Sunday, 22 February 2015

Crimson Tides of Tethyr - Part III

Darromar - Royal Quarter

We return to the Royal Quarter to assassinate a noble for the Shadow Thieves, but first we decide to visit the Mages' Guild in the northwest.

Mages' Guild - Level One

I return. Save your protests, magelings. I won't be here for long. - Neremul.

This is the guild from which Neremul was expelled (on the grounds of theft) - hence his snide announcement upon our entry.

Cassana Blaze is the calm authority of the guild, standing at her desk in the central chamber. She requests that we vanquish a demon (a vrock) which has gated to a summoning circle on the tower's top floor. A guild of mages who can't deal with a thief or a mere vrock? Hilarious! We kindly agree to her terms. [Opt Magical Mishaps]

(Standing dumbly in a sidechamber is Malfred, who sells magical wares that I don't particularly need).

We head upstairs using the Guild Key handed to us by Cassana.

Mages' Guild - Level Two

This level consists of six unbelievably weak dretches, two quasits and - wait for it! - a bloody rat. That's it!

Rolling our eyes, we head upstairs again.  

Mages' Guild - Level Three

These are the sleeping quarters. The summoning chamber is on the level above. Take care; I sense great evil here. - Neremul.

It isn't the five more wretched dretches, is it?

For an instant you think you can see a shadowy, winged figure lurking high up near the ceiling - then it is gone. - DM.

Mmm.. Something worth swinging a sword at, perhaps?

There are two receptacles in a sideroom, one of which is trapped with DC-20 poison; the other of which is trapped with DC-19 electrical, and when looted - for the Purefire +1 short sword (+2 vs. Evil) - triggers an encounter with a Succubus (which summons a second). I recommend wielding Purefire to bypass the demons' DR. 

(Chest: Bolt of Lightning [30], Potion of Speed, Potion of Cure Serious Wounds, Wand of Missiles).

 Mages' Guild - Level Four

Sprawled on the corridor floor is the vrock-clawed corpse of an unnamed wizard from whom I loot an ornate spoon (give it to the merchant downstairs for 100 XP) and a Scribbled Note - revealing him as the real thief (ie, not Neremul). 

The true thief is unmasked. I wonder what that whore Cassana will say to this? At least he met with the fate he deserved. - Neremul.

The vrock is found standing on the summoning circle, poised to attack. I duel it wielding the Purefire short sword looted on the previous level. After taking a beating the vrock teleports downstairs, delaying his demise by only a few seconds.

The demon vanquished, we head back downstairs to be generously rewarded by Cassana: +250 Exp, +500 Exp, +2000 GP, Ring of Protection +2. She and Neremul share an unpleasant exchange; after which we take our leave. [/Opt Magical Mishaps]

Standing outside next to a dragon statue is Norick. He requests that we find his sons, Erin and Derry. We'll keep an eye out for them! [Opt Norick's Boys]

We're ready to do the Shadow Thieves' dirty work now. 

Darromar - Royal Quarter - Noble's House

I use the key given to me by Darklun to enter Lord Asander's mansion from the northern end (top of map).

We're heading in a clockwise direction around the mansion, starting off in the eastern corridor which is patrolled by three mansion guards.

Mansion Guard (Human Fighter [5]): Masterwork Longsword, Masterwork Light Crossbow, Bolt +1 (99), Large Shield.

You might be tempted to loot all the "masterwork" items that drop in this dungeon; don't do it. They'll weigh you down in no time and they sell for relatively little. I recommend only looting the "+1 and greater" gear.

This Asander's wealth must be great for him to be able to afford such well-trained guards. These are not the slack-jawed goons one would expect. - Neremul.

He's right; heavily armed and armored, these guys aren't trashmobs - nor is this dungeon a cakewalk, except perhaps for veteran players.

The southeastern chamber is littered with corpses. 

These corpses appear to be the bodies of the kidnapped Shadow Thieves. Although horribly mutilated as a result of the torture they endured, one of the corpses has a strong enough likeness to Darklun to indicate it's Darklun's brother, Felix. - DM.

