Adventure: Shadows of the Last War
Session: 2006-11-26
Player: Dave Zhang
PC: Xame
Status: Rogue 1 / Cleric 2

Part III: A Plan of Stealth and Speed

Eventually, we found all of the key stones, and located the fiery room containing the schema. Expecting some form of ambush or other, we convened to discuss strategy, but could not agree on a single plan. General chaos ensued when Mike pushed open the adamantine doors leading to the room: Alain (fully cured, thanks to a scroll of rope trick we found earlier) and Anson’s wolf charged at the guardians of the room (a pair of fire elementals, one large and one medium). Mike and I, meanwhile, dashed for the chest containing the schema.

As I was busy trying to break open the lock on the chest, a scream of anguish sounded from the entrance; Alain had been utterly decimated by a mighty blow from the large fire elemental. I continued working at the lock, but the stress of the situation and the heat of the room were distracting, and I was taking much longer than normal. Antinua, the elf, in the mean time, found some arcane controls in a corner of the room and fiddled with them. That caused the roof to open up, and seeing this, the elementals immediately flew out, leaving us rather baffled on why the fight was necessary at all. Ah, I suppose elementals don’t think in the same way we do.

I rushed to Alain to see if I could manage to resuscitate him somehow, but he was long gone. And to top off our misfortune, so was the haversack, in which we placed quite a number of items of importance. But our troubles weren’t over yet… Anson and Antinua reported that we were quite surrounded by Emerald Claw soldiers. While we remaining adventurers were still in decent shape, both of our musclehead meat shields had passed away, leaving us in an even worse combat situation. While we had support of the awakened dire wolf and her followers, by Anson’s accounts we were still quite clearly outmatched.

Anson suggested that we hand over one copy of the schema (for some reason or other, there were two copies in the chest. They register the same by detect magic, but I strongly suspect at least one is a fake). His hope was that perhaps our opponents would show mercy. A foolish plan. No villain in his right mind ever lets his foes live when they’re at his mercy.

Stealth and speed were clearly the only solutions. After some debating in the sanctuary of inner Whitehearth, the others finally agreed to my plan: Antinua would make herself, Mike, and Anson invisible. I would run at top speed away from the entrance with one of the schemas held high, hoping to attract the attention of all the guards, while under the protection of a sanctuary spell. The three of them would then sneak away, and we would all meet 2 miles south, 1 mile east, about an hour later. This plan put myself at considerable risk, since I would be the bait, but I didn’t see any better way. If I could manage enough of a head start over my pursuers, then the Mournland should have enough cover for me to hide for about an hour.

As we enacted the plan, events deviated very quickly, or so I was told. I ran for a full two minutes, covering about a mile, before I paused, looked around, and realized no pursuers were on my tail. An hour later, when I showed up at the pre-agreed location, Anson, Mike, and Antinua were joined by two others, a human paladin named Valith and a man with dragon-like features calling himself Malik. They told me that, thanks to the help of the two new arrivals, the leader of that squad of Emerald Claw soldiers, a changeling who took the guise of Raidith earlier, will trouble us nevermore.

We turned in the two identical schemas, as well as the creation pattern, to Elaydren, and she paid us a bonus of 1000 gp. Additionally, she hired us to escort her back to Sharn. We readily agreed, but it wasn’t until after I got on the train that I remembered to ask if they frisked the corpses of all the downed opponents.

Those idiots forgot!! Argh!! Some day soon, we’re going to have to come back.

Player’s Notes:

Ah, finally, 2nd level cleric spells! There’s one that I’m particularly interested in: divine insight. It gives a (5 + caster level) bonus to any one skill check, which de facto means I can moonlight as a full-fledged rogue for certain skills that aren’t often used (Open Lock against a particularly difficult lock, Diplomacy for selling loot, etc.).

And in other news… using the 2000 gp from this past adventure, plus selling the boots of elvenkind for 1250, plus selling 8 second level potions Xame had “collected,” the cash pool grew to over 4k, enough to get my first round of nice items. After considering a crown of wisdom +2 and cloak of resistance +2, I decided to go with the combination of a +1 mithral chain shirt and a +1 mithral heavy steel shield, netting a +3 to my AC value (had a masterwork buckler before as the shield). Given divine protection and cat’s grace, I hit 25 AC. Yeah, go defensive nightmare!