Chapter 17: Mopping Up (aka "How Far Away Is He?")

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Session Number: 40
Date: Sunday 14 March 2010
Venue: Alain's
PCs & Players:

Arrian Rog1/Clr5 (Fergus) (kills: none)
Enok Rgr6 (Alain) (kills: 1 undead, 1 henger)
Rowaine Pal6 (Craig) (kills: 1 henger)
Troll Wiz6 (Densial) (kills: 1 matre)

XP Awarded: enough for 7th level

There is a crowd of people at the monastery's temple. People are talking, almost excitedly. We enter the temple and see Berathoin, Khazul and Sir Veketh up the front, talking to someone familiar: an elven ex-student called Arrian. Eight years ago he departed the monastery under a scandal - he allegedly stole the holy silver warhammer symbol of Moradin and several other items of value, defaced the temple and left.

Troll is rather shocked to see him again; fair Rowaine pales after recognising his face. Troll suspects wizardry and starts pushing through the crowd towards the front. Rowaine follows.

The stolen symbol looks to have been replaced. Sir Veketh beckons Rowaine and Troll closer. Arrian sees Troll and looks quite taken aback. Troll does not meet his eye. Rowaine stares at him; he looks down. Ro glances at Sir Veketh, trying to gauge his mood. The dwarf speaks.

"Rowaine, I know this is a hard ask for you, but I would like you to listen to what Arrian has to say. Are you willing?"

"Must it be said now? We still have a matre to deal with…"

I believe this is something best done now, but it is up to you."

Rowaine's Detect Evil finds no trace of evil about the elf.

Arrian kneels before Rowaine:

"It has taken me to years to recover the symbol that I stole, and my god has charged me to atone for the evil that I have done to this place. Sir Veketh has partially accepted the return of the symbol and expects more of me. Primarily he has pointed out (and I agree) that in some senses the person I sinned against most is you. What I did that day was unconscionable. I have no excuse, no explanation, nothing I can say to excuse or remedy your wrath. I can only offer you my atonement. My god requires that I offer you in all humility my service, until you decide that atonement is made. There is no obligation; please do not feel that you need to accept this. If you decide against it I am happy to go and make atonement as best I can in the world… But this is the request of my god, and I do need to make clear that my god isn't Moradin. I have found the path that I have to follow with another god, but he has required that I make atonement… It would be my honour and privilege if you would accept my atonement."

Rowaine's features harden throughout Arrian's appeal. "Whatever business of atonement you have is between you and your god… If you are asking forgiveness from me, I cannot give that right now." Arrian begins a sentence but Rowaine cuts him off. "We will have words later. This is not the place."

Rowaine turns to Sir Veketh. "Would would you have me do, Sir?"

"Arrian sinned greatly against this temple and against yourself. As best as I am able to determine, he comes in good faith in the service of his god, even if not ours, and wishes to atone. I believe it is your task (catching Troll's eye also) to deal with this problem that we are afflicted with, and I do believe that this person may be of help. I can detect no insincerity in him. It may be the will of Moradin to accept this elf's service, but one thing I know is that you need to make that decision for yourself."

"How did he get here?"

"He arrived earlier today. As you can understand we questioned him within the Zone of Truth. The story he tells is of one of spending several years attemting to recover this holy symbol. He has returned here as soon as he recovered it."

"So, elf," Rowaine says turning to Arrian. "Who do you bow to now?"

"To Corellon Larethian. He is my master and my god."

"Not a friend of dwarves…"

"Not an enemy either, and certainly more friendly than some."

"How would you serve me?"

"In whatever manner you see fit; I would make your bed for you if you wished it. Lady, I am at your mercy."

Troll casts Detect Magic upon Arrian, finding none.

Rowaine continues. "If I commanded you right now to sell all you had and give every copper to protect the helpless, ensuring that the young and the vulnerable amongst us are safe and well cared for… Would you do it?"

"Lady I would; that is already my calling and is the desire of my god."

