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Age of Worms Adventure Path – Game Session 85

Game summary for May 27, 2008; present characters included Lyrin Sinbal (simian incantatrix/ring sage/warmage), Mael Gabrian (human cleric), Morak Beardfist (shield dwarf fighter/rage cleric), Ranulph Wathbater (human berserker/fighter/hellreaver/paladin of freedom/rogue), and Saedd West (human fighter/pious templar/wormhunter).

As the last of the nightcrawlers fell to Morak’s flame strike, the cavern shook with the force of a yelling creature shouting, “Come on!” With a flash, Balakarde appeared and imbued Lyrin with several transferable powers to aid in the fight to come. Worms poured forth from the ceiling but bounced off of the party’s vermin wards. The clerics, warmage, and wormhunter hung back casting buffing spells upon themselves. Meanwhile, Ranulph was hit by some kind of moisture draining magic and then slipped up around the bend and into a large cavern. Within, he found a large worm-infested stone ziggurat with something torn away from the top. The green liquid they had passed through earlier seemed to originate here, bubbling up from the wound atop the ziggurat. Standing astride the foul stream towered the rotted, skeletal form of Dragotha himself. Power and wickedness poured forth from the greatest of undead dragons. To either side of him were stone ledges, a nude, worm-infested Aridarye stood shimmering with magical wards about her.

Ranulph yelled to his companions about what he saw and quickly tried to fly back down the tubular cavern. Dragotha, however, had other plans. He simply suggested Ranulph come lay face down on the ziggurat, which Ranulph found to be a superbly splendid idea. Morak Beardfist, dwarven priest of Moradin, ran forward and resurged Ranulph, which allowed him to realize how absurdly stupid the idea Dragotha mentioned really was. Wasting no time, Saedd brought the fight to Dragotha, charging across the open ground, up the stairs of the pyramid, and swinging with a mighty blow. His blade landed true—and bounced off of Dragotha’s steel-like bones without so much as a scratch. Mael and Lyrin moved closer and continued warding themselves and allies with magic. Lyrin also transferred his Balakarde-granted fire immunity to Ranulph who then charged through the air to attack Dragotha. His blow hit true as well, and cut into the dracolich; however, a moment later Ranulph hover in the air, paralyzed by the mesmerizing eyes of Dragotha.

Aridarye launched into spellcasting and knocked Saedd prone with a magic missile spray. With a hate-filled roar, Dragotha attacked Saedd with teeth and claws, shredding the man and spilling his lifeblood and entrails across the ziggurat. The Mercenaries looked on in shock at how quickly Saedd was dispatched. With a snarl of defiance, Mael stepped forward and destroyed Aridarye by channeling the holy might and fury of Torm. Her animated corpse burst and dissolved into dust under the righteous divine power of the god of paladins. While this transpired, Lyrin got into the fight by blasting Dragotha with a disintegrate. Much to his chagrin, the spell was turned and rocketed right back at him. He was saved, however, by the spell resistance provided by Mael’s wards. Lyrin adjusted his tactics and blasted the dracolich with a sculpted sunburst, which burned the dragon and made him even more angry. Lyrin then turned and took cover around a corner. Morak did his best to aid his spellcasting allies by firing barrage after barrage of lower spell resistance, but he just couldn’t seem to get the spell to take hold. Perhaps Dragotha’s will was that unshakeable, or he was warded against just such an attack, having minions who observed the use of the spell in fight after fight over the last week.

Dragotha grabbed hold of Ranulph and pushed him down onto the worm-covered ziggurat. Then, the deadly dracolich sprang from his perch and hurtled down the tunnel after Mael, Morak, and Lyrin. Mael was bitten by the massive jaws, and the unholy power of the dracolich form paralyzed Mael. Thinking quickly, Lyrin separated the group from the dragon with a prismatic wall. Morak fell back around a corner, and they quickly discussed ways to restore Mael to mobility. In an instant, Dragotha was upon them. One moment the cavern was empty, and the next Dragotha was simply there. Lyrin encased himself in a prismatic sphere that also inadvertently protected Morak from Dragotha. With no other target, Dragotha slew the paralyzed cleric of Torm. He then whispered a spell and teleported away.

