Ryan DeLano
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Lem looked around him. Yes, he had everything, he thought. They had been preparing for a week. Lem had spoken with all of the surviving explorers in Fort Rannick, gathering information about the surrounding wilderness. Lem hefted his pack,walked through the door of the garrison and found his partner waiting at the gate to the small fort.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Lem
Card Feats: Spell x2, Blessing
Skill Feats: Charisma +4
Power Feats: Light Armor, Once per check, you may recharge a card to add 1D4+2 to another character’s check at your location
Heavy Crossbow
Medusa Mask
Sihedron Medallion
Burglar
Acolyte
Toad
Holy Light
Lightning Bolt
Toxic Cloud
Cure
Haste
Frost Ray
Blessing of Abadar
Blessing of Shelyn
Blessing of Erastil
Blessing of Desna
Blessing of Pharasma x2


Valeros stood at the gate like a gladiator preparing to enter the arena. He checked his weapons for the thousandth time. He had spent the last week working with the Black Arrow Rangers to discover the most likely place for the ogres to dwell. Valeros had a good idea of the direction to take. He should be able to pick up the trail easily enough. Ogres weren't known for their stealth. He glanced up and saw his partner coming towards him. It was time to leave.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Valeros
Card Feats: Weapon, Blessing, Item
Skill Feats: Strength +4
Power Feats: Hand Size 5, Add 1D4+2 to another character’s combat check at your location
Warhammer+1
Scythe+1
Shock Longbow+1
Impaler of Thorns
Icy Longspear+1
War Raazor+1
Magic Shield
Magic Chain Mail
Magic Half-Plate
Belt of Giant Strength
Staff of Minor Healing
Holy Candle
Grizzled Mercenary
Burglar
BoTorag x2
BoAbadar
BoGorum


They moved out into the forest. It was early, and the sun had not yet crested the mountains. A dense fog had settled into the pre-dawn gloom of the woods. It was for this reason that Lem did not see his attacker until it was too late. He didn't see the lizard-like humanoid until it was too late. It pounced upon him from above, knocking him to the ground. Lem instinctively cast a poisonous cloud around the creature, but it was too fast for him. It sprang off of him and disappeared back into the forest before they could finish it. Just another reminder that they needed to cleanse the evil from this place.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 1
Lem – BoShelyn
Woods
Xulgath – Put Cure on top of deck – Toxic Cloud + Valeros = D6 + D4+2 + D4 = 8 = Fail = 1 damage = Sihedron medallion
Recharge Toxic Cloud = Fail
Recharge Sihedron Medallion = Fail


Valeros readied his spear. Where there was one creature, there were bound to be more. Evil traveled in packs. In the fog that surrounded them, Valeros saw shambling shapes moving towards them. A lot of them. He helped Lem up.
"Time to get to work."
With that, they charged towards the forms. Limbs of mindless zombies flew through the air, sheared from their rotten home by his spear. Others were frozen solid by Lem's arcane magics. Soon enough, all of the reanimated dead lay around them in pieces. This was just the beginning.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 2
Valeros – BoG
Boots of Elvenkind – Dexterity = D8 = 6 = Success
Discard BoAbadar explore – Zombie Horde – Everyone summon and encounter Zombie Henchman
Lem – Frost Ray + Valeros – D10+5 + 2D6 + D4+2 = auto-success
Valeros – Impaler of Thorns + Lem recharge + Belt of Giant Strength = D10+7 + D8+2 + D4+2 + 1 = auto-success
Recharge Frost Ray = Success


The early morning fog was beginning to lift, and revealed movement in the trees surrounding them. Lem readied his crossbow and fired, and a screech answered him. It was the lizard-creature from before, now lifeless with a bolt protruding from it's chest. Lem breathed a sigh of relief and stowed his crossbow as they moved up the mountain.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 3
Lem – BoIrori
Masterwork Tools – Dexterity = D8 = 2 = Fail
Discard BoPharasma explore – Xulgath – BoPharasma on top of deck – Heavy Crossbow + Valeros = D8 + D10 + D4+2 = 11 = Success = Banished forever


As they continued to scale the mountainside, a booming voice sounded from above.
"You dare to enter my domain? You shall be met with death!"
With that, the mountainside before them seemed to shift. Rocky outcroppings crumbled away and great stones fell from the mountain, threatening a landslide. Valeros and Lem stood their ground, prepared for whatever might come next.

