2019-10-16

DF Whiterock Session 68: Unicorn Heaven and the Goblin Burning Crew

Date:

2019-10-11


Weather:

Warm, sunny


Player Characters:

Elias (Wiggles), Wood Elf Cleric, 362 points
Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 430 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 427 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 418 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High Elf Wizard, 434 points


Significant NPCs:

Soras, Centaur Leader
Haele, Centaur Ranger
Grisby, Faerie Dragon
The Great Unicorn
4 Spectral Madhorns
Half-Elf Druid
6 Goblin Warriors
4 Bugbear Archers
2 Goblin Wizards
Goblin Sacrifice / Goblin Zombie


The PCs spent a week in Dawn-on-Stream, but nothing very exciting happened.  Garreth sang for the centaurs, and was gifted a goblin-skin tambourine by Haele.  Seépravir tried figuring out the nature of the forest plane, but didn't learn much, except that she was probably out of Seeker range of home.

On the morning of the new moon, Grisby asked the group to meet him outside the pavilion.  There was a pile of neatly wrapped unicorn horns next to him, which he asked someone to carry.  He said to look for a silver bridge to appear, and that it would only last about 15 minutes.  Seépravir cast a bunch of spells (Flight, Invisibility, Lighten, Alertness, Haste), and then everyone crossed the bridge.

On the other side of the bridge, there were many tall trees, but no sounds of birds or insects.  Also, no moon or stars were visible, but there was a dim light from somewhere.  A huge and beautiful unicorn met the group.  She sensed they were carrying unicorn horns, and was confused and annoyed by this, but Grisby explained that these were the horns of unicorns that were murdered by an evil fae, and that they were being brought to their peaceful rest.  That was enough to calm the unicorn, and she asked that they put the horns by the pool.

As the group started across the glade toward the pool, Polly saw a black spectral unicorn rearing up.  She instructed Elias to be ready with Affect Spirits.  Zaber jumped up into a tree, though he had Flight so this was pretty trivial.  Elias tried casting Affect Spirits, but failed.  Seépravir cast Great Haste on Elias to speed up further attempts.

The spectral unicorn charged, and as it got close, caused everyone within a few yards to feel a prickly sensation on the back of their necks, and roll vs. Will-4.  Zaber and Seépravir made their rolls and took 2 points of injury from the evil force; the others missed and took 4 points.  The unicorn tried stabbing Garreth with its horn, but he dodged.

Zaber started working toward the unicorn at treetop height, while Garreth used Kiai to stun it.  Elias cast Affect Spirits on Polly's rapier, successfully this time.  Seépravir flew straight up to get away from the evil unicorn's malevolent force.  Polly tried slicing up the unicorn.  It dodged one slice, but was wounded by two more, though attacks to the skull seemed to do nothing special.  Garreth Kiaied it again, and stunned it again.

Elias tried attacking the spectral unicorn with his holy flail, but the weapon passed right through it.  It appeared holiness was no help.  Seépravir Great Hasted herself.  Grisby flew over the stunned unicorn and breathed at it, but his breath weapon went right through the insubstantial undead as well.  But the badly wounded unicorn failed its consciousness check and fell over, just as another one charged at Elias.  Again, the nearby PCs took damage from its evil aura.

Zaber flew northwest, looking for more spectral unicorns, and spotted two more of them, and a pool in the distance.  The one near Elias tried kicking him, but he dodged.  Polly waited for one to come into rapier reach.  Garreth tried Kiai again, but this time it was resisted.  Elias tried Affect Spirits on his flail, but failed.  Seépravir Great Hasted Garreth.

Two more spectral unicorns charged in.  One tried a gaze attack on Seépravir, but she resisted.  Another charged at Garreth, triggering Polly's wait.  Polly hit it a couple of times with her rapier and stunned it, ending its attack.  Zaber continued flying toward the pool, and spotted a pretty lilac bush.  Polly's turn came around again, and she chopped up the stunned spectral unicorn, dispelling it.