Lyrin, having heard and identified the spell, ran out of his sphere and filled the area vacated by Dragotha with another prismatic wall. Morak cast a wind walk spell, and he and Lyrin decided the time for valor had disappeared quite some time ago. Meanwhile, Dragotha had returned to the ziggurat to bask in the (to him) rejuvenating negative energy and gather up what he expected to be a new minion in Ranulph. He was surprised to find Ranulph was warded from vermin and, although still paralyzed, had not become a favored spawn of Kyuss. Enraged in ways only a 1,500-year-old undead red dragon can get, he tore Ranulph apart.

Morak and Lyrin continued their strategic running for their lives. With murder in his cold dead heart, Dragotha teleported back into the cavern only to find himself within a prismatic wall. Many of the effects posed no threat or concern to the mighty dragon; however, the shifting panels of light pierced his defenses and sent him hurtling off into a random plane. Through sheer chance and dumb luck, Lyrin’s spell catapulted Dragotha to the one place he was sure to die—the Positive Energy Plane. With no way to escape, the negative-energy charged undead dragon was blasted apart within the radiant power of the Plane. Because the Mercenaries had already destroyed his phylactery, Dragotha’s soul could not return and reform. The great undead dragon was destroyed!

When the beast succumbed, finally, into death, Balakarde appeared and told Lyrin and Morak the dragon was no more. Emboldened, the pair returned, resurrected the slain, and collected the wealth of one of the most deadly dragons in history. They staggered about to carry the millions of coins and goods, but using extradimensional space and teleportation magic, they robbed the place blind.

Although high on excitement from their victory and wealthy beyond measure, dark foreboding looms. Lashonna had, indeed, stolen Kyuss away. Where did she take him? What is she doing? Can the traitorous woman free Kyuss from his prison and usher in the Age of Worms?

Age of Worms Adventure Path – Game Session 84

Game summary for May 20, 2008; present characters included Lyrin Sinbal (simian incantatrix/ring sage/warmage), Mael Gabrian (human cleric), Morak Beardfist (shield dwarf fighter/rage cleric), Ranulph Wathbater (human berserker/fighter/hellreaver/paladin of freedom/rogue), Saedd West (human fighter/pious templar/wormhunter), and Stormwind Abthek (illumian soulknife).

With Mael converted to a favored spawn of Kyuss, the situation looked bleak for the Mercenaries. The newly evil priest immediately dispelled the flight and protective wards from Saedd, dropping him into the cave below and relieving the pressure on the wormdrake. He followed it up by dumping massive healing power into the monster, recovering it from all damage suffered. The worm-dripping convert then told the dragon the party’s defenses and indicated killing Lyrin was paramount to victory.

Ranulph maintained his assault on the dragon from midair, while Morak began a steady barrage of divine spells against the writhing wormdrake. The party’s old ally, Stormwind Abthek, arrived as reinforcements and charged down toward Mael. The wormdrake unleashed a blast of freezing acidic breath, which killed Stormwind instantly. Saedd began ascending the stairway back up into the fight while Lyrin moved into the cage room and blasted Mael and nearly obliterated him. Seeing Lyrin as the greatest immediate threat, the wormspawn Mael charged up the ledge and began a spell duel with Lyrin. His opening gambit was a feeblemind, which Lyrin shrugged off. He prepared to flick a Kyuss worm at him, but preceded that with a destruction. Lyrin was unable to withstand the demolishing power of Kyuss, and all his items clattered to the ground as the warmage was utterly destroyed.

Mael returned down the ledge and plummeted Ranulph into the rocky ground by dispelling his flight ability. Seeing an opportunity to land, the wormdrake lit upon a ledge, right where Saedd was coming up. Mael pumped another surge of healing energy into the dragon and blasted himself with unholy negative energy, recovering from most of the damage dealt by Lyrin. Meanwhile, Morak battered away at the dragon with blast after blast of negative energy.

