Trials of the Sorcerer King 3: Weed and Shrooms!
Part 3 of an ongoing series.
Part 1 (prologue): http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/335308
Part 2 (weeks 1 and 2): http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/335351
Mordrog: (skill, Knight)
Runewitch Astarra: (skill, Inner Fire)
Silhouette: (skill, Crack Shot)
Battlemage Jaes: (skill, Spiritwalker)
OL Conquest: 12 Hero Conquest: 6
The sorcerer king was in a good mood. This was obvious to his subjects because he had thus far only executed two servants this day rather than his customary average of twelve and a half. (One wonders how one can execute half a servant – trust me, better one doesn’t ask.) The tiny vampire teddy bear sitting on the Sorcerer King’s knee was another dead giveaway that all was well, all was well, and all manner of things were well in the joyful yet decidedly evil soul of the sorcerer king.
“Chutley! Chutley, my good fellow!” he shouted.
“You bellowed, your Travesty?”
The Sorcerer King was in such a good mood he even neglected to admonish Chutley for yet again mispronouncing his honorific. As he dandled the little vampire teddy bear upon his knee, he said, “So, Chutley, those pesky heroes have fled my wrath in Starfall, Sir Alric has nearly arrived at Dawnsmoor to pillage and burn those simpering peasants into oblivion. Not only that, but I’m almost ready to begin upgrading my eldritch forces, and I just got this DARLING little teddy bear for a steal on Evil-bay. It’s a good day to be a sorcerer, Chutley! And an even better day to be the Sorcerer King!”
Chutley looked uncomfortable. “Dat be true, your Margarine. But . . . now, don’t be gettin’ mad at Chutley now . . .”
“My dear Chutley,” chuckled the dread lord, “I couldn’t possibly be angry with you on such a gloriously gloomy day.”
“Dat be good, your Pestilency, because me got to tell you da heroes is still around. And dey is traveling to Blackwing Swamp . . . me see in da scrying globe, boss. Dey—“
The Sorcerer King was not amused. He made manifest his displeasure by hurling the vampire teddy bear at Chutley. Chutley smirked and made no effort to dodge the toy. It struck Chutley and exploded in a cloud of fire and sulfuric smoke, blackening the Kobold Steward from head to toe and shredding his Steward’s livery (and very nearly his liver!)
“Don’t just stand there, you fool! Fetch me the scrying globe!”
Mordrog looked to his companions. “Yep, dis be da place! How you want to go in?”
Runewitch Astarra said “Nothing wrong with the usual, dearie. You kick the door in and I’ll make a dash for the swag. Silhouette and Jaes can shoot anything in my way, and you jump around a lot and take all the beatings.”
Mordrog nodded. “Okay.” He smashed in the door with a mighty kick, then said “Hay . . . wait. . . what you say about ‘beatings’?
“Gotta go, dearie!” said Astarra, slipping quickly through the door. The other heroes followed and found themselves in a wondrous garden. Magical herbs of all sorts grew throughout the inexplicably well-lit and fragrant cavern. A loud voice boomed at across the room: “YO, PICK ONLY WHAT YOU NEED, DUDES!” Silhouette smirked. “Yeah, right.” Astarra said “Oh! That’s the legendary giant Grazius. Most of us “herbal enthusiasts” just know him as “Grass-ius.” He’s one mellow dude. But he gets right cranky if you bogart his weed, dig?”
A very mellow giant stood at the southern end of the room, wreathed in clouds of fragrant smoke. He waved a friendly wave at the heroes and turned back to his gardening. Regrettably, the mellow giant was not alone, and the Overlord’s minions turned to the attack. “You guys wanna wrassle, it’s ok with me. Just don’t mess up my stash!” the giant warned.
The heroes swarmed into the room. Astarra made a beeline for the pile of gold in a corner and snatched it up. The others advanced toward the minions of the Overlord. Jaes spied a patch of mushrooms and hid in them, virtually disappearing among the fungi. From that hiding place, he used his Spiritwalker ability to unleash doom upon the minions of the Overlord through the bodies of his friends.
A vicious ogre waded through the onslaught of spells and arrows, and smote Jaes cruelly, doing significant damage. The ‘shrooms’ poisoned the mage’s open wounds as he flew through the air. Regrettably, his crushed a patch of Grazius’ herbs and the giant let out a bellow of wrath. “I TOLD YA NOT TO MESS WITH MY STASH!” he roared, and advanced upon the hapless heroes.
To make matters worse, the Overlord summoned reinforcements to the dungeon – first a squad of skeleton snipers, then a pair of hungry razorwings. First the wounded Jaes, and then Astarra fell to their deadly accuracy.
“Watch this, Chutley! My deep elf assassin is approaching. I’ve just her. I’ve heard they are part of a mysterious dark order of death-dealers, and are quite deadly.” Chutley watched eagerly as the deep elf approached Mordrog. Stealthily she drew her wicked-looking dagger. Stealthily she raised it on high . . . . “POOP-WHISKERS! DOO-DOOPANTS!” screamed the assassin. Mordrog spun around in surprise and easily dodged the assault of the deep elf.