Rowaine Senses Motive and finds no fault. "You shall be tested. I do not trust you, I do not forgive you. Perhaps those things shall be given to you later."

"As is completely appropriate."

"Well, Enok is waiting…"

Rowaine and Troll debate the best way to rendezvous with Enok. Rowaine decides to stay with the rest on foot; she is not prepared to leave Troll with Arrian. They follow the matre's path at a hustle and approach its river crossing. Enok is secreted amongst the upper boughs of a tree. Arrian spots Enok while the others do not; he dodges off the path and hides behind a tree. "There seems to be someone up there pointing an arrow at me." The others still cannot see Enok.

Rowaine calls "Enok, is that you?"

"Yeah, it's me. Have you taken a prisoner?"

"It appears that this elf is my ward for the time being."

"Can I ask what we're doing here?" Arrian.

"Can I ask what he's doing here?" Enok.

Rowaine explains Arrian's presence.

Enok is unconvinced. "Do we have a bigger treasure than the symbol that he might be after?"

"He returned the symbol," informs Rowaine. "Sir Veketh vouches for him. Whilst Moradin is slow to forgive, he does forgive. I don't trust him, can I be clear about that? But I have to believe the possibility that he is telling the truth."

Arrian interrupts - "I only ask because I might be better able to help if I know what we are doing."

Troll is cagey with his explanations. As the party approaches the hill Rowaine explains the threat. Arrian is incredulous at first. Rowaine continues on with a description of the hill they are headed towards, including the undead encounter.

"How do you plan to deal with this creature?" asks Arrian.

Rowaine describes the groups' limited offensive poential. Seeing Arrian's poorly disguised despair, she adds "The matre cannot be allowed to escape. The danger is too great."

"Your weapons didn't affect this undead?"

"That's right."

"I may be able to help with that." He describes his prepared Magic Weapon spell that might enchant a single weapon enough to breach the creature's defences. It lasts for 5 minutes. The group decide that Enok's scimitar shall receive the spell's enchantment.

Enok wonders whether there may be some other creature at work beneath the hill, something that has power over the undead?

The party return to the hill. There are no arachtria present. A marching order is established - Rowaine and Harley on the left; Enok, Arrian and Troll on the right. Arrian casts Light and the party enter, turning left at the intersection. Arrian hears something metallic far off but nothing local. Rowaine Detects Evil but senses nothing. She casts Bless and the party continue to the beginning of the alcove. Rowaine Detects Evil and the undead creature fair glows. It rises and shambles towards the group!

Rowaine tries to guide Harley with her knees but again fails her ride check. Harley snaps at the creature but her jaws pass through it.

[Harley, channelling Scooby Doo] Huh?

Troll acids the creature but misses.

Arrian enchants Enok's scimitar with Magic Weapon.

The rotting creature attacks Rowaine but misses.

Enok hits; the weapon meets resistance and does 5 damage. His short sword misses.

Rowaine Lays Hands on the creature for 5 damage.

Troll's acid hits for 8 damage (unless it saved).

Arrian casts Spiritual Weapon and accelerates it towards the horrific creature. The weapon hits for 5 damage.

The undead attacks Rowaine again, missing.

Enok's enchanted scimitar hits for 8 damage. The second slice destroys the creature.

It would have been a critical too, had the creature not been undead.

Troll acids the creature to ensure it isn't coming back. Rowaine can sense no more evil here. Rowaine thanks Arrian pointedly.

Rowaine and Enok notice a metallic glint in the corner. Troll moves towards it, perparing to loose acid when in range. Rowaine convinces him to wait. A corpse wears glinting chain mail that seems to have survived amazingly well, despite being covered by blood and gore. Arrian offers to Detect Magic and reports that it appears to be quite magical. Rowaine senses motive and believes him. Troll is all for giving the foul task of collecting the valuable armour to Arrian. Rowaine defers collecting it until the main task has been achieved, much to Troll's disgust. The party continue onwards.

