Active Player Characters: Alaric, Demmeon, Aramar, Gennaro, Sentina, Alessia, Welf.
We equal the record from the Grand Premiere of this adventure module with 7 active players (!!). Impressive! :-)
The Elves delayed no further but opened up an exit portal close to Thistle Hold. The heroes exited and met up with their other friends back at Welf’s place. Joining was also two new adventurers who came knocking at Welf’s door late in the evening. His reputation surely becoming of him. The new adventurers were Gennaro and Sentina de Grummi.
The adventurers discussed the situation and decided to strike immediately under the cloak of bad weather. Rain and thunder was beating Thistle Hold and what better circumstances than attacking the secret base of that evil cult right away.
As the big group of heroes approached the secret base, an old tannery, they saw two guards outside armed with crossbows and longswords. They were some lighter armor perhaps leather. Sentina de Grummi wanted to make a good impression on her new gang and sneaked past the guards into the alley on the left side of the tannery. She found another single door there and made a single for others to follow. Demmeon headed her call.
The rest of the gang were more inclined on packing a punch straight on. The three heavy hitters Alaric, Aramar, and Alessia (perhaps we should call them Tripple-A) walked up to the guard post with their helmet visirs up and swords sheathed. The guards reacted immediately. One took a step back readying his crossbow. The other one drew his sword. “Halt! Who are you and what do you want here about?”
Alessia continued her great form of persuading and rolled a “1”. Perfect roll! “We have the special artifact for Erlaber. Hurry let us in!” The guards hesitated but went to the main gate and bounced on it. After a while it opened. But something went wrong. The guards on the inside apparently said something. Alessia could see their necks strung with tension and their hands gripping their weapons hard so the knuckles turned white. Alessia never hesitated she drew her sword and cut down the first guard. We checked for initiative:
1. Alaric (PC)
2. Demmeon (PC)
3. Aramar (PC)
4. Gennaro (PC)
5. Sentina de Grummi (PC)
6. Alessia (PC)
7. Welf (PC)
8. Kult Disciples (NPC)
9. Kultists (NPC)
10. The Nightcloak (NPC Leader)
11. Redeye (NPC Leader)
12. Erok the Dark (NPC Leader)
There were about 35-40 enemies but most were inside the inner rooms in the back and hence came charging at 1d6+2 individuals per round. I rolled high the first couple of rounds and then slowing down: 8+7+3+4+3.
With 8 and 7 the two first rounds the heroes were on their knees. They had formed two different fronts with Demmeon and Sentina sneaking in through the side door supported by Gennaro’s arching. Gennaro fired with high accuracy and took down two of the leaders including the spellcaster and the assassin with poison (Erok the Dark and The Nightcloak).
The main front was the main gate where the others charged in but were met with heavy line of defenders and also snipers up on the rails in the ceiling. Alessia got tired of the pin-down fire and charged up the stairs to take them out. Welf followed but was met by a hail of quilts from the main plateau in the center of the tannery. That plateau was used as a command-and-control post overlooking the total area. The 3 leaders were positioned there supported by 8 cultists armed with crossbows and swords. One of the leaders could then direct the fire for an additional +1d4 damage for each hit!
Alaric and Aramar realized that had to be stopped. As they charged the stairs on each side trying to get to the leaders, Gennaro was faster taking out two of the leaders. In the back Welf was again hit hard by incoming fire and dropped to zero hitpoints dying. Sentina de Grummi again showed great heart and courage rushing up the stairs to give first-aid to her comrade. She managed and stayed down pretending to be dead. Welf would have none of it, immediately standing up at 4 hit points and firing against the last remaining leader Redeye. Hit for 9 points and the last leader fell dead to the floor three meters below. Shortly after the remaining cultists parleyed and asked for a cease-fire. They would leave if the PCs let them live. Agreed.
The heroes were in awe that this secret headquarters mustered some 40 people including 3 main leaders with extravagant capabilities and spell casting. They had faced them and not only survived but also won the battle taking their HQ suffering not one single loss. Searching the place they found another cultist hidden in the basement.
The main leader Erlaber Ambreagos had left for the black cliff down by the lake under the sinkhole. They were executing the ritual down there and Eox head was obviously there as well. The heroes licked their wounds and looked at each other. This had not been the final battle. There was one more to bestow.
To be continued…