Garreth used Kiai again, and stunned another spectre, then held his katana toward Elias, gesturing for a spell.  A spectre gazed at Polly, and she failed her resistance roll, but her Bless intervened and saved her, going away in the process.  Zaber reached the pool, and noticed that its surface did not reflect anything.  

Polly stabbed another spectre, but failed to hurt it much.  Garreth successfully used Kiai again.  Elias successfully cast Affect Spirits on Garreth's katana.  One of the unicorns tried its gaze attack on Garreth again, but he critically succeeded on his resistance roll, and I ruled that he was immune to their negative energy attacks from now on.  He yelled to the others to stay clear while he finished off the spectral unicorns.

Meanwhile, Zaber gazed into the pool.  He felt it trying to draw him in, but made his resistance roll.  Polly retreated straight up.  Garreth tried chopping up a spectre, but fumbled and lost his balance.  One of the unicorns tried skewering him, but he made a critical success on his acrobatics roll then a critical success on his dodge roll, pulling off a tricky backflip that made the spectre crash into a tree and fall down.  Another one tried kicking Garreth, and rolled a critical hit, but he used his Luck to make it reroll, then sidestepped the attack.

Zaber looked into the pool again.  Again it tried to suck him in, and again he resisted.  Garreth attacked the hapless prone spectral unicorn from behind, and destroyed it.  He then spun around and attacked the remaining one, and destroyed it too.  The unconscious one also vanished.

Grisby asked if anyone was critically wounded, and then cast Minor Healing on Elias, Garreth, and Polly.  He said they needed to hurry up and bring the unicorn horns to the pool, so they could go back home before the bridge went away.  Zaber flew back over and announced that the pool was evil and nobody should look in it.  Garreth followed instructions, dropping the horns by the pool without looking.  The horns started dissipating, and the golden unicorn paragon horn started glowing.

The huge unicorn wandered back over, and thanked them for their help.  She said that she could feel that the murdered unicorns had achieved peace.  At that point, Grisby recommended that everyone run back to the bridge.  They all made it, and were back in Dawn-on-Stream.  But it was afternoon, not early morning.  When they found Soras, he said they'd been gone about a month, and that they had missed a battle against the goblins, where many centaurs and fae died.  He suggested they hurry up and kill Trag before he launched another large attack.

Elias re-cast Bless on Polly.  Garreth asked where to find Trag, and Soras said somewhere on the east side of the river.  He recommended capturing a goblin and asking.  The group decided to spend a couple of days in town to fully heal, then set out to find Trag.

Seépravir cast another big group of travel spells, and the group flew east.  Eventually they saw a river running north-south, with a bridge crossing it, and somebody standing on the bridge, pointing at them and yelling.  Then jumping up and down.  Then screaming that flying was against the rules and that they had to land and pay the bridge toll.  Polly asked how much the toll was, and the man said "one life."  After a bit of screaming back and forth, the PCs decided that this was some kind of crazy evil druid, and that dealing with him would be a waste of time, so they'd just keep flying.

A few more miles to the east, flying above an east-west trail through a clearing,, Zaber spotted a wagon ahead, over 50 yards away.  The wagon was pulled by six goblins, and three more goblins were riding on top: two sitting on the front seat, and one lying down on top of a pile of barrels.  There were four bugbears walking alongside the wagon.  Polly did a bit of range math and then tried to see if she could shoot all of the goblins and bugbears before they could reach her.

Polly shot three goblin wagon-pullers, and each went down with one arrow.  Seépravir Great Hasted herself.  Elias moved to a position where he could help protect Polly.  Zaber, Invisible, flew forward to backstab someone.  Garreth hung back and readied his sling.

Polly shot one of the goblins on the front seat of the wagon, but her arrow curved around him -- Missile Shield.  It hit and killed the goblin lying on the barrels instead.  Polly then started shooting bugbears.  One blocked an arrow with his shield.  Seépravir tried Great Hasting Polly, but failed.  The bugbears and surviving goblin warriors charged, but were still quite far away.

