Saturday, November 18, 2017

Storm King's Thunder #27: The Return of the King

Probably just a session or two until the end of the campaign, though I have it set up to continue on to the showdown with Tiamat, we will pause for awhile while another takes a turn behind the screen.  

NOTES: DMing wizard fights is hard.  I had to bust out the spell cards to be able to keep track of things (I wouldn't mind cards for monsters and magic items to).  It is very hard to keep them from dying super fast.  I had this one somewhat well defended, but...  battles at 12 level are silly.  Things feel inevitable.  

An archmage, an assassin and a dragon turtle were not enough to keep the Company of the Raven from freeing the Storm King and setting him back on his throne.

The wizardess sent her owl familiar out to the floating island towers to investigate.  There were three structures, a keep, a longhouse and a short round tower seemingly floating in the rocky bay.  The words of the dead casino boatman of Yartar implied the king was held there somewhere.  But where?  The owl looked in the window of the round tower.  She saw a humble monk in his study, a magical flame lighting the place.  The monk spoke to the familiar, inviting the wizard to speak one on one, without her entourage, for the wizard was wearing the Mask of the Black Dragon.  The owl left and went to look in the longhouse, but a bolt from the keep flew out and speared the poor bird.

The cleric cast Water Walk and the party made their way to the round tower.  There the wizard Althea was called out as the imposter she was (not really a Wyrmspeaker of the Cult of the Dragon), but offered one final chance to give up the mask and join the cult.  She refused and battle between two powerful mages was joined, though the elf wizards allies swiftly came to her aid, the Bard Thief stabbing the flaming archmage in the back.

The archmage soon retreated and the Company gave chase, the barbarian busting down the massive front doors of the long house.  Within were two giant feet, taller than a man!  The ankles were held to the floor by massive chains that glowed with eldritch light.  Beyond, the body of the royal vastness lay still as stone, wrapped in brilliant links.

Battle was joined again as cultists burst forth the defend their prisoner.  The archmage and a certain hidden archer rejoined the fray as well but the spells and blades of the Company put an end to them, as Otto the Bard's epic shout Knock'ed the chains from their hold downs.  The king was free and furious!  He swung the chains in wide arcs, buffeting his rescuers until again the Bardthief spoke of his meetings with the Oracle of Annam in the great temple at the spine of the world and of the state of things in the Maelstrom Court and who sat upon the Wyrmskull Throne.  The king listened to this story and his visage calmed.   "Perhaps the smallfolk are not all so devious and vile.  You have provided me a great service.  Come with me to my court."

But all was not yet over!  Before the barbarian could blow the Conch of Lordship, the island itself surged and shifted and a great head lifted itself out of the water, a tower perched upon its head.  The "island" was the back of a great turtle!  The thing exhaled a mighty blast of steam from its nose, causing the wizardess great pain as she returned to the court beneath the waves, though she was swiftly healed by the cleric.

In the court, the Storm King swiftly asserted his authority, seating himself upon his throne he bestowed gifts upon his rescuers and a quest as well: "I must tend to my lords, for the dukes, counts, and jarls of giant-kind are gripped by the madness of freedom from authority.  It will take me some time, but there may be little time to confront my nemesis Imryth the Blue Dragon, nor to stop her mad plan to renew our endless war by summoning the Mother of Dragons to this world.  You must find her lair and confront her.  Do not be tempted by her offers.  Tiamat is the destruction of the world, and we are its defenders."

MORE NOTES: The three buildings was improvised based on this cool picture.  Otherwise I kept things more or less by the book.  I tried to use the assassin to pick them off, but rolled low.  Knock was a great idea from the player.  I asked for an Arcana roll to see if it would work for each chain.