‘D&D’ Encounters DM Report: Elemental Evil Session 7

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Elemental Evil

Level up! That’s what my players did after last week’s conclusion to The Necromancer’s Cave. These players thought they’d never get a long rest, so it was well deserved and allowed many of them to move to level 2 for the next stage of the Elemental Evil storyline.

This week found the party with a new adventurer — a level 1 dwarf sorcerer named Byron. Thord, Goliath Monk, was off on a short adventure of his own, so when Byron appeared and offered assistance with a very strange event in the center of town, the group didn’t say no.

This week’s adventurers included:

Tom, Goliath Barbarian
Stormwind, Half-Elf Bard
Krieger, Deep Gnome Barbarian
Donovan, Human Cleric
Lyanna, Halfing Rogue
Byron, Dwarf Sorcerer

Donovan finally got the ability to Turn Undead, plus a few extra healing options… much-needed with this group of run-in-first/taunt-the-bad-guy. The others also all got some new features and abilities that came into play during this night’s adventure. And what was tonight’s adventure?

Over the last week (since the party returned from defeating the evil necromancer), small tremors have been felt — driving animals crazy (“barking horses”) and causing all sorts of unrest in the town. Just as the party was starting to get restless and considering moving on, a large sinkhole opened up in the center of town — four young children dropped down into the opening. The adventurers wasted no time in mounting a rescue — Goliath Tom lowered down Gnome Krieger with a rope, and they group proceeded to bring the children up, two at a time. As the rescue was going on, Krieger took a moment to examine his surroundings… a natural cave with two exits… one to the north and one to the east. The one to the north was a natural fissure, but the east passageway was obviously (to a Deep Gnome) carved/chiseled into a hallway.

Once the children were safe, four of the town elders asked the adventurers to hold on any further action until a decision could be made. The adventurers were suspicious… and when the elders disappeared, the constable told the group that he was going down into the sinkhole to see if the cause of the tremors could be discovered and could use their help. The group agreed to meet in an hour after gathering supplies — all of the players took advantage of the time to buy new weapons and hunt for supplies. Well, all but one. One player came to the DM with a plan…

Down the players went into the sinkhole. A quick assessment of the cavernous room was made and the players decided to head down the eastern hallway. Lyanna (rogue) was careful to inspect for traps in the 120ft long hallway, and halfway down she discovered along with Byron the two stone dwarf statues that functioned as doorways. The stone door on the left (north) was magically locked, but the one on the right (south) opened… a privy that the players choose to ignore by closing the door and proceeding further down the hallway.

Eastern passage

Four of the party moved further down the hallway towards a door that was ajar and had a viewing slit near the top. Tom and Stormwind held back near the stone dwarf-shaped doors. As Lyanna neared the door at the end of the hallway, the door shut and a metal clang was heard. A series of cages began to fall, starting just beyond the dwarf-shaped doors. Krieger and Byron were trapped in one, while Lyanna and Donovan made some good rolls and managed to avoid the traps as they fell, one at a time, in the direction of the door. Lyanna made one final successful save, but Donovan did not. The final cage trapped him as Lyanna launched herself at the door that Stormwind had successfully splintered with the Wand of Magic Missile he’d recovered in the necromancer’s cave. The damage was good enough that Lyanna shattered what was left of the door and rolled in to the room beyond, ready for action…

A half-orc (the town’s tanner) was surprised to see Lyanna and ran for a door on the opposite side of the room. Lyanna’s fast reactions allowed her to target his knee with a bolt and knock him down. She pulled him back over to the trap mechanism and forced the half-orc to slowly raise the cages and release her friends. As he raised the cages, Lyanna examined the room that contained a medium-sized stone statue.

Cage traps

All but one of the cages were successfully raised, but the chain for one broke, requiring the players to work together to lift one side, allow a player to crawl under, and then lift the other side to allow that “trapped” player to crawl through to Lyanna’s side. The half-orc saw that the players were having success and screamed out a strange word. Lyanna heard the scrape of stone and turned to see the Stone Golem coming to life and moving in her direction.

Tom rushed in, told the half-orc to stop the golem but the half-orc explained that the golem wouldn’t stop until anyone in the room was dead or unconscious. Tom knocked the half-orc out and took a wild swing at the golem… very little damage was done with the great axe. The remaining players all began to attack the golem, but those firing arrows found that the arrows did no damage. Stormwind was having success with Magic Missile, and Byron fired a Ray of Frost that slowed the already-sluggish golem. The players quickly figured out that they could rush in, attack, and rush out… no opportunity attacks due to the very slow nature of this strange golem. A few of the players got too close or were too slow and took some major damage from the golem’s slams. Even level 2 hit point values weren’t high enough to give the players some close calls.

Golem

The damage continued, but this was no ordinary stone golem. As the damage to its body continued, I asked any player doing damage to roll a d100. Three players did additional damage before the fourth player did damage and rolled a d100 with the value I was waiting on… as the damage was dealt, the magical energy that held this golem together could no longer be contained. An explosive amount of energy shattered the golem and debris flew out in a 30ft radius. All the players were within the radius, but only two were unlucky enough to be hit. And the explosion caused another small tremor that caused the sinkhole to collapse further and block the western exit to the sinkhole.

The players thought the fight was over, but then they heard the sounds of running and shouting beyond the opposite unopened door…

And that’s where Session 7 ended. Many of the players have some serious damage, and it doesn’t look like there will be time for a short rest before whoever or whatever lies beyond the other door comes running in. Should be interesting… see you next week.

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