Seépravir Great Hasted Garreth, who decided that since everyone else was foolishly charging forward, he should too.  The bugbears stopped running forward and readied their bows.  The two goblins in the wagon cast some spells: one created a glowing ball of fire in his hands, and the other touched the dead goblin behind him and caused it to rise up!

Polly was thrilled to see that the bugbears had their shields down, and tried shooting one in the vitals.  It dodged the first arrow with a critical success, then tried dodging the second arrow and took it right to the heart, failed his consciousness check and hit the dirt.  She shot another one, and slowed him.

Garreth double moved.  Seépravir Great Hasted Polly.   The zombie goblin moved into position to protect its master, as both goblin wizards enlarged Fireballs.  The injured bugbear tried shooting Polly, but missed.  A goblin warrior that was somehow not dead yet continued charging, getting almost close to the PCs.

Polly shot another bugbear, killing her.  She then shot the slowed one in the skull, knocking him out.  And shot another bugbear, killing him.  Garreth gave up on the sling and pulled out his katana, and charged toward the surviving bugbear archer.

The heroic goblin warrior actually reached Elias, and tried stabbing him with a spear, but Elias blocked.  The last bugbear tried shooting Garreth in the face at point-blank range, but rolled a 16 and missed.  Zaber landed right behind one of the goblin wizards, and prepared to backstab.  Polly flew up to the goblin zombie and shot him until he fell apart.

Garreth went for multiple katana chops on the bugbear next to him, and killed him.  Elias smashed the heroic goblin warrior with his flaming holy flail, and splattered him.  Zaber backstabbed one of the goblin wizards in the skull, and instantly killed him.

The final surviving goblin wizard looked at Zaber (who was now visible) and Polly next to him, and the other PCs coming forward toward him, and all his allies dead or unconscious, and decided to do as much damage as possible on his way down.  He took a wait maneuver, that as soon as someone attacked him, he would throw his fireball at the wagon.  Unbeknownst to the PCs, the barrels on the wagon were full of Alchemist's Fire, for burning down trees.  When Polly pointed her bow at him, the goblin fireballed the wagon, which exploded.  The goblin failed to dodge, caught fire, and died.  Zaber dove away from the blast, but still took significant burn damage and lost his eyebrows.  Polly critically succeeded on her dodge, and managed to almost completely avoid the blast, somehow.

At that point, we stopped for the night.  The PCs had completely defeated the goblin burning crew, but had not yet looted them (if there was any loot left) or interrogated the survivors.

GM's Comments:

The unicorn heaven side quest fight was tricky because Affect Spirits was needed to hurt the spectral unicorns, and Elias could only cast it so fast.  Once both Garreth and Polly had both Great Haste and Affect Spirits, it got a lot easier.  Garreth's Kiai slowed down the attacks pretty well, and Polly was saved by her Bless.  The other part of the challenge, the evil pool, failed to get past Zaber's resistance, and he warned the rest of the party off.

The crazy druid on the bridge was completely bypassed by Flight.  Polly wanted to go back and kill him since he was clearly evil and annoying, but the rest of the group decided he was a waste of time.  Flight is really good, if you have it at 25 and can maintain it on your whole party all day.

The goblin burning crew was the longest range fight we've ever had in this campaign, and thus an opportunity for Polly to shoot the crap out of things.  The four bugbears were also technically archers, but she outclassed them.  The two wizards had some fun spells, but Zaber fatally backstabbed one of them before he got to do much, and then the other one was down to a kamikaze fireball attack.  Which had a chance to kill Zaber or Polly if they rolled badly enough, but Zaber dodged and Polly super-dodged.  So it mostly just took out the wagon.

We'll see next time if the surviving bugbears know anything, and if the PCs can find Trag.


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