With the sound of stone grinding upon stone, stones before them began to move towards them. These were no random boulders, this was a stone giant! Now that they could make out the form, they saw it was easily 12 feet in height. Valeros wasn't impressed. He charged towards the rock creature, aiming for the joints where his spear might find purchase. He collided with the stone giant burying his spear into the elbow joint. The creature roared a terrifying cry of pain as Valeros pressed his advantage. He pulled his spear free and lunged for the thing's midsection. Sparks flew as the spear tore a scar in the belly of the giant. Valeros smiled before a rock fist caught him in the chest, knocking him into the tree with a thunderous crash. The giant then turned and fled up the mountainside.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 4
Valeros – BoCalistria
Barl Breakbones
1st Check – Impaler of Thorns + Lem Recharge + Belt of Giant Strength = D10+7 + D8+2 + D4+2 + 1 = 22 = Success
Discard random card – Magic Chain Mail
2nd Check - Impaler of Thorns + Lem Recharge + Belt of Giant Strength = D10+7 + D8+2 + D4+2 + 1 = 24 = Success
Location closed


Lem helped his partner up as the man tried to catch his breath.
"Some...help...you were." he gasped as he stood on shaky legs.
"Oh, I'm sorry! Maybe next time I'll throw a lightning bolt at the giant that has my partner connected to him by a lightning rod. Or I could just freeze you both and let the gods sort it out!" Lem said, half-smiling.
"OK, OK. Point taken. Maybe next time we try a different strategy. Let's go."
They moved up the mountain after the giant, and the landscape around them began to shift as they did. Where there were dense pines, a luminescent foliage now surrounded them. Lem groaned.
"Oh no, not this place again! This is the weird mind-control glen I told you about." They moved through the strange wood cautiously.
A strange flock of birds circled them for a time, before diving down towards them. Lem threw a divine shield over them, and the birds impacted it with a sickening crunch.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 5
Lem – BoG
Shimmerglens
Carrionstorm – Divine = D10+5 = 8 = Success


Valeros had no trouble identifying the giant's tracks. He wondered where the giant would lead them. Perhaps tracking the source of the evil that plagued this land would be easier than they thought.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 6
Valeros – BoDesna
Shimmerglens
BoG – Banish
Discard BoGorum explore – BoG – Banish


They encountered many strange creatures as they moved through the glen. Everything here seemed sentient, regarding them with inhuman intelligence. As curious as Lem was, he didn't want to end up like the scattered humans they passed.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 7
Lem – BoSarenrae
Shimmerglens
Sanctuary – Divine = D10+5 = Auto-success
Discard Toad explore – BoIrori – Divine = D10+5 = Auto-success
Discard BoIrori explore – Soldier – Charisma = D10+7 = Auto-Success
Discard Soldier explore – Crow – Banish forever
Discard BoAbadar explore – Consecration – Divine = D10+5 = 14 = Success


Not everything in this place kept its distance, though. A humanoid creature moved through the sparse trees on the periphery of Valeros' vision. He pretended to kneel down for a moment to inspect the ground and waited. As expected, the thing lurched towards him. He brought his spear up and impaled the creature in mid-air. The faceless thing slid down the shaft of the spear. Valeros simply dumped the body and cleaned his weapon on some nearby grass. He was starting to see why Lem hated this place.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 8
Valeros – BoPharasma
Holy Candle – 2
Use Staff of minor healing
Trapped Passageway – Dexterity + Lem recharge + Lem BoErastil = D8 + D4+2 + D8 = 16 = Success = Banished forever
Free explore from barrier – Faceless Stalker – Impaler of Thorns + Belt of Giant Strength = D10+7 + D8+2 + 1 = 20 = Success


"You shall go no further." A voice echoed across the glen. "Barl has commanded that you are to die."
The air around them began to grow cold, even freezing. A spectral hand formed in front of Lem, reaching for his neck. Once it touched the Sihedron medallion he wore, however, the hand was blasted backward by a flash of light. Lem wasted no time, unleashing a holy blast upon the thing. An otherworldly scream sounded through the forest, and the temperature began to return to normal. Lem looked ahead, and saw they had finally reached the end of this accursed glen.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 9
Lem – BoLamashtu
Lamatar Bayden – Deal 1D4-1 cold damage to Valeros – 0 – Holy Light + Valeros = D10+5 + 2D12 + D4+2 = 37 = Success
Recharge Holy Light = Success
Divine check to close = D10+5 = 12 = Success
Location closed


Valeros saw this as well, and quickened his pace. Reaching the border of the glen, he could see they were nearly at the mountain peak. He motioned to Lem and hurried forward. In doing so, he failed to see the pit trap before he fell in. Fortunately it was meant to trap game and not people. As he climbed from the pit, he could hear Lem giggling behind him.
"Not. A. Word. Short stuff." he grumbled.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 10
Valeros – BoIomedae
Mountain Peak
Pit Trap – Dexterity = D8 = 2 = D4 damage = 3


Lem's smile quickly faded as he looked up. "Uh-oh. Looks like we found the welcoming committee."
A zombie giant and its ogre wrangler lumbered towards them. Lem readied his crossbow and fired bolts as fast as he could load them. The huge creatures were felled long before they reached the pair. Valeros dusted himself off and looked at Lem to see the halfling's raised eyebrow regarding him.
"Yeah, yeah, nice shooting. Can we go now?"

