Wicked Ways - Planar Travel

Cast

  • 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.

Session Summary

The group had hit the half-way point in their 32 week long ritual to break the seal that was keeping the demon Vetra Kali from entering their world. Their master, Cardinal Adrastus Thorn, had just appeared at the end of the previous session. This session would be the big move into the end of the campaign and it was going to start off with something I'd said I wouldn't do, throw the party into an encounter that was too powerful for them. Basically, the Cardinal killed them off as quickly as he could and they then found themselves in a waiting room in the Abyss. 

After a bit of paperwork they were introduced to Bazelbloaxx, a pit fiend who was in charge of new intakes. The group introduced themselves, listed the sins that probably got them sent to the Abyss and Bazelbloaxx found the filed contracts they had signed back in the first session. Brand was extremely forthcoming about what had been happening, though Akmenos still felt an odd loyalty to the Cardinal. Brand spilled all of the details on the Cardinal, and was urged by Geln to tell Bazelbloaxx the whole truth. Seeing an opportunity here, Bazelbloaxx offered to submit the forms that would strip the Cardinal of his title which would nullify their second loyalty. He could then resubmit the contract and get them back on the material plane to finish their work, thus elevating him back up the ranks of the Abyss as the devil who promoted them above the less than loyal Cardinal. All of this could be done if they would fetch a unicorn's horn which could be used to power a warding spell to protect the Horn from the Cardinal. Without that, the plan wouldn't be much help. The group agreed and they were sent off to the Feywild.

The group found themselves in the Grove of the Stallion and Serpent, a lush deciduous rain forest that was home to pixies, dryads, and all sorts of other wonderful creatures. It wasn't long before they began to ruin everything. Tai Lung snatched a pixie out of the air and proceeded to shake it up in his cupped hands to get it to talk. He eventually tired of the game and shoved the pixie in a sack and hung it on his belt. 

After wandering about the Feywild for a bit, they eventually ran afoul of some dryads who politely asked them to leave. The dryads were quickly slaughtered and sent running. Brand transformed into a dinosaur and chased after one of them, the rest of the group hot on his heels. As he was munching on the dryad the group came upon a large clearing in the forest, at the center of which was a hut on giant chicken legs. Still in dinosaur form, Brand attempted to eat the hut, but it tasted more like hut and less like chicken than he was hoping. Here they made a deal with an occupant of the hut, an elf named Zezeryck. They agreed to fetch his master's lost amulet from an oni in the woods and he'd tell them how to find the unicorn. Zezeryck also requested they find the sphinx at the mountains and answer its riddles to get him the runic sequence he would need to return home.

The sphinx was found, riddles answered. They even answered an additional riddle to get one method of destroying the Book of Vile Darkness, have a planetar pierce it. The oni was also tracked down and slain and the amulet of planar shifting recovered.

How'd Things Go?

I had no intention of letting the PCs escape the Cardinal at the beginning. Disintegrate and Power Word Kill are massively powerful spells, and were pretty effective at wiping out most of the group. However, there was only one NPC so he couldn't take out all of the characters as quickly as I needed him to. Eventually, I had to break the rules and ended the fight early. It mostly worked out, but it could have gone a bit smoother.

The waiting room and devil in the abyss was pretty entertaining. It was interesting to see the characters throw everything on the table, which was a fun turnaround.

I dropped Baba Yaga's hut into the game as a callback to our previous campaign. At the end of that campaign, one of the characters became indentured to Baba Yaga. I thought having them show up here would be a fun little surprise. Zezeryck is also the character from the campaign who bears the most in common with this group. 

Tossing a few riddles at the group was also a good change of pace. Obviously, I gave them the hardest riddle first, thinking it was an easier one. They managed to answer all of them, so there was no fight with a sphinx this time around.

Overall, it was a decent session, even with the railroading at the beginning. We'll be wrapping up the trip to the Feywild in the next session and moving things along. However, we've only got two more sessions scheduled this year. Hopefully the holidays don't kill our momentum.