Saedd went toe-to-tail with the slithering wormdrake, and its slashing claws and piercing teeth tore him asunder. It roared in satisfaction as Saedd’s hot blood poured into its gullet. Ranulph used the last of his flying magic to close with Mael and slaughtered the undead mockery upon the ledge before charging the worm-fused dragon. Morak succeeded in blasting the wormdrake into unconsciousness, and Ranulph—using Saedd’s silver weapon—killed the beast with a coup de grace.

The two surviving Mercenaries picked up the bodies of the dead and the gear of the obliterated and returned to Longsaddle. The dead were restored, and Mael came back to life as his normal, human, self. After a bit of recovery, they came back and looted the lair of the wormdrake. Near the bottom, they found a tunnel leading to a shaft filled with green rain. Using wind walk, the team went through the life-draining slop and ascended three hundred feet to a dark tunnel with a flowing green river.

The team engaged a trio of nightshade nightcrawlers almost immediately. As the battle was joined, a booming voice told them they were too late, Lashonna had already stolen away with Kyuss. The voice also indicated they should come closer so it could vent its frustrations. The Mercenaries fought against the black undead worms, with Ranulph bravely occupying the maw of a couple with his body so as to spare his allies the grim injuries those teeth could cause. He was very fluid in his efforts. Meanwhile, Saedd was forced into a strategic withdrawal, and Lyrin used his magically harnessed sunlight to blast two of the three monsters into nothingness. A final flame strike from Beardfist dropped the last of the worms.

What lies around the next bend? The voice came from very close. Are the Mercenaries at the door of Dragotha himself, or is the angry voice that of another Kyuss minion?

May Day 2008 Results

Game summary for May 17, 2008; present players included Casey S., Colby W., John O., and Shane B. We played a custom-written adventure I designed for All Flesh Must Be Eaten set in the Weird West called Diablo Gulch. We spent 5 hours playing and successfully concluded the adventure.

The characters, Brock Hollis, Jed Pinard, Jose Cortes, and Wyatt Wells rode into Diablo Gulch, New Mexico Territory after riding for over a day to escape a Ute war party. Exhausted, out of supplies, and low on ammunition, they sought a shot of whiskey and a night’s sleep. Entering the town, they spotted a man tottering around with his pants down around his ankles. As they approached, the man turned around and revealed a bloody torso, buzzing flies, and swarming maggots all over his body. He waddled toward them hungrily. A young woman shouted at them from the upper floor of the undertaker’s office to get their horses safe into the stable; she said it was vital the horses survive so they could escape.

The group hurried into the stables and found a body lying face down with a shovel rammed through the spine. They quickly searched the stable and found a pair of zombies within. Jose shot the walking corpses through the head, but it kept coming. Brock began beating the creature with his axe handle, while Wyatt knee-capped the shuffling, pants-down zombie and locked it in a stall. The group discovered that the spinal column must be severed to kill the creatures, and the zombies could function fine without a brain. During the scuffle, Brock took a nasty bite as the creature gnawed through his boot and nibbled his big toe.

With the creatures dispatched, the four crept (in broad daylight) across the street and over to the undertaker. Several climbed upstairs and in through a window to talk to the woman, Marley. She revealed that the creatures appeared close to a week ago, and she had not seen a living human in a couple days now. Marley told them the creatures seemed to sense living people and could find you even when they cannot see you. Meanwhile, Brock stirred up a bunch of zombies around back and came running around to climb up the front of the building. From the upper floor, the group shot the zombies dead and looted the bodies.

In the marshal’s office, the group found the zombie of the deputy marshal and a prostitute. Jed lost an ear to a munching zombie and was deafened when Wyatt put a gun in the zombie’s face and shot it while it chewed on Jed. Next door, in the grocery, Jed discovered the zombies can spit some kind of acidic spray that dissolves flesh. A face-first dunking in a water trough got it off of him.

