Curse of Kalarel

3rd Game

Still in the Keep on the Shadowfell but now using 5th edition rules

The tale of the game on Saturday.

An atmosphere of despair had fallen over Winterhaven, causing the towns inhabitants to lock themselves indoors. Apart from Valthruun the Prescient the Prescient, who had been imploring our heroes daily to return to the keep and prevent Kalarel from opening the portal to the Shadowfell. The days were growing darker, tensions were rising. This didn’t seem to affect our heroes though, nestled as they were in the comfort of the local tavern.

After contemplating some petty larceny, our noble heroes decided to question their goblin companion (Splug) on any more details about the keep. Alas, it seems that he somewhat oversold his knowledge of the complex and didn’t really know where they should focus their exploration efforts next. Undeterred they set out for the keep again, pausing only for Mythos to intimidate some local bullys, preventing them from beating up Valthruun the Prescient. (they managed to resolve it fairly peacefully, Mythos manifesting deadly arcane power notwithstanding).

Upon arriving at the keep, Melhalvir discovered that his hawk familiar was a perfect scouting tool, using it to map out a little maze. On the floor of this maze they found some glowing arcane symbols. Alas none of their knowledge was up to the task of finding out what these did so in the spirit of discovery Brúnhelga forcibly threw Splug onto one of them. This terrified him, and alerted a group of zombies, which they did battle with. After dispatching them, Drogo attempted to jump over the next rune only to fall flat on his face, alerting another group of zombies. With all that finished, they decided to cut to the chase and headed straight for the second level of the keep. During this exploration they discovered another note (on a skeleton) which read:
Vanifer.
I know of your work for the elemental eye. You may send your petty supplicants and I will hear your offer. Know that if it displeases me your messenger shall pay the ultimate price.
Kalarel.
“And life fails in the dark”

At the second level they were challenged at a guard post and Brúnhelga correctly surmised that the correct passphrase was “and life fails in the dark”, allowing them to catch the guardians slightly off guard (unfortunately Drogos attempts to convince them of their purpose tipped them off). As a result, they had a slight advantage in their next fight and managed to easily succeed against the nest of Kobolds and two deathjump spiders which prevented from getting to the weaker back row of the party.

After battling another arcane horror, they found themselves accosted by a deadly gelatinous cube! Quite deadly, as Drogo got too close to examine it and was fully enveloped in it’s acidic body.

Reader, he died inside the cube.

Fortunately Brúnhelga was able to revive him and after escaping he did not cower in fear, but lead a mighty charge against it, slaying it. He cast off the nickname ‘The Coward’ to become… ‘Drogo the Hasty’.
(*read in Gandalfs voice “Drogo… yes… that was what they called me. That was Drogo the Coward. I am Drogo the Hasty”)

The party then had enough experience to level up, and we decided to call it a night.

Luke will be happy to know that Brúnhelga collected:8 Zombie scalps, 2 spider venom sacs, 1 hobgoblin scalp, 1 skull, 3 kobold scalps and some goo from a gibbering mouther in one of Drogos waterskins.

Comments

Some of the things I found with the game: I felt that the combat went a bit faster and was streamlined due to not having a page of powers that everyone had to sift through to work out what they wanted to do. I think that next time I will probably prepare a quick list of spells for Mike, Aris and Clare as there was quite a lot in their spellbooks. I’ve also realised that I was using the tool to work out combat difficulty a bit wrong, so that should be better in the next game. I’ve also re-written some stuff out so things go forward a bit more smoothly (I spent too long trying to find stuff in the adventure as written). Pre-drawing one of the areas didn’t really work – it may even slowed things down a bit, so I’ve worked out the maps in a way I can draw them down quite quickly for the next game. I’ve also re-re-worked out the rest of the encounters as 4th edition seems more combat focused, so this should all fit in a bit better now.

Next game in a few months time?

(Also Dave – I promise I didn’t kill you (the second time) because you didn’t come to the quiz last week).

3rd Game
MisterAshtray

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