Lane has planar stepped back home to Willowby Hall.

Aranna Weaver (AJ) and Ogo Veretta (EB) shoots down the two flying skulls following them. The rest of the Snack Club find No-Ombrulsk villagers trapped in three cages. The villagers tell them the Emerald Enchanter says a magic word to open the gateless cages. Nobody knows what it is. Aust Booker (OR, played by AB) flexes his muscles and bends the bars instead, while Slane Milos (LC) gives him words of encouragement with his silver-tongue. They free the villagers, five adults and two children, a 7-year-old boy and 3-year-old girl. The Snack Club assigns Perrin Juno (SB) and Slane to escort the villagers back home while the rest of them soldier on to fight the Emerald Enchanter.

Meanwhile, Lane Weaver (AB), who is technically two hours ahead in game time, planar steps back to the citadel. In game rules, that’s twelve turns later. A countdown begins for when Lane will show up back in the citadel.

Aust, Aranna, Ogo, Octopus (EC), and Squidward (HA) walk into a room with a giant skull carving on the far wall. Thinking nothing of it, Aranna walks into the room and triggers a plate tile. A portcullis falls behind them, trapping them, and the giant skull comes to life. Aranna immediately draws an arrow, let’s fly at the stone carving. Aust unsheathes his sword, zooms in and slashes the carving. Metal against stone, it rings hard, shaking Aust. Octopus stabs Stone-Biter into the skull. Squidward casts web, fails, and grows spider fangs. Ogo fires his crossbow, crits, does major damage. Aranna fires the kill shot. The skull carving didn’t even get a chance to fire its laser eyes.

Slane the Martyr

Meanwhile –

Perrin and Slane head back to the hall of moving rock walls. Their idea? Have Slane distract the ghosts in the walls while the villagers sneak across to the other door. Slane takes damage. Three villagers sneak across. Slane takes another hit. Another three get through. Perrin and the last villager are left. Slane attacks the walls, the battle-axe vibrates furiously. Almost shatters. Perrin and the last villager runs past, Slane turns and runs. He gets clawed at by rock hand. Slane has exactly 1hp left.

Twenty Thing T. Things

Back to Group A –

They’re attacked by flying skulls. They make short work of them. Octopus searches the room, finds a secret door, leaves. The others follow. Down the hallway, turns right, and they see twenty undead severed hands walking about, carrying utensils, pots, and pans. Octopus walks forward. The severed hands stop. They turn to the Snack Club. And the hands rush them and leap on them. There are severed hands trying to strangle each of them. Octopus cuts one with Stone-Biter. Aranna stabs another with her arrow. Aust tries shaving one off. Ogo grabs one and throws it against the wall. Squidward does the same. It’s a tough fight. The Snack Club can’t use their weapons effectively. Eventually, two hands get the better of Ogo and strangles Ogo to death.

The entire time I’m listening to the Snack Club pluck severed hands off one-at-a-time off their bodies… I’m wondering, do they not teach kids how to “stop, drop, and roll” in school anymore?

Back to Group B –

Perrin and Slane lead the villagers to the pit trap they came across hours ago, but without Aust flying up with a rope to let people swing across, they have to figure out how to get across in a different way. Perrin jumps across to show the rest how easy it is. (And of course he made it fine, his DEX score is high). So one of the villagers attempts it, slips, falls into the spiked pit and dies. The rest of the villagers are now freaked out. Who are these people who led them to death?

Slane somehow convinces the seven-year-old to jump across despite seeing someone fall to death. The kid jumps and makes it.

Back to Group A –

They walk into what appears to be a laboratory. There are a bunch of bottles, potions, magical ingredients and in the center of the room, a pentagram drawn in charcoal with a demon trapped inside. There are brass pipes jabbed into its body, draining the demon of its life-force. At first, Octopus and Aust want to stab the demon. But the moment they’re actually about to do it, everyone chickens out and leaves. Octopus walks back in and explores the room and find spell scrolls and potions. Eventually, Octopus tries to communicate with the demon and finds out how to free it. She rubs the charcoal, breaks the pentagram and the demon wanders off.

