Halloween Hootenanny VIII – Hunter: The Vigil – A Nightmare at Hill Manor

Game session summary for one-shot game using White Wolf’s Hunter: The Vigil somewhat parodied with bumbling characters from the League of Extraordinary Zeroes:  Buffy Summers, Felonius Gru, George Bush, Mable “Madea” Simmons, Napoleon Dynamite, and Shaggy Rogers.

The team had assembled for their regular game night with Janice in the apartment lounge.  Janice had gone downstairs to get snacks from her car when they heard a few gunshots from a floor or two above.  They discussed what to do as Janice returned saying she could not get down to the car.  The group went to their apartments and grabbed their gear and found the elevator would only open on floors 5, 6, and 7.  On the 5th floor they were attacked by a white-eyed madman.  Buffy ended up staking the man, and a green mist escaped his mouth as he died.  They continued to explore their situation and ran into a variety of oddities such as the reek of blood or areas of hallway causing nosebleeds.  They even had an instance where Madea was compelled to fire upon her allies!

They eventually decided they needed to get up to the penthouse but needed the access to key.  Someone remembered the maintenance office on the fifth floor would likely have a key, so they went there.  Within, they found the maintenance men were mad like many of the other residents, and they attacked the party using hammers and screwdrivers!  The group suffered a few minor injuries but knocked out both men.  They revived them after the green mist left their bodies, and they discovered the men didn’t seem to know much.

The group went to the penthouse and found a man’s body slumped against the wall, apparently the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Gru pulled a minion from his pocket to look around the corner, and they learned of another body.  The party rounded the corner just as a ghost formed over the corpse of an old man.  He told them an evil spectre, Josiah Hill, and an army of ghosts were trapped in magical wards within the building and needed release.  Josiah was tethered to this world by a pocket watch that the party needed to find.  The ghost gave them several relics with which to fight the possessed residents.

The team went in search of the watch and found several more disturbing events such as more madmen, a burning ghostly maid, a burning ghostly man, and a body dripping blood upward to the ceiling.  They even caught sight of a madman with a pocket watch!  The team chased him over several floors until they finally caught him in a stairwell and rendered him unconscious.  The group took the watch up to the roof to melt it on the lightning rod.

On the roof, they found a raging storm of falling blood and hail of human bone.  The spectre of Josiah Hill appeared and began compelling the party to turn on itself!  The team struggled against his control but succeeded in hitting him with the powerful relics enough to discorporate his form.  Then, the team attached the watch to the lightning rod  and watched as the lightning melted it down and destroyed Josiah once and for all!

Carrion Crown Adventure Path – Game Session – 031

Game summary for October 24, 2013, Carrion Crown Adventure Path campaign, Broken Moon adventure; PCs included Brutus Bonesmasher (human fighter), Caerwen (elf monk), Dario Malavasi (human oracle), Gnok Thatek (dwarf monk), and Tigris Inebriavi (elf magus), accompanied by NPC companion Nyssa Pagonis (human cleric).

The party opened the iron maiden and released Count Caromarc!  They discovered the Whispering Way had captured him and taken control of the Bondslave Thrall in order to use the Beast to steal the Seasage Effigy!  The Count told them he heard the cultists planned to head into the Shudderwood, and he pointed them to an old path through the pine forest.  The team set out in pursuit.

As the team moved through the woods, they were ambushed by a pack of ettercaps!  The spider creatures used webs, claws, and poisonous fangs to assault the team.  First, Brutus was bitten and poisoned.  The others closed in, and Dario was hit by a web but shook free.  Brutus ignited his hammer and smashed one into the ground while Caerwen and Gnok tore into two others.  Dario went on the move and laid waste with his nine-ring broadsword, and Tigris brought down the last one with a well-placed magic missile.

The group then followed the ettercap’s trail to an old crumbling stone tower with the sound of harping coming from within.  Carefully the team went inside and were attacked by an enormous, grotesque weaverworm!  The maggot-like creature ensnared Gnok with a web and then began poisoning the team with her envenomed fingernails.  As she hit, the nails broke off in the wounds, and the lingering poison caused bouts of paralysis.  Tigris unleashed a powerful fireball as the team closed in.  The fighting was intense, and Nyssa used several healing spells to bolster Gnok.  Caerwen hit the monstrosity with a flurry of blows, and Brutus’ flaming hammer landing the final killing blow!

The team searched the chambers and found several coins, some magical items, and a sealed envelope on a freshly killed corpse.  Inside the envelope, they found an invitation into Ascanor Lodge.  Dario used mending to re-seal the envelope, and they tucked it away for a later day.

Carrion Crown Adventure Path – Game Session – 030

Game summary for October 17, 2013, Carrion Crown Adventure Path campaign, Trial of the Beast adventure; PCs included Caerwen (elf monk), Dario Malavasi (human oracle), Gnok Thatek (dwarf monk), Kelemen Ambrus (human cleric/conjurer/mystic theurge), and Tigris Inebriavi (elf magus), accompanied by NPC companion Nyssa Pagonis (human cleric).

The party moved up the stairwell into the second level of the tower and found it filled with webs and smeared chalk notations on the walls.  The party saw the webs moving, and Tigris hurled a vial of alchemist’s fire at the movement which ignited the webs and burned the whole party.  It also injured a homunculus, but the party gently picked him up and discovered he wanted to communicate with them.  He got them to examine the chalk markings, and they discovered there was some device called the Bondslave Thrall on the roof.  The homunculus also indicated there was something large and dangerous in the next level.  Tigris went outside and flew to the roof where he activated the Storm Caller and the Bondslave Thrall and was able to meld with the Beast of Lepidstadt.  He could see the Beast was charging toward Schloss Caromarc at that very moment!