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 11
Lem – BoG
Mountain Peak
Zombie Giant – Heavy Crossbow + Valeros = D8 + D10 + D4+2 = 21 = Success
Haste explore – Elven Breastplate – auto-fail
Recharge haste = Success
Discard BoShelyn explore – Ogrekin – D4 – 4 = Put ogrekin on bottom of deck after encounter
Heavy Crossbow + Valeros = D8 + D10 + D4+2 = 16 = Success


As the pair crossed the peak, they could see areas of the stone that had been carved or shaped. The area they stood in appeared to be some sort of open courtyard. Although the sun was now high overhead, the cold wind on the mountain peak whipped at them fiercely. Valeros squinted ahead and saw a throne of stone. In front of it, stood the stone giant from earlier.
"So, this is how it ends then." The voice echoed off of the surrounding stone, "I have served the Runelords faithfully, and I an ready for my reward."
Valeros lowered his spear and charged the rock creature. His spear went directly through the thing's chest. As the creature fell to it's knees, Valeros withdrew his razor and sliced it's throat. It fell to the ground with a thunderous sound, Valeros' spear sticking up from it like a grotesque grave marker.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 12
Valeros – BoPharasma
Mountain peak - Wisdom + Lem recharge = D4 + D4+2 = 6 = Fail = Bury a card
Barl Breakbones = Impaler of Thorns + Belt of Giant Strength = D10+7 + D8+2 + 1 = 17 = Success
Discard random card – Impaler of Thorns
2nd check – Reveal and recharge War Razor+1 + Belt of Giant Strength + Lem recharge = D10+ 7 + 3D4+1 + D8+2 + D4+2 = 28 = Success
Location closed
Examine top card of Shrine to Lamashtu – Blessing of Lamashtu


Lem moved to inspect the throne area. Behind it was an unsettling and familiar sight: a shrine to Lamasthu. Lem felt a chill crawl up his spine as he smashed it.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 13
Lem – BoGorum
Shrine to Lamashtu
Blessing of Lamashtu – Take 2 damage – Divine = D10+5 = auto-success


Valeros came to join Lem, and saw a massive stone door carved into the side of the mountain peak. He tried to pry it open, but to no avail. This door could likely only be opened by a giant. He didn't realize how correct he was as the doors blasted apart in front of him. Knocked backwards, he saw a zombie giant drag it's decomposing corpse from the chamber. Valeros made quick work of it, slashing the back of it's knees with his scythe before decapitating it.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 14
Valeros – BoShelyn
Shrine to Lamashtu
Lem Cure – 3
Recharge cure = Success
Locked Stone Door – Combat + Lem recharge + Belt of Giant Strength – D10+7 + 2D4+1 + D4+2 + 1 = 18 = Fail
Grizzled Mercenary explore – Zombie Giant – Scythe + Belt of Giant Strength = D10+7 + 2D4+1 +1 = 17 = Success


Lem cautiously moved into the chamber. There were ancient items in here, but nothing immediately caught his eye. How long had these giants dwelled here? This appeared to be a burial chamber of sorts. Lem moved in to inspect it closer.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 15
Lem – BoShelyn
BoDesna – 2 damage - Divine = D10+5 = Auto-success
Discard BoDesna explore – Ranger Stash – Dexterity = auto-fail


Valeros moved to join Lem but as he did, a grinding sound from behind him made him turn. The corpse of Barl had picked itself up from the ground, and now moved towards the pair. Valeros saw his spear still sticking from the giant's chest. He frowned and readied his scythe.

Barl's face betrayed no sign of life. Had the giant somehow brought itself back from death? Or was this another blessing of Lamashtu? Valeros had no time to consider these things now. He slashed at the legs of the giant with his scythe, then dove to one side.
"Now!" he cried to Lem, who was ready with a blast of lightning. It caught the spear and coursed through the giant. Lem dove to the ground as the body of the stone giant blasted apart, littering the area with a shower of rocks.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 16
Valeros – BoCalistria
Fiery Weapon – Intelligence – D6 = 3 = Fail
Discard BoTorag explore – Barl Breakbones
1st Check – Reveal and recharge Scythe+1 + Lem recharge + Belt of Giant Strength = D10+7 + 3D4+1 + D4+2 + 1 = 25 = Success
Discard a random card – Magic Shield
2nd Check – Lem – Lightning Bolt + Blessing of Pharasma + Valeros = D10+5 + 3D6 + 2D10 + D4+2 = 38 = Success
Location Closed