Later, in the dry goods store, two zombies were killed, and lots of ammunition and dynamite was discovered. Grinning, the group ran over to the bank. Within, they discovered the mutilated corpse of the bank manager, along with the vault key. Opening the vault revealed five zombies, one of which sprayed acid into Brock’s eyes. Wyatt and Jose slammed the door shut and locked it, but not before they noticed money bags and a golden amulet on one of the zombies. Leaving for a time, they explored the saloon and found a shotgun.

With only the brothel left to explore, the men went in and cleared the building. Within, they found a journal that described a prospector’s finding of an Indian burial mound, which he pillaged. Included was a golden amulet, which sounded suspiciously like the one in the bank vault. The group went back to the bank, setup in strategic locations and let the zombies out. Using superior position, the men destroyed the zombies with ease. They took all the gold in the vault but left the amulet. A cluster of dynamite brought the bank down and destroyed the amulet, which de-animated all the remaining zombies.

With bags laden with golden coins, and sporting some interesting new scars, the four men led their horses out of Diablo Gulch without once looking back.

Age of Worms Adventure Path – Game Session 83

Game summary for May 13, 2008; present characters included Eolas Windmaster (moon elf duskblade), Lyrin Sinbal (simian incantatrix/ring sage/warmage), Mael Gabrian (human cleric), Morak Beardfist (shield dwarf fighter/rage cleric), Ranulph Wathbater (human berserker/fighter/hellreaver/paladin of freedom/rogue), Saedd West (human fighter/pious templar/wormhunter), and Syvarius Strongbow (moon elf archer-ranger/peerless archer).

With backsides still smarting from the rump-stomping the wormdrake delivered, the Mercenaries seemed reluctant to return. They took their time debating what equipment, if any, to buy and where to return within the temple of Kyuss. Lyrin used the time to enchant himself with permanent arcane sight. Five potions and a scroll were also picked up to bolster the arsenal against the dragon. The Mercenaries spent some time buffing themselves with magic spells and teleported back into the room with the mysterious green cage. Lyrin created numerous everburning coins for Mael, and the troop headed back into the lair of the wormdrake.

The party crept along the ledge while the wormdrake, from above, dispelled protection after protection. Finally, the party was split up into three groups—folks on the outer ledge, folks on the main ledge, and folks on the window ledge. The wormdrake summoned a trio of worms onto the window ledge to engage Eolas, Morak, and Lyrin. Eolas blasted a purple worm apart with a mighty flurry. Lyrin was attacked by a frost worm but protected himself by securing himself behind a prismatic sphere. The worm was petrified, but Lyrin decided to play it safe and stayed within. Meanwhile, Morak slew the other frost worm, causing a powerful explosion of frozen entrails and gore.

Then, the wormdrake dropped into view, its terrifying countenance shaking several of the Mercenaries. The hovering beast began biting and slapping Mael, isolated on the outer ledge. Ranulph and Saedd used flight to close in on the dragon and started hacking away, Saedd with a silver weapon. The wormdrake sucked in its breath and blasted out thousands of Kyuss worms over Mael. The cleric was eaten alive by the creatures, which tore through his eyes and into his brain. In a moment, his screams abruptly ended, and a grinning, wormspawn, Mael turned toward the party.

Can the divided Mercenaries focus enough power on the dragon to bring it down? What role will Mael play in the next few moments? Can the Mercenaries stand their ground against a slavering wormdrake and a full-fledged cleric at the same time?

Age of Worms Adventure Path – Game Session 82

Game summary for May 6, 2008; present characters included Lyrin Sinbal (simian incantatrix/ring sage/warmage), Mael Gabrian (human cleric), Morak Beardfist (shield dwarf fighter/rage cleric), Ranulph Wathbater (human berserker/fighter/hellreaver/paladin of freedom/rogue), Saedd West (human fighter/pious templar/wormhunter), and Taravin Truesilver (human gray guard/paladin of honor/pious templar).

