We wrapped up the Three Faces of Evil from the Age of Worms adventure path this weekend.
First, I feel like I'm letting some of you down. I started blogging with the idea of bringing some old AD&D crunch into 5e, and I haven't really been doing much of that lately. I've been posting mostly play reports. Well, if I'm letting you down, screw you. I'm actually playing. I took over a decade off of playing, so now I'm reveling in it. I think I'm ahead of myself on game prep right now, so I hope to get some things rolling. Best laid plans and all.
Our intrepid adventurers:
Lylas, drow elf rogue thief, level 4
Third, human fighter sentinel, level 3
Narcisso, half elf life cleric level 4
Dravin, human moon druid level 3
Jackson, human earth wizard, level 4
Kargash, half orc ranger hunter, level 3
Also, 2 NPC's are tagging along
Rurik, mountain dwarf totem barbarian, level 4
Filch, human necromancer, level 3. This is Filge from the observatory in the Whispering Cairn. He surrendered to the party and is tagging along. The kids, being Harry Potter fans, renamed him.
It was finally time to assault the Citadel of Hextor. They had already defeated the two tiefling guards that stood guard outside when the first came down the elevator. One of the guards had pounded on the door, so the Hextor cultists were already aware of the party and on alert.
The first room had armored skeletons line up along the wall, a dozen of them. I boosted the numbers based on the size of the party, but the skeletons were quickly defeated.
They checked out a few rooms, but all were empty of inhabitants, and eerily quiet. They finally approached the large set of bronze plated double doors and entered the Temple of Hextor, which was at up as a battle arena. I large statue of Hextor dominated the middle of the sand covered floor, and a balcony overlooked 3 sides of the temple.
The doors slammed shut behind them, and a dire boar rushed them as a score of cultists rose up from the balconies on either side, and launched a volley of javelins. They were reinforced with six tieflings with crossbows. The main balcony at the end had the high priest and his two acolytes, all of them launching spiritual weapons at the group. Two troglodyte zombies shuffled out from behind the statue.
Everyone took some hits in the first couple rounds, but my dice went cold after round 3, with only an occasional hit after that. No one fell to 0 hit points, which is odd for a "big fight".
Lylas, Third and Rurik made short work of the boar and zombies. Dravin launched thunderstrikes at each of the balconies, doing a good job of clearing the cultists, but more importantly, causing the priest and one of his acolytes to lose concentration on their spiritual weapons. Narcisso got the priest with a hold person spell, and my dice stayed cold. He never made a save to break it. Jackson cleared thunderwave survivors with magic missiles, while Filch missed his hit rolls with his chromatic orbs. Kargash, using his bow, picked off other foes until the statue fell, giving an uneven ramp to the balcony.
Everyone started up, Narcisso slitting the throat of the still held priest,, and they cleared out the last of the resistance.
The enemies defeated they did a quick search and realized this section was now cleared out, so they took a short rest, spending all their hit dice and the two wizards taking advantage of arcane recovery.
After thoroughly looting the citadel, it was time to leave. Heading towards the elevator, the saw the dark pool was still no longer. It was swirling and bubbling. It was decided that Jackson would cast identify on it, as a ritual.
With the priests of Hextor, Vecna and Erythnul slain, their souls were captured and used to power the awakening of the Ebon Aspect. A horrifying monstrosity that had features of all three evil gods. With a bite and three claw attacks, a pile of hit points and resistance to a bunch of damage types, this was going to be a good one.
The party backed up, and surrounded it after it stepped out of the pool. They decided on a battle royal melee to decide this fight. Kargash got hit early, and knocked down to 2 hit points. With both the cleric and druid
outof spells, he disengaged and used his bow the rest of the fight. It was a slog. Over half an hour of real time before it dropped. Dravin had wild shaped into a giant spider and dropped from that. Rurik raged and used reckless attack. With his wolf totem power, that gave himself, Third and Lylas advantage during the fight. His great axe and Lylas' sneak attack did most of the damage, but Rurik was dropped in the last round of the fight, even with his raging damage resistance. Jackson and Filch used up their remaining spell slots, and were left with just cantrips for the last several rounds. It was an acid bolt from Jackson that finished the Ebon Aspect off finally.
Battered and completely out of spells, our heroes cautiously went up the elevator. Before heading in, they had sewn thoughts of rebellion into the heads of the under paid mistreated miners. Getting back into the mines they see their efforts have born fruit. The guards lay dead, while the miners pillage and destroy all that they see. The party quietly slips out and heads back to town.
The next day they drop in on Alustran the wizard, who had been helping them. They discuss what happened and shared some journals and bits of prophesy about the Age of Worms that they discovered under the mines. Alustran was very concerned, and wanted some time to study what they had found.
Wrapping up, enough XP were gained that everyone gained a level. Lylas, Jackson, Narcisso and Rurik hit 5th level, while Dravin, Third, Kargash and Filch hit 4th, and are so close to 5th. We spent the rest of the season leveling up.
With a crushing blow delt to the Ebon Triad, I felt that things will be quiet for awhile, and declared a year of downtime activities. We discussed it briefly, just enough to get the players thinking. We'll handle the activities one on one between sessions.
I used the Cultist NPC for the cultists, and thugs for the tiefling guards. The adept for the 2 assistant priests, and for the high priest I just eyeballed his stats from the adventure over.
The Ebon Aspect I used a frost giant stats, but with the attacks and abilities from the adventure.