Valeros picked himself up from the ground, shaking off the rubble. He walked over and retrieved his spear before moving to the chamber with his partner. Inside there were a few arcane treasures, including several books that Lem would surely pore over later.
"Well, what now?" Lem asked.
"Now, we find these 'Runelords', and we kill them." Valeros said as he sheathed his spear.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Scenario Reward – Headband of Vast Intelligence, Sihedron Medallion, Wand of Enervation
Adventure Deck Reward – Role Card and Power Feat
Lem – Charlatan, Add 2 to your check to acquire an ally
Valeros – Weapon Master, You may use Melee in the place of Ranged when using a weapon with the Ranged trait


Post-Game Analysis
Are you ready for Adventure Deck 4? I sure am. I chose the roles based on what I felt made sense for these two. Lem is no virtuoso, and Valeros is no guardian

Another thing to note is that I played this one and the last one back to back, so I hadn't yet received the clarification that BoG's cannot be banished upon encountering. Plese don't hold it against me. Anyhow, that's all for this time. Next time, we'll start Fortress of the Stone Giants!
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Robert Ahearne
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I enjoyed this as always.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone choose Charlatan for Lem. When Paizo collected data on player choices on a paizo.com thread, they reported that almost everyone choose Virtuoso. What did you like about Charlatan which was worth giving up the self-buff?
 
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Ryan DeLano
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To be honest, nothing at all. If I were playing purely to win, I would definitely have chosen Virtuoso. I was actually aware of the Paizo thread you mention, and wanted to try the road less traveled. As I mentioned, I also thought it was more fitting thematically for Lem to be a Charlatan and Valeros a Weapon Master.
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Sam Link
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Praxus wrote:

They moved out into the forest. It was early, and the sun had not yet crested the mountains. A dense fog had settled into the pre-dawn gloom of the woods. It was for this reason that Lem did not see his attacker until it was too late. He didn't see the lizard-like humanoid until it was too late. It pounced upon him from above, knocking him to the ground. Lem instinctively cast a poisonous cloud around the creature, but it was too fast for him. It sprang off of him and disappeared back into the forest before they could finish it. Just another reminder that they needed to cleanse the evil from this place.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Turn 1
Lem – BoShelyn
Woods
Xulgath – Put Cure on top of deck – Toxic Cloud + Valeros = D6 + D4+2 + D4 = 8 = Fail = 1 damage = Sihedron medallion
Recharge Toxic Cloud = Fail
Recharge Sihedron Medallion = Fail




Sorry for the rules nit, but the Xulgath should get banished when you don't defeat him in the woods, due to the Woods' special rules. Not that it mattered in the end game, but it would've helped you out had you run into something really nasty.

Great write-up as always!

Edit: I saw a thread where it was stated that since there was no check to acquire a BoG, you don't get a choice to auto-fail it. Also (and it took me a while to find this answer in the Rules forums on my playthrough), the Ogrekin would go under the scenario per the scenario rules, rather than at the bottom of the pile. My understanding is that Adventure>Scenario>Location>Encounter as far as any rules conflicts go.
 
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Ryan DeLano
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Slonk wrote:

Sorry for the rules nit, but the Xulgath should get banished when you don't defeat him in the woods, due to the Woods' special rules. Not that it mattered in the end game, but it would've helped you out had you run into something really nasty.

Great write-up as always!

Edit: I saw a thread where it was stated that since there was no check to acquire a BoG, you don't get a choice to auto-fail it. Also (and it took me a while to find this answer in the Rules forums on my playthrough), the Ogrekin would go under the scenario per the scenario rules, rather than at the bottom of the pile. My understanding is that Adventure>Scenario>Location>Encounter as far as any rules conflicts go.


You are absolutely correct about the Xulgath.

The Ogrekin though was just a normal monster, so no need to do anything crazy there. You may be thinking of the Graul Ogrekin, which is a henchman.

On the BoG, I'm afraid Robert beat you to it last episode. As I mentioned in the post-game portion of the post, I played these last two back to back, and didn't have the benefit of his correction for this one.

Thanks for reading, as always. I'm glad you guys are enjoying them despite my mistakes/sub-optimal choices
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Sam Link
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Right, I WAS thinking about the henchman. I had to pause my game for almost an hour digging through the forums looking for a definitive answer (stupid 4.) Hopefully, Lem and Val can keep going! I'm at the next-to-last scenario with my fearsome foursome, and I'm doubtful about coming out the other side alive!
 
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Ryan DeLano
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In case anyone's wondering where this week's episode is, unfortunately I had some PC issues this week that I'm hoping to resolve today or tomorrow. Assuming I'm able to recover my data, I'm still looking to put episode 22 up this week.
 
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