He flew down and helped the rest of the party up the tower where they discovered lightning striking all about.  Then, the floor heaved as something massive railed against it from below.  Within moments, the floor heaved upward to reveal a hideous amalgamation of man, giant, and arachnid!  At the same time, the Beast surged over the side of the tower and roared in challenge.

A titanic battle ensued.  Gnok was drawn into the construct’s tentacles and paralyzed while Kelemen and Nyssa frantically healed him.  The flashing lightning struck individuals one at a time as the battle waged.  The electricity harmed the party but healed the two golems.  Up in the Bondslave Thrall, Tigris discovered he could not only control the Beast but could also channel a protective shield around him.  Caerwen and Dario entered the fray, and both got severely injured by the construct, even to the point of knocking Dario unconscious.  Nyssa ran low on magical tricks and began edging toward the ladder up to Tigris’ location.  The Beast took numerous hard blows and looked pretty beat up.  Fate conspired against the enemy though as the Beast’s ogre hook caught under its chin, and he ripped its head from its neck and hurled it into the river.  The decapitated construct toppled off the tower and plunged 200 feet into the roaring waterfall below!  Fortunately, Gnok fell out of its grip and through the hole the creature made in the tower.  As Gnok stood, he observed a strange sight:  a woman preserved in an enormous jar, and an iron idol or maiden with eye slits.  Within, two terrifying eyes peered out!

Carrion Crown Adventure Path – Game Session – 029

Game summary for October 8, 2013, Carrion Crown Adventure Path campaign, Trial of the Beast adventure; PCs included Caerwen (elf monk), Dario Malavasi (human oracle), Gnok Thatek (dwarf monk), and Tigris Inebriavi (elf magus), accompanied by NPC companion Nyssa Pagonis (human cleric).

With a new party assembled, Gnok returned to Schloss Caromarc and the flooded towers.  Within they discovered the ruined remains of the previous party’s statues.  The team went left instead of toward the basilisk chamber and encountered swarms of writhing leeches!  The group was engulfed and fled while Tigris flew to the ceiling and consumed the swarms with a fireball.

Moving forward, the party discovered a round chamber with three cages filled with headless girallons.  Suddenly, three girallon-headed vargouilles swooped down and attacked!  The fighting was intense but brief, with Tigris and Gnok landing the killing blows on the monsters.  Tigris again used fly to go toward the ceiling and went through one of the second level doorways.  He dropped a rope and hauled the rest of the team up.  They peeked into a few more rooms but avoiding going in, choosing instead to go across a large stone bridge to the next tower.  They found the doors arcane locked, and Dario attempted to disable the ward.  Unsuccessful, he deferred to Nyssa’s attempt using dispel magic.  She was able to dismiss the effect and allow the team inside.

Within the circular tower was a shattered cage and girallon flesh golem!  The fearsome creature rushed to the attack.  Nyssa called down a blessing from Razmir, enhancing all of the party while Dario enhanced his magical nine-ring broadsword with lead blades.  The monks Caerwen and Gnok moved in and flanked the creature but took several deadly blows in the process.  With astounding grace, Dario performed a blade dance and ended up behind the construct.  Finally, after warding himself with shield, Tigris charged in, completing a total flank of the monster.  Nyssa slipped in and attempted to defensively cast a curative spell on Gnok but failed and suffered a gash and lost the spell.  The girallon golem then tore into her, leaving her barely able to stand.  Dario stepped over and healed Gnok’s injuries while the monks and Tigris continued their onslaught.  Although their attacks were landing, the golem’s impressive resistances mitigated much of the damage.  Nyssa fell back and was able to heal herself while Tigris channeled frigid touch through his blade, slowing the construct.  From there, the tides turned, and the party, surrounding the creature, picked it apart until finally, with a loud “kia!” Caerwen landed the killing blow.

Carrion Crown Adventure Path – Game Session – 028

Game summary for October 3, 2013, Carrion Crown Adventure Path campaign, Trial of the Beast adventure; PCs included Amras Amandill (half-elf inquisitor), Annoc Zantar (human barbarian), Dinendal Ironbow (elf ranger), Gnok Thatek (dwarf monk), and Irnadette Steelsoul (elan psion), accompanied by NPC companion Heidi Loenhardt (human cleric).

Three more tethered homunculi emerged with the faceless flesh golem, and a battle erupted!  Annoc began cutting down homunculi while Amras cast a spell and activated his bane ability.  Dinendal launched arrows at the golem while the party shifted around.  Suddenly, the golem lashed out and pulped Amras’ skull.  He dropped dead instantly.  Horrified, the party doubled their efforts with Irnadette slowing the creature with fire.  Although the golem landed more blows, it was eventually cut down.  The team then mourned the loss of Amras and ceremoniously dumped his body into the raging waterfall in tribute.  After looting his corpse.

The team continued exploring and triggered an acid fog trap.  They then found a trio of jars.  Within, Gnok discovered yellow mold!  The team left the other jars alone.  They discovered a rear pathway leading up to a series of towers with a rusted iron door.  Annoc used his ring of the ram to bust it open revealing a flooded area within.

The party waded into the hallway and turned right.  They found a flooded pit filled with advanced draugr!  The noxious creatures caused Annoc to get violently ill while the rest of the party fought.  In moments the creatures were slaughtered.  The team then moved past the pit and pushed open some doors into another flooded chamber.

While looking around, Annoc and Gnok spotted a creature in the water!  They tried to close the doors but struggled with the water weight.  The creature surfaced and attacked, revealing itself as an aquatic basilisk!  In moments, very bad things happened.  One after another, the party turned to stone!  Gnok, savaged by the beast, struggled out of the tower and fled.  He could hear the basilisk gnawing on one of the statues as he ran!  Gnok got to his horse and rode back to Lepidstadt to regroup.  Literally.