D&D Encounters: Dead in Thay, session 8

We had our largest numbers ever in D&D Encounters for this session: 1 Co-ordinator, 3 DMs and 20 players for a total of 24 participants! We debated whether we wanted to split into four tables or not – I would have DMed if necessary – but we decided to just have a couple of tables where there were seven players. It seemed to go fine, although I’d prefer to not have to do this every week – if the numbers continue to be this high, I’ll split them into four tables.

I’ve been asked what the breakdown of classes is at the various tables, so I acquired that information this session. Here you go. All characters are level 7.

Ben’s Table: Troy – Fighter, Jesse – Ranger, Rich – Paladin, Josh – Bard, Danielle – Rogue, Paul – Wizard

Callan’s Table: Vicki – Paladin, Tait – Rogue, Jason – Rogue, Dave – Bard, Lachie – Cleric, Matt – Druid, Shane – Wizard

Lee’s Table: Sam – Paladin, Glen – Ranger, Brody – Monk, Harry – Bard, Josh – Monk, Tim – Wizard, Nick – Wizard.

Totals: Cleric (1), Fighter (1), Rogue (3), Wizard (4), Paladin (3), Ranger (2), Bard (3), Druid (1), Monk (2)

I wasn’t able spend a lot of time really listening to the what was going on; mostly combat, which is hard to get a sense of when you’re moving around the room, but I was able to see a few details.

Lee’s group were still in the Blood Pens, where they moved into the Abattoir. A wight was overseeing several Thayan soldiers as they butchered some of the pigs, feeding the offal to an Otyugh in the centre of the room. The group fought the Thayans, with the two wizards, Tim and Nick, using their area effect spells to catch most of the soldiers together. The group, upon realising the Otyugh was chained against its will, managed to telepathically bargain with it to aid them, and after the battle was done, they released it, giving it a glyph key so it could make its way home – to the Prison of Filth in the Far Realm Cysts.

Upon learning that, I wandered over to Ben’s table, who were exploring that sector at the moment. Upon inquiring, I learnt that they had already been to the Prison of Filth, and they’d slaughtered all the Otyughs there, except for a baby one, who had hidden amongst the filth. Ben’s group has half the group blind and almost all of them cursed (save Paul, who had missed that session, to his great relief!), and they were having a lot of trouble with the encounters as they continued through the Cysts. They heard an unearthly cry of rage and despair echoing through the caverns behind them, but were still rather surprised to find an Otyugh attacking from behind them, grabbing two of the heroes with its tentacles, and bashing them senseless together. Yes – it was the one Lee’s group had released, seeking revenge for the deaths of its kin!

This caused a lot of hilarity at Lee’s table when they learnt what had happened. They weren’t offering to help – no, they were all glorying in the misfortune befalling Paul, perhaps especially so given they’d caused it! Misery loves company, but I’ve noticed that there are a lot of D&D players who love misery… happening to someone else!

Meanwhile, Callan’s table were oblivious to the rest of this, as they made their way through the Golem Laboratories. I really spent very little time with that group, but it was excitedly reported to me that Lachie’s Cleric (who may be of evil alignment…) had commanded a number of the corpses being used to make Flesh Golems, and animated them as his personal zombie minions. At least, that’s what I think happened!

Troy (at Ben’s table) was now badly damaged and, against the advice of the rest of his group, made his way on his own to the white pillar. I took him aside to run his journey privately. On the way, thanks to the current alert level, he met a Special Encounter. The alert level is so high now that most encounters will be of this sort, which, thanks to how they work, will be mostly beneficial at this point. With my DMs getting worried about this, I advised them that most of those encounters should now be treated as Sector Encounters (particularly dangerous encounters), with only a few being encounters with the two beings they’ve let loose into the dungeon. As it happened, for this encounter, I had Troy meet Lumalia, the angry deva.

Troy was properly respectful, and the deva aided him, guiding him to the pillar. After he was mostly healed – and having learnt from the misfortune of the others not to stay too long – he made his way back to rejoin the group. On the way, he did in fact run into a patrol of a wight and several zombies. It was a quick battle, as a seventh level fighter and a deva working together can do a surprising amount of damage! Especially when Troy rolled critical hits, something which occurs very regularly due to his 19-20 critical range (something you’ll find is also true of the Basic D&D and Starter Set fighters – although there will be other options that give manoeuvres in place of that ability in the full game). However, Troy wasn’t completely unscathed, taking a wight hit that dropped his maximum hit points by five. He was mostly healed when he returned to the party, but a little weaker than he would have wished.

From there, his table continued to struggle through the encounters, whilst the other two tables were mostly finding their ones relatively easy. They crossed into the Master’s Domain where they found a glyph key that was keyed to all the zones, except the Temples of Extraction. How were they to enter those temples?

The answer to that will likely be revealed next session. The groups still need more information than they have, which I’ll have to remember to give to them!

Until next time…

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