Session 2

April 23rd, 2012 § 0 comments

Special thanks go to Jesse H. for writing this fantastic recap of our Clayfinder (Pathfinder) session.

As Jon walked into Jumbo’s Clown Room, the air was thick with the sweat of daddy-issue dancers and the stench of the hours-old shrimp buffet lunch.  He didn’t see Dixxxie yet.  Perhaps she was…

Wait, sorry.  Wrong story.

When the curtain came up, our heroes had just spent an uneventful night camping at the edge of The Big Giant Hole.  They had descended into the hole and set up camp.  For hours, they took turns dozing, keeping watch, and discussing theology.  Morning was difficult to determine as the sky above was veiled by a magical black sphere and the only light seemed to be the perpetual ever-purple dimness of the inside of the hole.  Rested and more familiar with each other after an evening of good conversation, the group set off on foot into the literal boneyard – an endless plain of discarded remains.  There were human bones, elven bones, and bones that could only be said to belong to “other.”

The boneyard was quiet except for the crunch of boots on bones.  After a few hundred yards, Runebeard, Kasyc, and Prince Derrik discerned the sound of shambling footsteps approaching the group.  Defensive postures were taken, and it wasn’t long before a phalanx of skeletons wandered into sight.  The skeletons each brandished makeshift clubs in the form of other bones from other, less-active skeletons.  As they hobbled towards the group, the heroes broke ranks and began taking the fight directly to the undead nightmares.  Arrows flew. Sling bullets whizzed through the air.  Behind them all, Pitwick began playing inspiring drones on his hurdy-gurdy, quickly working himself into a dervish-like state of concentration as he jammed on the odd instrument.  Runebeard rushed the group and crumpled a skeleton with an easy swing.  Ambassador Carix gestured at Brother and, for a moment, the air around the bear shimmered and he seemed to increase in size.  The odd optical effect lasted only seconds, though, and Carix was left feeling confused and not a little disappointed.  Unfazed by the failed spell, Brother raked a skeleton apart with his claws.  Where Kasyc’s arrows connected with skeletons, the undead exploded in a shower of leaves, much to the surprise of the heroes.  Meanwhile, the Prince held forth his halberd and, with a cry of “Be gone, abominations!,” the cleric panicked two of the skeletons who turned to flee.  As one ran past Qunso, the albino struck it down with his wooden greatsword.

Suddenly, a strange and mysterious voice called out from the distant gloom.  In common tongue, it urged a second wave of skeletons on towards the group.  Just as before, the horrors were cut down viciously and efficiently.

The fight was fast and the skeletons were dispatched easily.  In its wake, the heroes were left with a burgeoning sense of confidence.  For many of them, this had been the first real combat any of them had seen – and they had won handily.  Though the only one to take a hit from the skeletons, Runebeard praised Tana.  The Prince thanked Takeo.  The others quickly set to talking strategy as they tried to work out the best formation for the group to march in.  As the group chatted, a mysterious voice spoke to Runebeard and Prince Derrik within their own heads.  “Warriors of Light,” said the voice, “ascend to the top of the tower!”  Runebeard quickly informed the rest of the group that he had been spoken to and the Prince confirmed the same message.  There was mild confusion in the party.

“Isn’t that what we’re already doing?” asked Silas.  The rogue was in no mood for mystical mind-games.

“I thought we had to go to the bottom of the tower,” replied Kasyc.

After some discussion, the companions remembered that the tower was said to be a set of two tests: darkness and hatred in the bottom of the tower, while happiness and love were tested at the top of the tower.  Feeling as though the magical voice’s call was essentially urging them on in the same direction they were originally heading, the group continued onward.

The pile of skeleton remains beneath their feet grew, and at last, tapered off to a plateau.  After many more yards of innumerable bones, the group was met by the blast of a deep and resounding hunting horn.  Immediately after the sounding of the horn, they heard, once again, the shuffling sound of approaching skeletons.  Pitwick was first to act and called into being four dancing, colored lights that illuminated the new group of skeletons.  Then, just as before, small Pitwick scrambled for his hurdy-gurdy and began serenading the surreal landscape with the awkward whine of his chosen instrument.  The strategic planning surrounding marching orders dissolved quickly as first the Prince and then Runebeard set off eagerly to meet the new foes.

It wasn’t long, however, before the confidence born within the group from their earlier victory faded to distress.  This new cadre of skeletons was much more formidable.  After a strike or two, Qunso fell to the ground on the verge of unconsciousness.  Perhaps due to magical enchantments or perhaps from mere bad luck, the group found themselves fumbling with their weapons.  What should have been easy opportunistic strikes on passing targets became critical mistakes that knocked Runebeard prone and Prince Derrik unconscious.  With the cleric down, the skeletons gained ground quickly.  Silas and Brother traded blows with a skeleton, but the bear took a number of direct hits that hurt him badly.  Kasyc drew his black greatsword and turned it to the undead menace, felling skeleton after skeleton with the aid of his prone, yet flanking, companions.

Seeing Brother hurt badly, but also knowing that Prince Derrik was down, Little Paw struggled with her priorities.  Should I heal faithful Brother? Or help revive the Prince I’ve just met?  In the end, she sent Brother off to find the fallen prince.  When Brother came upon his fallen body, he bent down and nudged the Prince with his nose.  At that exact moment, Little Paw cast a healing spell through Brother and revived the unconscious cleric.  Unfortunately, as the Prince’s eyes opened, a skeleton’s club found its mark and Brother fell in an unconscious furry heap upon the cleric.

The Prince wasted no time in calling upon his god for assistance.  “Help us, Takeo, in our hour of need!”  Instantly, a burst of warm healing energy shot out from the Prince.  The party’s wounds were healed, the dying stabilized, and the tide in the battle turned.  Ambassador Carix summoned forth a fire beetle that began tearing apart skeletons.  Kasyc and a revived Qunso continued to lay waste to the skeletons with their swords.  Pitwick abandoned songcraft for warcraft and took the fight to the undead that were still standing.  A second burst of healing energy from the Prince revived everyone to fighting strength and the last few skeletons were felled in quick succession.

Tested though ultimately successful, a much-humbled group of adventures paused to catch their breath as the curtain came down for the evening…

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