Within the cage chamber, the team discovers Saedd West, a wormhunter seeking to destroy Kyuss. They team up with him and proceed through a secret door leading toward the Writhing Sanctum (based upon Morak’s find the path). Behind the secret door, a spiraling stone ledge descended into the darkness. The chamber, massive in size, revealed layer after layer of ledges and outcroppings, making plenty of places for enemies to lurk. Taravin discovered an illusory section of walkway and fell to a ledge below. His allies quickly joined him.

On the ledge, a purple worm and three frost worms appeared from nothingness and attacked. The frost worms breathed blasts of cold, and all bite with gnashing teeth. Soon, a massive green wormdrake dropped from above to hover next to the ledge. The horrific eyeless monstrosity unleashed a breath of freezing acid that killed both Mael and Morak instantly. It also attempted some spell-like abilities that were shrugged off by the party.

Meanwhile, Ranulph, Taravin, and Saedd began slaying the worms. To their surprise, the frost worms exploded in shards of ice and bone when killed, injuring everyone even more. Then, Ranulph found the wormdrake breathing a line of thousands of Kyuss worms at him. Somehow, the agile flying man dodged the blast all together! The team, realizing their severe tactical disadvantage, scooped up their dead and used the greater skeleton key to flee to Longsaddle.

In Longsaddle, the Mercenaries received the attentions of Agath Harpell, who restored Mael and Morak to life. Saedd quickly headed to the market and purchased half a dozen potions while Taravin bought some winged boots. Lyrin headed off to the library to research the wormdrake, and the team now prepares to face the fearsome beast again. What supplies will they gather? Will it be enough? If Dragotha’s pet is so deadly, how terrible is the lichlord dragon himself?

Age of Worms Adventure Path – Game Session 81

Game summary for May 1, 2008; present characters included Grim Firestorm (shield dwarf barbarian/battlerager/frenzied berserker/warmain), Lyrin Sinbal (simian incantatrix/ring sage/warmage), Mael Gabrian (human cleric), Morak Beardfist (shield dwarf fighter/rage cleric), Ranulph Wathbater (human berserker/fighter/hellreaver/paladin of freedom/rogue), and Taravin Truesilver (human gray guard/paladin of honor/pious templar).

After assessing their remaining mana and stamina, the Mercenaries decided to attempt an 8-hour rest in the southern corner of the temple of Kyuss. Lyrin, Morak, and Mael stripped out of their armor and laid down to rest while Grim, Ranulph, and Taravin made a defensive ring to protect them. Within thirty minutes, a half-dozen strong avolakia death squad assaulted the group.

The wormspawn opened with a series of curses and crippling waves along with blessings and prayers for themselves and allies. Bolts of wicked flame and columns of unholy fire rained down on the Mercenaries, rousing the casters from sleep. A brutal onslaught rocked the Mercenaries back on their heels, and Lyrin bought some time with a blade barrier. Although the whirling steel kept the monsters a distance away, they still unleashed divine magic at their leisure. Blindness afflicted several Mercenaries, fell curses in response to the Kyuss priests’ prayers. Two of the avolakias were laid low, but the other four kept up a relentless stream of deadly evil magic.

The Mercenaries tried to further ward themselves, but the avolakias hamstrung the efforts with a barrage of dispel magic effects. With their melee fighters separated from the wormspawn and casters very low on mana or stumbling around blind, the team felt a tactical withdrawal was necessary. Taravin whipped out his greater skeleton key, but he could only take himself and four of his five allies. Frenzied Grim was selected as the “man behind” and left to fend for himself. The Mercenaries teleported a half-mile away and quickly took cover. Meanwhile, the avolakias held Grim and blasted him with curses and mindworms until his went comatose.

The Mercenaries hid themselves in a hole in the cavern and recovered their strength. Wasting no more time, they returned to the temple to find no sign of Grim or the avolakias. They slipped down a stairwell and found a pair of worm doors. Using blade barrier again, Lyrin slashed his way into a large room overlooking a cavern. A deep whole spewed forth green mist, and a twisting cage hung above. Where does the hole lead? What horrors creep in the dank, dark cavern?