The Sorcerer King covered his face with his palm. “I knew that discount for hiring the ones with Tourette’s Syndrome was going to bite me in the rear” he sighed. (ed. note – The Deep elf assassin missed on 3 out of 4 attacks, did a whopping 1 damage that was easily negated by Mordrog’s armor on her last attack. I can only assume she must have failed her stealth check...badly.)
Mordrog ignored the deep elf, judging her to be of little threat, and focused on moving toward the ogre. Jaes, freshly back from town, stunned the ogre with two attacks, and the heroes took turns assaulting the immobilized baddie. The other monsters lined up, effectively splitting the dungeon in half with a wall of monsters. The strategy slowed the heroes but briefly, as Mordrog cut the ogre down to one hit point, and Silhouette chose a well-timed dice upgrade using all her fatigue to punch through his armor and put him down permanently.
Throughout the bloody struggle, the deep elf kept sneaking up on Mordrog, then screaming bloody murder moments before attacking. After the fourth attempt, the amused orc planted a kiss on the top of her forehead, patted her gently on the bottom, and then skipped merrily away as the she-elf screamed in frustration.
Having cleaned the dungeon level thoroughly of all coins and treasure, and even picking up a few more piles of Grazius’ magical herbs, the heroes made for the portal and safety. Grazius made a few half-hearted swings at them, accomplishing nothing of note – his aim seemed to be off for some reason . . .
A pack of skeletons were using Mordrog for a pin-cushion, however, and it appeared the mighty orc would fall—but Jaes, who has already left the dungeon to go to town, appeared in a mighty flash of smoke and thunder, and slew the skeletal leader and one of his minions, allowing the heavily wounded Mordrog to make good his escape.
The heroes emerged in level 2 of the dungeon (ed. note: “Throwing Stones” was the level), and Mordrog immediately left to get healed at the temple. The other heroes moved out, only to be confronted by orderly ranks of beastmen protecting skeletal archers. Behind them raged a huge giant, who could pick up piles of rubble from the floor of the dungeon and heave them at the heroes. Jaes, Astarra, and Silhouette moved out, racing past the enemy to activate glyphs and collect loot. But they paid a price as the skeletal archers’ accuracy was positively uncanny. The arrival of Mordrog helped, as he waded into the thick of the fray, but the snipers were too much and Jaes, Astarra, and Silhouette all fell, festooned with arrows.
The heroes, having looted the level fairly thoroughly, opted to flee the dungeon with their treasure, rather than risking more casualties. The Sorcerer King, though disappointed, admired their good sense.
“Ow.” Said Mordrog, as the temple healers went about their work, “Dungeons hurt.”
“True that.” Said Astarra, grunting as a healer popped her arm back into its socket. “And there weren’t any cute sorcerers in that dungeon at all! Though it was good to see Grassius again. Too bad you were so clumsy, Jaes – I told you, he REALLY gets ticked when someone messes with his herb.”
“Sorry, next time we’ll let YOU demonstrate your acrobatic ability while getting punted by an ogre’s warhammer! I’m sure you’ve had lots of practice!” Jaes growled.
“Guys, we don’t have time to bicker. We’ve got refugees from down Dawnsmoor way. They say that Alric Farrow is getting ready to besiege Dawnsmoor!”
“Guess we’d better buy a boat” said Jaes. They found a crusty, peg-legged fellow down by the docks, who made them an excellent deal on a craft that he assured them was “Guaranteed not to drown you all in the middle of the river – or your money back!” The heroes picked up some much-needed leather armor and a ring of protection for Astarra, and began preparing for a voyage to Dawnsmoor and a date with Sir Alric Farrow . . .
TO BE CONTINUED
At the end of week 4, the Conquest combined total stands at 44, with 28 for the Overlord and 16 for the heroes. This dungeon was much more successful for the heroes in terms of coin, as they took in approximately 2500+ gold in two levels. However, I made them pay in blood, more than doubling my conquest tokens over the course of the two levels. The next week will be interesting. I suspect they will rush to Dawnsmoor now that it is accessible (the boat was a wise buy), and, if they are truly wise, will spend a couple of turns letting Alric build up siege tokens while they shop at the market in Dawnsmoor. They should be able to do two rounds in the market, if necessary, and still attack Alric before he can have a shot at razing the town.
The heroes are DESPERATELY in need of better weapons – the last two dungeon levels were deadly because they simply could not punch through the massive armor and inflated HP of the giant and ogre level-bosses. I will be upgrading my eldritch monsters to silver in the next week, and this will only increase the heroes’ dire need for better weapons.
We have so far not seen a single overland encounter. One wonders how much longer the heroes’ luck can hold out in that regard! Also, I’d like to re-iterate again how much that particular deep elf in level 1 of the dungeon sucked. She was so ineffective that the heroes literally ignored her as she flailed away ineffectually at them, rolling the big rex “X” time after time. By the way, my apologies if anyone was offended by the Tourette’s reference. I know it is no joke for those who suffer it in real life. I just couldn’t shake the image of the deep elf stealthily preparing her attack, then screaming uncontrollably just before she could stab her victim. :)