Slane the Spikey

Back to Group B –

Perrin and Slane realize they have a grappling hook with 50’ of rope. Perrin chucks it over to Slane. And they create a tightrope of sorts for villagers to climb over. They get the rest of the villagers over and it’s just Slane left. Slane decides to jump it. He slips. Slane falls into the pit of spikes and dies.

Meanwhile – Lane reappears in the Citadel, the same room where he had portal stepped out of last session. He realizes that while he had taken the corpse of Thesdipedes and the brain of Istrobian, they completely forgot about the skull. Lane examines it. It’s the skull of Gobur, a wizard of transmogrification. Gobur talks to Lane and is slightly irritated he left with Istrobian and Thesdipedes, and ignored him. Lane takes the skull, sticks it in his bag, and leaves the room. Now Lane has to find the rest of the Snack Club.

Squidward Shoves Aranna Because Why?

Back to Group A –

They open another door, find the kitchen. They root around and look for stuff. They head back out. There’s a grate in the floor. Aust lifts it up. There are chains attached to it. Octopus cuts the chains with Stone-Biter. They break apart. At this point, Squidward pushes Aranna down the pit. It’s a 40’ drop and Aranna almost dies. Aust sees this betrayal, and cuts Squidward down. Squirdward dies.

Was there a reason why Squidward pushed Aranna down the hole? Nobody knows except HA.

Octopus throws Ogo’s 50’ of rope down the grate. Climbs down to see if Aranna is OK. She’s alive. Aranna climbs up the role. Lane shows up, sees his hurt sister, and casts vitality on her. Octopus starts exploring the caverns beneath the citadel. Lane and Aranna rappel down into the caverns as well while Aust waits above.

Go Loot My Dead Friend’s Body!

Back to Group B –

Perrin and the six remaining villagers are now staring in disbelief at the multilated body of Slane Milos, last of the Milos siblings (minus Jarrod). They realize he’s wearing magical plate Moon Armor, and wielding an expensive battle-axe. (Also, the grappling hook and rope, amongst other items). At this point, we name the villagers, Bobby, Dobby, Virlan Gonov (EB) and Keyleth Gonov (LC). Virlan is actually a pickpocket and we find out that he actually stole a bunch of stuff from the Snack Club while he was being rescued.

Perrin (played by AJ now) is not happy about this when he finds out. Perrin threatens Virlan with death if he doesn’t climb down the spike pit to retrieve all the items from Slane’s dead body. Virlan climbs down, gets the armor, climbs back up. Climbs down again, gets the battle-axe, falls, gets hurt. At this point, Perrin pulls Virlan up instead of making him climb. Perrin sends him down one more time to loot the rest of Slane’s body.

The BBEG!

Back to Group A –

Lane, Aranna, and Octopus explore the caverns. They find another grate above them. Lane takes out his trusty tentacle suckers from the Pit Beast and climbs up. He sees an emerald ogre. He shouts at it (because he thinks it’s funny?). The ogre stabs through the gates with its sword, but misses. Lane slides right back down the cave walls. No thank you.

They find yet another demon deep in the caverns. A large white one. Also being drained of its life-force with injected brass pipings. Aust is ret-conned into the room and cuts the piping. Octopus talks to the demon. It is another demon the Emerald Enchanter had summoned to learn dark sorcery from. Octopus frees the demon and she is bathed in white light as a gift… giving her +1 on her luck score.

Further into the caverns they walk, and they see another grate above them. This one is sixty-feet up. Lane climbs up this one as well. He sees vats, and giant cages with humans hung over the vats. And they see… The Emerald Enchanter! Lane quickly scoots back down the walls. They know it would be dangerous to fight the BBEG with just three other of the Snack Club.

It’s time the Snack Club get back together.

Reunification

Back to Group B –

Perrin leads the villagers down a hallway and remembering they forgot about the other tome from the library from last session. The seven of them stand guard next to each of the book stands. It takes three turns for them to finally catch the teleporting book, but they seize The Tome of Thesdipedes. There are instructions on how to build vats, transmogrify things, and a little autobiography as well.

