12 May 2016

Earthdawn: Adventure Log 41 - Will You Walk into My Parlor?

This is the forty-first Adventure Log in an ongoing series about Earthdawn. Introduction and Index.

Adventure Log – 041 Will You Walk into My Parlor?

Written By: Uriel

Date:  23 Teayu - 02 Borrum, 1508 TH
Group Name: Mismatched Steel

Group Members
Bongani the Scout
Elmod the Nethermancer
Honeysuckle Sunspray the Warrior
Ting the Swordmaster

Uriel the Illusionist

After our battle with the spider hordes, we retreated to Sanctuary. The citizens did not appreciate my new fashion designs, and so required me to stay in their purification hut. While it wasn't the treatment I'm used to, it did allow me solitude to study and refine my Illusionism. After a day of consideration, they realized their mistake and recognized my brilliance(1).

After a few days of resting, we headed back to the kaer to counter-ambush the spiders(2). The entrance has been covered by spider webs, so we found a secluded area and the others built a bonfire for some pre-battle ritual. Once everyone was ready, I made everyone unnoticeable before we headed in.(3)

The spiderwebs concealed metal threads which sand and most likely alerted the spiders we were entering. The marks which previously showed the correct path were defaced, but Bongani still knew the way. There are tiny spiders everywhere. Maybe we shouldn't have stayed away so long.

We decided to go back out and let Elmod throw balls of fire into the webs(4). It smells, but at least there aren't a ton of little spiders anymore. The inner doors were shut. Bongani set to work disabling traps, and Elmod dispelled the runes around the door. And by dispel, I mean set off an explosion in his face(5). The rest of us were safely around the corner. Bongani has better luck with the spears, pits, and rock traps.

Past that, more damn spiderwebs. Bongani crept inside to scout ahead. He came back and launched these fire arrows into the webs. Doors closed. Wait fifteen minutes. Enjoyed pie.

Okay, way fewer webs. Still more webs after a break. I'm beginning to hate spiders(6).

We found the spidertaurs. They seem to be focusing on Ting first. Elmod managed to ice chain their spellcaster and Honeysuckle laid into him. Thing left away from her attackers to slaughter the sorcerer.

Unfortunately, their warrior chased after her and gutted her. She fell with a fatal looking wound. Honeysuckle and I stepped up to avenge her.

This made me the new target of their wrath. Luckily, an arrow from Bongani felled the spidertaur warrior. I knocked the beastmaster down and Honeysuckle beheaded her.

Elmod knocked down the archer with his magic spear. However, the vile assassin struck me with a poisoned arrow, and I was rendered senseless for the remainder of the battle(7).(8)

*     *     *
(1) It's what I like most about this group. The humility. 
(2) I've been reading the exploits of this adventuring group long enough to know this sentence has all the makings of, "Well, that didn't go as planned."
(3) Where is the creepy little Horror thing? Did it wander off? Do they no longer notice it? Is this the new normal for them? I feel like this warrants some mention.
(4) And there it is.
(5) I laughed.
(6) I hate them right now.
(7) Someone needs to work on their craft.
(8) Received and edited by Ela Pono

Unfortunately, this session ended somewhat abruptly due to timing. What normally would be the payoff for the fight will instead be the beginning of the next session.

In all, it was a difficult fight, but one they could win. It marked a definite shift in tactics and provided opponents who adapted to the previous encounter instead of just being surprised when the adepts returned. Many talents and abilities that had never seen use previously were utilized - in short, it forced the group to bring their A game and there were more than a few moments when they didn't think they were going to make it out alive.

Especially the moment when Ting went down. She has typically been the biggest damage dealer and knocked the warrior unconscious during the previous encounter. The opposition forces weren't taking any chances with her. There was this moment of silence at the table when she died. Her damage is often the linchpin to many encounters, with the other adepts being more defensive.

Nonetheless, there where moments of excitement and elation. A sense of uncertainty and the unadulterated joy of beating the odds. There were some very lucky moments, such as when an Earth Spear, against all odds, actually knocked one of them down. Once I publish the knockdown values, this will make sense - all ones on a Step 18 test. Wow.

In all, it was a good session in how involved people got. Well, except for Ting. I do feel bad when a player effectively gets to sit out for much of the session, waiting to find out if they live or die. That was, in and of itself, tense. There was a lot of damage to heal and not many rounds to cast Last Chance - including a debate as to whether or not to raw cast it, or risk the time of potentially failing reattuning on the fly.

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