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Ryan DeLano
United States
West Valley City
Utah
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There was no time to rest before scaling the massive cliffs and frozen outcroppings that rose to meet the palace atop the mountain peak. Lem took a moment to secure his gear as much as possible, and steeled himself for the long climb ahead.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Lem
Male Halfling Bard Charlatan
Card Feats: Spell x2, Blessing, Armor, Item
Skill Feats: Charisma +4, Intelligence +1
Power Feats:
Light Armor proficiency
Once per check, recharge a card to card to add 1D4+3 to a check attempted by another character at your location
Add 2 to your check to acquire an ally or defeat a henchman or villain
Starting Deck
Venomous Heavy Crossbow +2
Wand of Enervation
Sihedron Medallion
Staff of Hungry Shadows
Ring of Protection
Incendiary Cloud
Haste
Holy Light
Frost Ray
Lightning Bolt
Mass Cure
Hide Armor of Fire Resistance
Toad
Father Zantus
Charmed Red Dragon
BoPharasma
BoGozreh
BoErastil
BoAbadar
BoNethys
BoCalistria


Valeros did the same, checking each of his weapons in turn to ensure that he would not lose any as they climbed. Though the distance to the peak was daunting, they had come too far to consider failure at this point. It was do or die.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Valeros
Male Human Fighter Weapon Master
Card Feats: Weapon x2, Item, Blessing, Ally
Skill Feats: Strength +4, Constitution +1
Power Feats:
Hand Size 5
Add 1d4+5 to another character’s combat check at your location
You may use Melee in place of Ranged when using a weapon with the Ranged trait
Starting Deck
Fanged Falchion
Dancing Scimitar+2
Impaler of Thorns
Longsword +2
Scythe+1
Returning Frost Spear +2
Mokmurian’s Club
Magic Chain Mail
Magic Shield
Magic Half-Plate
Wand of Treasure Finding
Emerald Codex
Staff of Minor Healing
Thieves Tools
Merchant
Zuvuzeg
Saber Toothed Tiger
BoGorum
BoTorag
BoAbadar x2


Nearly as soon as they had begun their climb up the often-times sheer rock face, crossbow bolts began to fly in their direction. It made sense that Karzoug would have scouts patrolling, especially since he knew the pair were approaching his lair. Fortunately, Lem was able to maneuver his crossbow into a firing position, and end the immediate threat with a well-placed bolt of his own.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 1
Lem - BoDesna
Death Zone 1
Goblin Commando - 1 ranged combat damage - Venomous Heavy Crossbow +2 + Valeros = D8+D10+2+D4+5 = 13 = Success = Banished forever


Valeros was similarly able to ward off more of Karzoug's henchmen with precision thrusts of his spear as they descended upon him. If the enemy insisted on this continuous assault, at least time would pass quickly as they climbed.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 2
Valeros - BoG
Death Zone 1
Cultist - Impaler of Thorns - D10+7+D8+2 = auto-success even if I rolled all 1’s = Banished forever
Emerald Codex - Augury, Consecration, Detect Evil
Detect Evil - BoG
Discard BoAbadar explore - BoG - auto-acquire
Discard BoG explore - Mercenary - Impaler of Thorns = D10+7+D8+2 = 23 = Success
Augury - Henchman - Black Arrow Ranger, Pit Trap, Warlord - all shuffled


Lem, as nimble as he was, was having little issue finding good hand and foot holds in the rock. They also found that there were plenty of flat areas that served as areas of respite during their climb. That's not to say it was easy, but rather that it was manageable for adventurers of their experience.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 3
Lem - BoG
Trapped Spellbook - Divine + BoAbadar = D10+5+2D10 = 23 = Success = D4 random spells to hand = 2 = Bewilder, Detect Evil
Detect Evil - Leng Spider
Recharge Detect Evil = Success