I can imagine Lane reading this to Thesdipedes’s undead corpse back at Willowby Hall during bedtime.

Finally, Perrin lead the rest of the villagers out of the Emerald Enchanter’s citadel. Bobby, Dobby, Virlan, and Keyleth all run off back to their home of No-Ombrulsk while Perrin decides to head back in. It isn’t until fifteen minutes later IRL that The Snack Club realize that the villagers has Slane’s Moon Armor and battle-axe (amongst other things). So basically, Perrin made Virlan climb back down to retrieve Slane’s stuff for nothing.

Back to Group A –

They start backtracking and retracing their steps out of the citadel. Fortunately, AB has taken the mantle of drawing a map IRL so they’re not completely lost like last session.

The flying skulls show up again. Aranna shoots one down. Another two show up. Aust flies up to bat another one. Another five show up. Finally, Lane casts control ice and shoots a huge sheet of ice upwards. It freezes and shatters all eight skulls, covering the ceiling in a wall of ice.

Meanwhile, Perrin (played by SB again) runs through the hall with the moving rock walls. Why? I don’t know. Why didn’t he go through the hallway that doesn’t have rock claws trying to kill you? I don’t know. There was a perfectly good hallway on the other side that didn’t have rock hands coming out of the walls trying to kill you.

ANYWAY – we retcon LC, HA, and EB’s new characters into the game along with Perrin. Coil Mahogany (LC), a zealot, Glavas Roh Tentacles, a lower noble (EB), and Gary “The Snail” Juno, a spy (HA).

The two groups bump into each other near the dead snake in the menagerie. Group A then leads them down the grate, through the caverns, and towards the grate where the Emerald Enchanter is.

At this point, I have to do a little quick improvisation because instead of bringing the fight to the Emerald Enchanter by going upstairs and heading to the vat room… the Snack Club has decided to fight the enchanter from under the grate instead.

A Magical Duel for the Ages

Lane and Aranna lead the fight, as they’re the only ones who can attack the Emerald Enchanter from beneath the grate. The Emerald Enchanter sees them, fires a magic missiles down the grate. It’s huge. It could do 35 damage. Lane reacts quickly and casts shield… lucks out and blocks the comet of fury. Aranna fires an arrow up at the Emerald Enchanter, it curves and cuts him. The Emerald Enchanter casts shield and spider climb on himself.

Lane shoots a fireball up, the enchanter fires magic missiles down. They crash into each other. It’s like that final scene in the fifth Harry Potter when Dumbledore and Voldemort are firing spells at each other. There are electrifying arcs sparking everywhere, globs of phlogiston spurting out and spilling over Lane, and flashing white light blinding The Snack Club.

Lane overpowers the Emerald Enchanter, dealing severe damage to him. And then the Emerald Enchanter sends eight flying skulls down. They come screaming down like Tie-Fighters. Aranna shoots one down. Glavas improvises, throws dice at the skulls. He rolls surprisingly well and knocks two of them out of the sky. He encourages Octopus to improvise as well. She throws a horn at one of them. It works. Lane sends another fireball up. The rest of the flying skulls explode and the remainder magic burns the Emerald Enchanter.

Lane casts magic shield on his turn, it misfires. Suddenly, he’s lifted three inches up the ground and he’s slipping around in midair. Can’t get a hold of anything. The Emerald Enchanter seizes the advantage and fires three magic missiles down. One burns Perrin. Another explodes in Lane’s chest. And the last blows Aranna off her feet. Aranna nearly dies, had it not been for her magic crossbow which regenerates her. IRL, we thought Aranna had died, but Aranna (played by HA, as AJ had left) had forgotten about the regenerative properties of her crossbow. You’re welcome, AJ. Aranna was retconned back to life. Maybe you shouldn’t hand your character sheet to the player who just tried to kill you for absolutely no explicable reason next time.

Finally, Lane rights himself in midair, and casts fireball one last time. The Emerald Enchanter reacts with magic missiles once more. It is another contest of sorcerous wills. But the Emerald Enchanter is not too lucky this time. Lane’s fireball surges past his magic missiles, collides with the Emerald Enchanter and engulfs him in scorching flames.