At the end of the corridor is the Slave Master whom I slice n dice before he can cast any annoying spells.

Slave Master (Human Cleric [8]): Slave Master's Key, Potion of Fox's Cunning, Masterwork Mace.

We fight along the southern corridor, taking on three more mansion guards including an elite variant.

Mansion Guard Elite (Human Fighter [7]): Longsword +1, Masterwork Light Crossbow, Bolt +1 (99), Large Shield.

The looted key is used to open the southwesternmost chamber, occupied by slaves whom we set free after milking them for info (+250 Exp).

Another door along this corridor is trapped and locked - "extremely strong, warded by magic". Behind the door is no doubt where the cowardly noble is holed up. We head off to search for the key.

Things heat up along the western corridor as four patrolling guards - including two more elites - seek to impress their Lord by slaying a trio of trespassers.

Hiding in a northwestern chamber is a Slaver Mage supported by his bodyguard. The former are borderline kamikaze, casting Fireball with reckless abandon (pictured in purple robes, below).

Slaver Mage: Slaver Robe (Slashing resist 5/-), Dagger +1, Potion of Cure Serious Wounds, Potion of Antidote. Trapped Chest: Potion of Haste, Potion of Cure Serious Wounds, Potion of Cure Critical Wounds, Lesser Spell Breach scroll.

Coming full circle now, halfway along the northern corridor is a door leading into the interior of the mansion, wherein the Guard Captain awaits (attempts Knockdown) along with another slaver mage and guard.

Mansion Guard Captain (Human Fighter [9]): Longsword +2, Banded Mail +1, Large Shield +1, Potion of Cure Critical Wounds, Guard Captain's Key, Arrow of the Vampire (26).

Having slain them, I now use the key to unlock the warded door back in the southern corridor.

Sure enough, waiting inside is Lord Asander, our noble mark. The despicable man is flanked by a brutish bodyguard and two slaver mages.

Asander immediately casts invisibility (or rather, the DM whisks him away), retreating to his bedchamber - no doubt hoping his capable henchmen will finish us off in the living room.

Gah! Arrk hates mages and their cowardly ways! Real warriors fight with steel and claw! - Arrk.

The angry Arrk now tears the mages new assholes as I duel the bodyguard, a parrying fighter not to be underestimated (also has Improved Critical). Neremul had already expended his spells, so he just waded into melee with his acid-coated staff. I then catch up with Asander in his bedchamber, and not for a romantic interlude.

Asander's Bodyguard (Human Fighter [8]): One of Many +1 morningstar (+1 electrical, +3 Discipline), Full Plate +1, Tower Shield +1, Helmet, Bolt (23). 

Lord Asander (Human Fighter [5] / Wizard [5]): Rapier of Dancing +1 rapier (Haste [5] 1/day), Asander's Tunic (Fire resist 10/-, Slashing resist 5/-, Spell Immunity: Magic Missile), Bracers of Dexterity +2, Accounting Ledger.

The ledger backs up the slave's info: that Asander was involved in narcotics smuggling and the slave trade. It seems his most valuable customer was Teldorn Darkhope, the Priest of Bane whose forces were earlier mentioned as plaguing the eastern border of Tethyr.

Armoire: Cloak of Resistance +2, Trapped Chest: +1670 GP, Horn of Blasting (Sound Burst [3] 1/day), Bolt of Frostbite (14), Diamond, Ruby.

A chaotic evil noble has been slain, slaves have been freed, the corpse of a lost brother has been found and ID'd. Our work is done; we return now to inform Darklun of the good and the bad.

Black Quarter - Shadow Thieves' Hideout

Surprise, surprise. Now "we know too much"... (+500 Exp). My intimidate fails again (no surprise there, either - Cha was dumped; I only have the skill for WM pre-reqs).

So yeah, blood bath time!