As he dispatched another giant spider, Valeros reflected on the sheer scope of their journey. It felt as though they had been working towards this final battle for years. How long had it been? He had truly lost track of time. He was sure Lem felt the same. He shook his head in disbelief and continued the climb.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 4
Valeros - BoG
Leng Spider - D6 to see if I can play spells with attack trait - 3 - no attack spells, oh noes!
Reveal and recharge Fanged Falchion + Lem rechage = D10+7+4D4+2+D4+3 = 28 = Success
Wisdom check to close +Lem recharge + Lem BoErastil = 3D4+3 = 6 = Fail


As they continued, they found that not only were enemies a constant threat, but traps as well. Explosive rune traps were well-placed all over the cliffs. Lem supposed it made sense, since they were nearing the lair of a runelord, but it made them no less annoying to deal with.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 5
Lem - BoNethys
Warlord - Frost Ray + Valeros = D10+5+2D6+D4+5 = 18 = Success
Recharge Frost Ray = Success
Discard BoPharasma explore - Black Arrow Ranger - Diplomacy = D10+7 = auto-acquire
Discard Black Arrow Ranger explore - Explosive Runes - Arcane + Valeros BoAbadar = D10+5+2D10 = 24 = Success


The traps were honestly pretty insulting, Valeros thought. As though they would fall victim to a simple spell or hole dug into the ground. To him, it was a clear sign of disrespect.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 6
Valeros - BoIrori
Pit Trap - Dex + Lem recharge + Lem BoCalistria = 3D8+D4+3 = 23 = Success
Wisdom check to close + Lem recharge = 2D4+3 = 10 = Success


The sense of finality that Lem was experiencing only grew stronger as they climbed. What would they even do after this? Lem laughed as he realized that he had never given it thought. Indeed, who would even believe their tale after this. The whole journey felt like one absurd battle after another.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 7
Lem - BoLamashtu
Death Zone 2
Trapped Locker - just take the damage and banish it forever = D4-1 = 1 card discarded from top of deck


Another spider descended upon Valeros. This time, he didn't even have to react, as their tiger companion pounced from a nearby rock. The cat was having no issues in scaling the rocks with the duo. Valeros wondered if the cat knew where they were headed, or had any concept of what awaited them there. Probably best if it didn't.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 8
Valeros - BoIrori
Death Zone 2
Leng Spider - D6 or no attack spells - 1 nope, no spells - Impaler of Thorns + recharge tiger + Lem recharge = D10+7+D8+2+D6+D4+3 = 21 = fail = recharge impaler of thorns to reroll = umm wow so much worse. 16. = all damage to----Lem - Bury Hide Armor of Fire Resistance to reduce to 0


A flash of metal was the only warning that a blade trap had been sprung in the rocks facing the pair as they climbed. Fortunately, the metal could not penetrate the protection Lem's ring offered. Nor could it pierce the magic armor that Valeros wore. The pair sighed in unison and continued onward.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 9
Lem - BoShelyn
Slashing Blade - No way in hell - D4 damage to both
Lem - 1 - ring of prot to avoid
Valeros - 2 - recharge magic half-plate to avoid


As Valeros sliced through another apparition sent to stop their progress, he cocked his head towards Lem.
"So, have you thought about what happens after this?"
"What, you mean the fight at the top? Not really."
"Yeah, that, and what happens after that's over."
"Nah, you know me, I like to live one moment at a time." Lem chuckled and Valeros let it go at that. He glanced upwards; halfway there.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 10
Valeros - BoDesna
Ghost - Scythe+1 + Lem recharge = D10+7+2D4+1+D4+3 = 19 = Success = Banished forever
Discard Merchant explore - Spectre - Scythe+1 + Lem recharge = D10+7+2D4+1+D4+3 = 18 = Success = Banished forever


Lem was glad to know that he wasn't the only one coming to the realization that their quest was nearly at an end. He thought back to when he first met the crazy man next to him, and smiled at the fact that he could never have imagined how close they would become over the course of the journey. Valeros was like family now. No, even closer than that. Would they go their separate ways after this?

