Alright, a little late on this one but going to go ahead and write it up before I forget.
Stalkurn XVII - Patrick - Back in the underdark after so many generations out, and wanted by Lolth, this is going to be an extra interesting adventure for him.
Maris - Josh - A trident wielding triton with mad net skills, he was taken as a slave by the drow while looking for a subterrenean kraken. He still hasn't found it yet.
Pipilouise [ABSENT] - Richie - A gnome in heavy armor with an attitude as bad as the bite of her weapon, she is arguably the most responsible member of the party.
Neko & Lunch - Cody - As far as the party knows, an incredibly intelligent mouse with a halfling familiar.
This session my concept was a pretty simple one. I watched Titanic again for the first time in a while and wanted to run a session with the party in a sinking boat, dealing with the chambers flooding, people panicking. I had them in the Underdark, but it was a pretty simple matter just to send them through time and space with a little bit of magic kerfuffle.
Maris has a character goal of wanting to take down a kraken that's made its home in the underdark, so Lysianthas came to the party at the beginning of the session and told them she could send them after an enchanted weapon that could shut down the kraken's ability to control the weather and make the fight easier for them. The catch? Right now it's at the bottom of the ocean and to get it she would have to send them back in time to the ship when it sank and they would have to retrieve it.
Naturally, the PCs tore through this much faster than I expected them to. It took about 45 minutes altogether for them to navigate through the ship and I wasn't counting on a creative use of the gust spell to clear out a crowded hallway of panicking civilians. Stalkurn at one point auctioned off a place on their way off the boat for a few thousand gold pieces and the person who paid them sent them on their way with her daughter, Briia.
So the party and this ten year old elven girl went through the portal back to the underdark. That was the entirety of what I had planned so I asked them what they wanted to do and they decided they wanted to go free a bunch of slaves from House Arken'sek.
They managed to get House Freaffin'vir to lead a premature assault on them via Neko posing as a spider, going in and telling them it would secure Lolth's favor if they acted early and the party pretty much just jumped in on the fight and went after Stalkurn themselves, given his long and sordid history with the Underdark. In our canon Lolth isn't too happy with him, if you recall. And then somebody realized Stalkurn was who he was.
So instead of a simple 'in free some slaves and out' situation we ended up with our three level five party members, three drow priestesses and five drow warriors, no less than eight giant spiders summoned by Neko and four giant spiders summoned by those priestesses and a unicorn. All in a fifteen by fifty foot hallway with spiderwebs blocking the exit.
Mind you, all of these things were much too high a CR for them to be dealing with at that point but my party fights smart. They handled it and they earned this week's level. But their victory didn't come without a price.
Before she died, the daughter of House Freaffin'vir pulled off a last minute spell and hit Stalkurn in the chest with it, starting his slow and painful transformation into a drider. Everything I've read about this says it takes like 78 hours but I'm going to run with a slower variant and give him a chance to turn it around because there is no way he passes any of these consecutive will saves. Lysianthas can help him out, but only if the party goes and retrieves a list of difficult to come across ingredients for the ritual to reverse the process.
Did I mention Stalkurn is terrified of spiders?
Well anyway, I got both Maris and Stalkurn something character related this session so next week I want to find something designed for Neko. Hopefully we'll have Pip back too, but Richie's got some stuff going on and real life always comes first.
Megan R. Miller
PS. Today I learned the myth about vampires not being able to see their reflections comes from the fact that old mirrors used to be backed by silver and it was an interaction with the metal and not the glass. Modern mirrors don't have that so a modern vampire would totally be able to see themselves.