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Subject: Tale of Two Parties, Chapter 23 (Void Travelers, Scenario 28) rss

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J Mathews
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[Note: Tale of Two Parties is being written primarily as a way to see if the experiences of two groups playing in the same game world can create a cogent narrative and to communicate sessions between groups.

Spoilers, such as enemy types, are included but really shouldn't be relied on in your games as I'm not tracking the game while we are playing and specifics can diverge from what happened for narrative reasons. The first session report of the series is here:Scenario 1]


Current Party
o Ana-Ishi, Savvas Cragheart
o Lenka, Orchid Spellweaver
o Gaius Stoneheart, Inox Brute
o Gizmo, Quatryl Tinkerer

The Void Travelers didn’t bother to return to Gloomhaven after defeating Jekserah. Normally quiet and taciturn, Ana-Ishi had morphed into something possessed. He kept the axe he had found on him at all times. Sometimes paying more attention to it than where they were going. Driven by the feeling that his quest was nearing an end, he set a furious pace that was only slowed by the fact that Gizmo, not he, had the map they had taken from Jekserah. And only Gizmo could interpret it. As they entered the moss-drenched depths of the Daggerwood Forest, they all shivered as their minds recalled the last time they had been there. They had been on Jekserah’s errand that time and had unwittingly killed many innocents. The tightly grown trees made finding a path difficult and the crypt they were looking for was not near a known road.

They found the crypt sitting in a clearing. The entrance was a hole in a mound of dirt that led down. The dark energy emanating from the hole even dimmed the sunlight that shone on them. That this was a place of intense evil was certain, but what kind of evil lurked in those shadows was unknown. There were no tracks discernable outside so there was nothing to do but enter in. A rickety set of stairs led downwards into the dark. At the bottom, they found a torch guttering on the wall next to a doorway. Next to the torch was a smiling man in dark robes. He raised his right hand, palm outward, to the party, as if to stop them. “You are not who we expected to come when we felt the Valrath necromancer expire. But it is no matter. We are glad you found us. Come inside and learn.” With that, he turned his back to the group and went through a doorway. Shrugging, Ana-Ishi moved to follow him. He did not notice the look of hatred and glee that passed between Gaius and Gizmo. But they followed after Lenka into a large room.

In the center of the room was an alter that projected a strange rift open. The man smiled at them again once they were all inside. “This is our master, The Gloom” he said, gesturing to the open rift. “Your activities have not gone unnoticed by The Gloom. Savvas, you and the Orchid are clean and free to pursue your revenge. All The Gloom asks is for you to pledge fealty to him and you may leave unscathed. Quatryl, your heart burns with hatred for The Gloom’s servants. The Gloom has seen you work to eradicate all demons you have encountered. This is unforgivable and the punishment is death. Inox, your sins are even greater. You have sought to eliminate The Gloom’s human servants and prevent them from performing their rightful worship. You are sentenced to an eternity of service to The Gloom after your death. Your sentences are final!” At that word, torches flared around the room and a horde of Cultists and Living Corpses were disgorged from the rift, filling the room. With a colder smile and a much more threatening smile, the man spoke again, “Savvas and Orchid, you must make your choice.” Lenka shook her head and summoned fire into her hands, “We will stand with our friends and fight you to our dying breath.” Ana-Ishi gripped his new axe and roared. No words were necessary to know where he stood either. A look of annoyance flickered over the man’s face, “That’s a pity. All of you must die now.” And then the Cultists attacked.

While the Cultists had the element of surprise, they started too far away and before they could get to the group a large rock wall appeared in front of them. They slammed into the wall before they could stop and got tangled up with the Living Corpses, which were also trying to attack. Only one got through to make a weak attack on Gauis. Into that confusion Lenka shot a flaming bolt over the wall that exploded, burning everything in the confusion on that side. Gizmo also sent a net over the wall that pinned the Living Corpses in place. Gauis pushed away the Cultist that attacked him and then shot it with a bow. The melee continued but the major damage had been done with blunting the initial attack and when the Living Corpses went down, the Cultists weren’t far behind.

Gaius walked up to the bleeding form of the man who had initially greeted them. He was singed and bleeding from a gash in his side. He opened his mouth in a sneer to say something to Gaius. But the huge Inox was having none of that and closed the mouth permanently with a boot to the face, before any words could come out. Looking around, all that remained in the room was the altar and the rift. There were doors at opposite ends of the room. Intending to root out the remaining evil, Gaius stomped over to one of the doors and pulled it open with the others trailing after him.

The door Gaius pulled open did not lead to an empty room, however. Night Demons were waiting for the opportunity to escape and the open door provided that opportunity. As they spilled out of the doorway, Gaius tried to defend himself against their attacks. In an effort to stem the tide, Ana-Ishi sprang through the doorway and launched a massive attack against the last of the demons. The floor buckled as stones and rocks formed and pelted the demons, halting their advance. This pause gave Lenka the opening she needed to unleash her own earth magic against the demons. As the spears of earth tore into the demons, some fell dripping with ichor. Gaius gathered himself and charged into the room, cleaving the largest Night Demon through the middle. After that, the threat the demons presented was gone and the rest of the demons fell quickly.

With that side of the crypt cleared, the group headed to the other side. Once again, Gaius arrived first. Throwing the door open revealed the slavering faces of Sun Demons. Gizmo’s eyes lit up with a feverish glint, “Sun Demons. First time facing them. They will die.” But before the Sun Demons could advance past Gaius, Ana-Ishi took hold of the altar and hurled it past the Inox, partially constricting the doorway. Gaius reached in and grabbed the closest demon and pulled it out into the main room. Gizmo took aim and shot it with his huge Crank Bow between its eyes. It sank down and the Quatryl chuckled, “Dies like the rest.” The remaining Sun Demons came through but their progress was slowed by the altar blocking their way and the blade of Gaius. As they filed out, they were hit by the other three in the main room and the numbers dwindled.

Eventually the last demon fell to a shot from Gizmo and the crypt was cleared. The altar lay in ruins in the doorway and the silence was deafening. Into the silence came a voice. “You have done well.” The voice penetrated all of them. “My minions may not be able to forgive, but I can. Come. Come to me. Step into my realm. Embrace the inevitable.” The rift stood above where the altar had, undisturbed. Gizmo and Gaius looked at each other and nodded. Gaius turned to the other two, “We need to do this. We could stop the cultists. Save Gloomhaven.” Seeing nods in return, he turned. Together, the four of them entered the rift to face The Gloom.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Result: Victory, no exhaustions.
This scenario is highly RNG dependent. You start with a ton of elite Cultists and your ability to win the scenario is based on two things: how much AoE your party has and if/when the Cultists summon Living Bones. If they summon them early and you don't have the AoE do deal with it, this will be a fast, painful loss. We got pretty lucky in that we were able to use the Cragheart's obstacles and the lots of AoE to whittle down the numbers before we got our first summons. Overall it was a fun scenario and we were able to feed kills to the Brute and Tinkerer for their goals.


To continue with the Void Travelers, go to Chapter 25

To continue the story, go to Chapter 24
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