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?