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 11
Lem - BoG
Collapsed Ceiling - Valeros discard Thieves’ Tools to defeat = Banished forever

Turn 12
Valeros - BoNethys
Staff of Minor healing - Lem
Clockwork Librarian - Int + Lem recharge + BoTorag = 2D6+D4+3 = 0 = holy crap


They must be getting close now, Lem could hear the rumbling of giants above. Sure enough, a hulking reanimated corpse descended upon them soon thereafter. Magical fire was quick to end that threat, though. It wouldn't be long now.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 13
Lem - BoG
Zombie Giant - I admit, I almost used Bewilder, are you proud of me? - Incendiary Cloud + Valeros + Valeros BoGorum = 2D4+3D4+D4+5 = 19 = Success
Recharge Incendiary Cloud = Fail


They were up in the clouds that surrounded the peak now. The lack of vision was frustrating, but nothing they couldn't deal with. Ice crystals had formed on their clothes and packs, but Valeros didn't feel the slightest bit cold. Maybe it was the exertion from the climb, maybe something less mundane, but Valeros wasn't concerned either way.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 14
Valeros - BoTorag
Slashing Blade - my archnemesis - Dex + Lem recharge = D8+D4+3 = 11 = Success! = Banished forever


Lem took a brief moment to heal the pair before their final ascent. Neither spoke, other than the incantation that Lem muttered as he mended their wounds this one last time.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 15
Lem - BoG
Exchange Bewilder for Mass Cure in discard
Mass Cure - D4+1 to both
Lem - 5
Valeros - 3
Recharge Mass Cure - Fail


Another spider fell to Valeros' club, as they neared the end of their climb. The palace ahead of them was truly gargantuan. it shimmered with gold and other precious metals. It was by far the most ornate and intricately-designed building that Valeros had ever seen. It was otherworldy, and he would be lying if he said he wasn't in awe.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 16
Valeros - BoG
Leng Spider - D6 for attack spells - 4 ATTACK SPELLS HOOOOOO! - Mokmurian’s club + Discard a card + Lem Charmed Red Dragon + Lem recharge = D10+7+D10+2+D10+5+D4+3 = 35 = Success
Dragon Roll - 10
Wisdom to close + Lem recharge + BoNethys = 3D4+3 = 9 = Fail

Turn 17
Lem - BoG


One final zombie giant stood between the pair and their destination. The duo did not hesitate, bringing the giant down with ease. This was it. Time to see what was on the other side. They strained and pushed open the palace doors easily four times their size, and entered.
Spoiler (click to reveal)

Turn 18
Valeros - BoG
Zombie Giant…..again - Mokmurian’s club + Lem recharge - D10+7+D10+2+D4+3 = 26 = Success
Discard Zuvuzeg explore - BoIomedae - Charisma - D6 = 6 = Success
Wisdom close check + Lem BoGozreh + BoIomedae + Lem recharge = 5D4+3 = 17 = Success


Post-Game Analysis

Hello again, everyone, and welcome to the penultimate scenario! This one is one of those scenarios that is a lot scarier to play through the more characters you have in your party. With two, it wasn't so bad. I never really felt pressured or endangered.

I wanted to convey some reflection on the part of our characters for this installment. They never really get a chance to think about the things they are doing, or the obstacles they have overcome to reach this point, so I thought it might be fun to explore that a bit.

There won't be any wait for the final installment. It's on the way today!
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Robert O'Hearne
United States
Chelmsford
Massachusetts
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I always enjoy these, and I'm going to be really sorry to see them end.

I don't understand this line:
Clockwork Librarian - Int + Lem recharge + BoTorag = 2D6+D4+3 = 0

The Deathzone reduces 1s and 2s to 0. How can you roll 2d6+2d4+3 and get 0?

Loved the writing as usual.
 
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Ryan DeLano
United States
West Valley City
Utah
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I actually wondered that myself, but that is what was in my notes so I just rolled with it. If I had to guess, I rolled all 1's and you know, just really felt like it added up to 0. Who knows?
 
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