The Snack Club have defeated The Emerald Enchanter. The Dolmenwood Drunes are now without their leader.

They climb up through the grate, and are met with four emerald eidolons. But fortunately, Lane remembers the magic word that reverts their transmogrification. They loot the dead enchanter’s body and find two magic rings.

Back in No-Ombrulsk

The Snack Club leave the citadel and head back to No-Ombrulsk for some well-deserved R&R.

I’ve implemented some new rules in the game where you can’t just rest for a week and get max HP. Borrowing one of the rules from Blades in the Dark, each character now has a vice they must indulge in. As adventurers, they see some pretty horrible stuff on each dungeon crawl, and because they don’t have therapy in this fantasy land, they now have terrible addictions they must indulge in for “mental health”.

Octopus likes to get into bar fights. She disappears for a week. Aranna and Lane blows their money on luxurious experiences. They make friends with one of the nobles in No-Ombrulsk. Gary The Snail has an unusual loyalty to his family, the Junos. He “said too much” to someone. We haven’t figured out what yet, and to whom. The rest managed to indulge without going overboard.

As for the rest of their downtime…

Glavas spends his downtime marketing Dragons in the Dark, hoping to entice No-Ombrulsk residents to visit Ool Krut. Gary “The Snail” Juno decides to spend his downtime trying to build a time machine with Coil helping him with his crazy scheme. Lane and Glavas take some time to study the spell scrolls they found.

Final update: One week’s stay in No-Ombrulsk for all eight characters, 168gp. Lane and Glavas studying spells, 250gp each.

/end session on the Year of the Worm, Month of the Wolf, Day of the Stoat

The Snack Club’s Portfolio

Stored in Wyrmskull Vault
(Opened Year of the Worm, Month of the Eagle, Day of the Fox)

  • 19 Ice Necklaces x 200gp = 3,800gp
  • 12 Ice Jewels x 150gp = 1,800gp
  • Chest of Gold from Hole in Oak = 1,994gp
  • 5 Opal x 200gp =1,000gp
  • 1 Ruby x 800gp = 800 gp
  • 6 Golden Rings x 200 gp = 1,200gp
  • 1 Garnet Earrings = 142gp
  • Skull with Ruby Eyes = 1,600gp
  • Diamond = 463gp
  • 100 Emeralds x 10gp = 1,000gp
  • Petty Cash = 3,494gp
  • Tavern Income = 1,260gp

SUBTOTAL: 18,194gp

Hidden Cache in Great Forest b/w Mlurg Nar & Gnamph Nar
610gp

TOTAL: 18,804gp

The Snack Club’s Real Estate

  • Willowby Hall (Mansion in Ool Krut)
  • Dragons in the Dark (Tavern in Ool Krut)
    • Y.Worm/M.Badger = +1,260gp

Chekhov’s Ticking Time Bombs

NEW

  • What did Gary the Snail say to one of the Junos?

OLD

  • Emma Frog is dead, but her infamous mass prison break in Ilthmar will have consequences.
  • The Redclaws are allied with the Dolmenwood Drunes and HQ at Redclaw Castle
  • Who is the Weaver ancestor, “Ivrian the Unkind” and did she achieve immortality?

DM Notes to Myself

Well, that was not what I had expected for the final fight. Here I was thinking there would be an epic fight in the vat room as the module was written, but the Snack Club decide to fight from the underground caves instead. What really got me were the deaths this session. Slane sacrificed himself for the villagers. Perrin could’ve helped too, but didn’t. Ogo died because the Snack Club couldn’t think of any way to get rid of the severed hands in an efficient way. And Squidward. That was the most confusing decision of all. Why would he push Aranna down the hole?

Regardless. This ends a fifteen-session arc where, in our very first session, Aranna killed Dolmenwood drunes… only to have them chase the Snack Club throughout this campaign… leading them to destroying the drunes’ leader, the Emerald Enchanter. But is he really dead? I mean, this is genre fiction. Nobody ever really dies in comic books and serial sci-fi/fantasy.