Not a lot happened in yesterday’s game – it dealt with the trip from the last adventure site back to Storm Point. Still, I got to apply some real pressure to the group, and I think they’re starting to realize that they aren’t invulnerable.
After the previous session, they had decided that they wanted to follow up on the whole “shadar-kai forming an alliance with the local goblins” angle. Unfortunately, they don’t have much of a clue as to how to do that – they haven’t found any real loose ends to start pulling at. So, Erik suggests that they go and see if the ambassador from the Empire Reborn has any information.
Now, the ambassador is a bit of a throw-away NPC that’s taking on a new significance in the game. He entered the game world by way of a little cut scene* I wrote, and then gotÂ used in a piece of player fiction**, which sort of established his character and role – a rather incompetent coward who is trying to use the adventurers to advance the plans of the Empire Reborn. He’s not good at it, but his clerk seems to be…
Anyway, after dropping a hint that they thought the Empire Reborn was in league with the shadar-kai, the heroes are hoping that the Empire Reborn will have done some digging into the situation, the results of which they can now intimidate out of the ambassador.
A plan so cunning it deserves its own Blackadder quote.
Despite their planning, they didn’t get to try anything. Still battered and worn down by cleaning out the goblin lair, they decided to make the three-hour journey back to Storm Point so they could sleep in beds. And, of course, predictable bastard that I am, I attacked them.
I used two griffons and two eladrin fey knights****, with the idea of one or two round attacks, in a hit-and-run pattern, harrying the heroes back to town.
First of all, the charging griffons and their riders hit like a ton of bricks. Man. Massive damage on the first round. And then they fight for a couple of rounds, and take off again. Good plan.
And, of course, the party decided they didn’t like the idea of running back to town, fighting off the griffon attacks as they ran low of healing surges. And Thrun, the dwarven fighter who is the primary defender, was right out of healing surges. Given that, they decided to find a place to hole up for a long rest before continuing back to town. Some pretty amazing Nature, Perception, and Stealth rolls got them a cave with a spring in it, under an overhang, with the cave mouth screened by bushes.
They set watches and took a long rest. During that time, the fey knights managed to find where their prey had gone to ground, and set up in ambush just outside.
This fight went a little more in favour of the party, mainly because they were at full strength, with all their dailies and healing surges. And they used most of them. Four 7th level creatures are a tough fight for six 3rd level characters. Still, in the end, they managed to put the griffons down and render the eladrin unconscious. A couple of judicious History rolls have turned up a tie to the Empire Reborn – the fallen Empire of Nerath used to have a unit of griffon-mounted eladrin air cavalry, called the 2nd Imperial Airborne, also known as The Immortals.
With their captives and the new information, they think they have enough to bring the law to bear on the ambassador. So, they’ve returned to town, turned the eladrin over to the local Watch, and went to get a good meal and some rest.
I’ve got some interesting ideas about where things go next.
*From time to time, about once an adventure, I post to our game forum a short piece of fiction that I call a cut scene. This is usually from the point of view of outsiders, commenting on what the adventurers are doing, and how it relates to them. It’s a way of providing a little more context and throughline for the game narrative.
**This bit of fiction was a sort of response to my cut scene and the events in the game. In it, the party confronted the (rather cowardly and incompetent) ambassador in his office, and threatened him*** for his part in the squad of Empire Reborn armsmen that tried to steal the goblin map from them. They also mentioned the shadar-kai, implying that they thought the ambassador was involved in that, too.
***Y’know, these heroes are kinda dicks.
****1200 xp, a level 5 encounter for 6 characters.