Be wary of Darklun's (and Arkanis') Death Attack: if they paralyze you they will slice your rigid body to shreds and you won't even be able to scream.

Shadow Thief (x5) (Human Rogue [6]): Masterwork Light Crossbow, Masterwork Short Sword, Mild Poison Bolt (10).

Kaz (Human Rogue [6]): Short Sword +1, Leather Armor +1.

Darklun Kade (Human Rogue [7] / Assassin [3]): Breath of the Maiden +1 short sword (on-hit DC-14 poison, Shadow Legion Armor +4 (Hide +5), Darklun's Key, Short Sword +2, Potion of Invisibility, Potion of Cure Serious Wounds (2).

Arkanis Gath (Human Fighter [2] / Rogue [6] / Assassin [2]): Death Longsword +2 longsword (+1d6 slashing), Chain Shirt +2.

Sweet, done n dusted these guys. Darklun's key opens a door leading to a chamber with a trapdoor in the center. We climb down the ladder to find ourselves in a dungeon beneath the hideout.

Beneath Shadow Thieves' Hideout

Odd noises echo in the darkness, muffled sounds from the streets far above. - DM. 

En route to Darklun's storage facility we encounter a basilisk along with its petrified victim, a thief who presumably tried to cross Darklun and was turned to stone by the cute lil devil. Or perhaps a drunken guild member just dropped down here to take a piss?


Storage House

This is obviously where the paranoid Darklun stores the most valuable of the Shadow Thieves' plunder. Something tells you that it isn't likely to be unprotected. - DM.

In other words, traps.

Trapped Chest: +2100 GP, Boots of Reflexes +3, Lesser Ioun Stone: Deep Red (Dex +2). Trapped Chest: +1270, Fire Opal (3), Lesser Restoration scroll, Diamond, Stone to Flesh scroll (presumably to use on the petrified thief if you can use it - I can't, and Neremul can't be asked to, either). [/* Shadow Thieves]

Darromar - Black Quarter

The motley trio backtrack to the hideout and onto the Black Quarter streets, at which point "the city bells toll three times, hard and sharp", summoning us to the Grand Barracks in the Royal Quarter. However, the journal makes it clear that you can tie up loose ends beforehand, if you like (which is unrealistic but very convenient).

Sword Saint in the making
I now level to Fighter (8): Str +1, Improved Critical: Katana, Tumble +5 (+1 AC). Note that neither Arrk nor Neremul level up with me, even if I disband and recruit them again. Not to worry, Arrk leaves the party before Part II begins, anyway (he doesn't like merc crowds), and Neremul is ninth level when Part II begins.

We have lots of loot to sell off now, the haul from both the mansion and hideout (+50,000 GP). I then purchase from Twohammers smithy the following: Boots of Striding +2 (Con +2), Gauntlets of Ogre Power (Str +2), Mirror Shield (AB +3, SR 12). (-39,000 GP)

Current equipment: Sword Saint Legacy +1 katana (+1d6 vs Evil), Full Plate +1, Tower Shield +1 Mirror Shield (AB +3, SR 12), Gauntlets of Ogre Power (Str +2), Cloak of Resistance +2 (Saves +2), Amulet of Vitality +2 (Con +2), Ring of Protection +2, Minor Ring of Regeneration (Regen +2), Swordsman's Belt (Resist slashing 5/-), Boots of Striding +2 (Con +2).

The Temple Quarter & then Part I: The City of Darromar concludes!


  1. "an encounter with a Succubus (which summons a second)"

    Guess got lucky; I only had to fight one.

    "Be wary of Darklun's (and Arkanis') Death Attack: if they paralyze you they will slice your rigid body to shreds and you won't even be able to scream."

    Guess I was REALLY lucky. I didn't get hit by any of those either.

    "The angry Arrk now tears the mages new assholes"

    Nevermind; those mages with their invisibility-buff-stacking gave me more trouble than anything. Arrk never had a chance against them.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences with CToT, words. Good luck with the campaign!


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