- Akmenos - Teifling priest of Asmodeus, currently in possession of the Book of Vile Darkness.
- Brand - Half elf bard and priest of Asmodeus, coming to terms with the planning style of the rest of the group.
- Geln Stone Stair Cutter - Dwarven barbarian, skeptical of all of this religious mumbo jumbo.
- Oryn - Elven wizard, looking forward to raining fiery death upon his foes.
- Tai Lung - Elven monk, going a bit crazy with his mechanical man and poison lab.
I'm not going to be putting together a narrative for this session as I didn't write things up immediately after they happened. Instead, I'm going to summarize the events and break down what did and didn't work. Without further ado, here's what went on during the session.
The Horn was in rough shape after the assault during the previous session. The entire entrance to the second floor had been ripped open by a dragon and the steps leading up to it had been demolished by one of the group's immovable rod traps. The first order of business was to get started on fixing things up over there, so they tasked Geln with the repairs. They didn't go well, and after three weeks, and two or three dead orphan minions they repairs are about half-way done. More immovable rods were put into production, along with a new order of cloaks of protection. Because they are making so many magical items, their coffers were slowly depleting which meant the shop in town had to work extra hard to bring in more cash. Even with that extra money coming in, the group was starting to burn through their gold.
While all of this work was going on the group was visited by Tiadora, Cardinal Thorn's right hand devil. She expressed concern about his abduction of the younger paladin, Richard Havelyn, and requested the group discretely look into it. They eventually uncovered a family history that was in the elder paladin's quarters in Farholde which suggested Cardinal Thorn had once been Richard Havelyn's brother but was excised from the family. They didn't reveal this information to Tiadora when they spoke with her, and assured her everything was fine.
Finally, the half-way point of the ritual was upon them. Everything was going along just fine when a pair of angels burst through the protective green flames at the top of the tower and attempted to disrupt the ceremony. Things got pretty dire when a third extremely powerful angel arrived. Evil prevailed in the end and the ritual continued. Just as things were wrapping up the group had another unexpected visitor, Cardinal Thorn.
How'd Things Go?
There were a couple of things I wanted to resolve this session. First of all, I wanted the group to uncover the Cardinal's link to Lord Havelyn. Dropping Tiadora in there pushed them in that direction, but they were kind of at a loss as to where to start. I scrambled a bit as I tried to come up with a decent lead for them that would put Lord Havelyn's posessions in their hands. They were asking Tiadora a bunch of questions and I was able to eventually work it into the conversation that they should check out the inn he'd been staying at in Farholde. This whole setup was a bit forced, but it worked out in the end.
Their investigation was pretty fun. They had a run in with the town guard as Tai Lung and Geln were attempting to scale the inn to get into Havelyn's room. This made for an entertaining little side story that surprisingly didn't escalate into bloodshed. The group got their hands on Havelyn's stuff and found the family history that linked the Cardinal to the paladins.
The big fight with the angels toward the end of the night was interesting. I started it off with a pair of angels that would be pretty well balanced for the four of them. At least, it would have been balanced according to the math in the DM Guide. That balancing system is not great. If followed, the encounter balancing creates encounters that are just way too underpowered. To compenstate for this, I had a third angel show up who was extremely overpowered. It was really intense, and the group barely managed to fight off the angels and "save the day".
Overall, I'd say this wasn't a great session. Running an evil organization has been great to just keep things interesting, but the surrounding adventure was a bit too loose. I'm not terribly disappointed by this, however. This session acted as more of a bridge into the wrap up for this campaign. We're about to get into some really interesting stuff.