Arrian no longer hears any metallic sound. The passageway continues for around 100 feet and opens into a once-natural cavern. Some work to smooth out areas is in evidence. Rowaine lights her last remaining sunrod which illuminates the far end, 60 feet away. Beside the far wall is the matre. Embedded in the wall next to it is an even larger, metallic spider-like creature. Only two of its legs can be seen, dangling to the floor. The matre is somehow mated to it. Previous signs of damage look now to have been repaired. To the left an exit continues onwards. Combat!

Arrian swipes his Spiritual Weapon at the matre but it misses.

Enok charges, scimitar leading the way. He hits for 10 damage.

Troll fires an arrow at the matre, missing.

Rowaine lowers her lance and charges on the back of Harley at the matre. She buffs her attack with Smite Evil and a bit of Power Attack. She hits for 2d8+24 damage - 36 points.

The matre attacks Rowaine twice, hits once for 13 damage.

"Incoming from your left!" Arrian. Rowaine glances left and see two skeletal birds the siize of lare eagles emerging from the nearby tunnel. Arrian swipes at one with his Spiritual Weapon but misses.

Enok attacks the matre four times. Two hit. Only 25 damage, shame on you Enok.

Troll moves behind his allies and looses acid at the matre. The acid hits and the matre crumples to the ground.

Rowaine attempts to Turn the skeletal birds but they ignore her fearful Moradin-inspired command.

The creatures move towards Rowaine, who lines up her lance on one. Her AOO hits for 7 damage but it still advances. It retaliates twice, hitting once. Rowaine takes 6 damage. The second creature also attacks Rowaine twice, hitting once for a further 5 damage.

Arrian uses his Spiritual Weapon again, missing.

Enok full attacks one of the creatures, hitting three times for 19 damage. He is definitely more effective against constructs.

Troll moves and looses more acid. It misses.

Rowaine drops her lance and pulls out her massive axe. She hits for 14 damage.

A creature attacks Rowaine twice, hits once for 3 damage. The second creature does the same and hits once for 4 damage.

Arrian Spiritual Weapons a creature and hits for 6 damage.

One of Enok's four attacks its for 8 damage. What happened, Enok?

Troll tries more acid and misses again. What's happening, Troll?

The creature attacks Rowaine, inflicting 5 damage.

Ro makes her ride check. She full-attacks. The first attacks hits for 13 damage; she hits it again for 14 more damage and it flops to the ground.

The last remaining creature attacks Rowaine twice, doing 4 damage with one successful hit.

Harley thinks "Hmmm… bones!" Her vicious bite snaps off pieces of leg and does 11 damage.

The second creature attacks Rowaine for 3 damage, hits again for 6 damage.

Hang on - the second (and only remaining) creature already attacked this round, and it just attacked again - I don't think this should have happened! Oh well…

I didn't want to break with the tradition of Rowaine dying each encounter… Ferg

Arrian moves adjacent to Rowaine and begins casting Cure Serious Wounds. The creature capitalises on Arrian's lowered guard and attacks, doing 6 damage and disrupting the spell. Rowaine goes unhealed.

Enok steps towards the creature and attacks mercilessly. Three of his four attacks hit, totalling 21 damage!

Troll acids the creature, missing again!

Rowaine full-attacks with power attack - 1 hit for 14 damage - before stepping backwards.

The creature follows Rowaine, incurring a successful AOO from Enok for 8 damage. Still alive, it attacks Ro twice, hitting once for 3 damage.

Arrian steps backwards and casts Searing Light at the remaining creature, but misses. Enok almost wears it.

Two of Enok's attacks finish the creature; it drops to the ground with shattered bones.

Rowaine confirms that the creature stuck in the wall is evil. Troll fires glob after glob of acid until Rowaine detects no further evil.

The party rest a while, return to pick up the armour and then go back to the monastery. Troll Identifies the armour as mithral chain +2, "Prant's Protector" (10 minutes of Fly once per day).

Ferg deems our works worthy enough of gaining a level. Next session is Alain's DM debut!

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