Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Disappointing Finish.

So, continuing on again from last time...

It turns out that the very next session, only session 1 of this transition period, we happened upon several damsels in distress, surrounding a knight that was lying on the ground, apparently wounded. Sarek went up to help the knight, while Zoroaster and Bishop went to "talk" to the girls, and Richard, Milamber and Alron hung back, skeptical about the whole thing. Well, I had Alron look through the back of his mirror-shield, as it sometimes gave some insight on the situation, and I could still see everyone as they were, but sort of 'behind' the damsels was the outline of these giant silhouettes. I was about to shout a warning to everyone after Steve passed me the note, but just then the knight let out a shout and the damsels that were fawning over Zoroaster and Bishop grabbed them and transformed into Giants!

Alron was ready, so he fired two arrows at each giant that had grabbed Zoroaster. Steve ran a system of critical hits, and as both an archer and a ranger, I was getting some pretty good odds of critical hits shooting a bow at giants... first two hits... one critical, one not... but did quite a bit of damage to that one... second two hits, again, one critical, one not... did enough damage with these to kill that one giant. Down it went! Boom!

The knight got up and attacked Sarek, while another Giant still had Bishop and was attacking the other members of the group. Richard and Milamber concentrated on that one.

Next round, I got my turn again... fired two arrows into the giant that still had Zoroaster... another critical! I killed that one too! Boom! My remaining arrows went into the third giant, but it was Richard and Milamber that finished him off.

Then it was the knight... Milamber cast a spell on him... Immolate. It was a custom spell that Steve designed. It sets your skin on fire, and if you don't take a round off of doing other stuff to pat out the fires, it quickly begins to consume you, doing more damage every round until the duration expires or you're dead. It set the knight's flesh on fire, and seemed to kill him, but a moment later he got up again! He was Undead! We wailed on him for a bit until he dropped again, and then his skull rose up and started chasing Sarek around, until we were able to finally destroy it!

So, the kicker to this... keeping in mind that I wasn't able to gain experience points for this session... by Steve's method of generating experience, as a Ranger, I got double experience for killing giant-class creatures... strangely enough, Giants, are giant-classed creatures. Each giant was worth 3000xp. Double for me, and I killed two of them by myself, plus helped with another... I lost over 13,000xp for that one session (for those who've only played 3rd and 4th edition, I was 6th level at the time, dividing that xp between two classes, and I think there was about 30,000xp between levels, so it was significant, but not as much as you might be thinking).

I can't remember for sure, but I think Steve was lenient on me and said that was enough lost xp, and I could start regaining normally after that session, 'cause... Wow.

At this point, the whole "Quest" thing caught up to Alron... I guess the big guy in the sky, Rom, had lost track of him after assigning him that quest oh, so many years ago, and now he found Alron, 500 years in the future, so suddenly this Solar (Elvis-lookin' angel guy) drops down out of the sky....

He says (now imagine this in Elvis' voice for the full effect) "Hey, Alron, the big guy, Rom, wants you to go do this thing for him, uh huh? So, take your bow and shield and go find this paladin on this island, and give them to him... 'cause he needs to go on a quest! Yeah!"

Once Elvis had left the building, Alron finds that he's near a shrine of his own god, Teutares, and goes for a visit... tells them about the whole Rom thing, and they said "What is that shit? Bitch be trippin'! He don't be tellin' our people what to do!" So, I guess Teutares went over to Rom's place, and slapped him around a bit and told him to do his own dirty work. Then the same Solar showed up, looking a little pissed, and took my bow and shield back. Boo.

Oh well, I was an Archer, so I just made one of them snazzy "bows of greater pull", and I was back in business. I kinda missed that shield though. It was functional and fashionable. :)

So yeah, we get back to adventuring, but the only thing I remember at the moment is that I think we stumbled upon some guy who was dying, and he said something about his son being trapped in a tower. Or we just stumbled upon the tower... the dying guy might have been later on. Anyways, so, we found a tower, and couldn't find a way in at the base, so we climbed up to the top and up there was a circular enclosure, with an open door, and inside was an ornate circle in the floor. It was a teleportation circle. I guess there were 5 levels on this thing, maybe more, maybe less, I can't recall, but if you stepped on one of these circles, it teleported you to a random level... or it's possible there was a pattern, but we didn't seem to take the time to figure that out before we started screwing around with the thing. There were all these buttons and levers and such, and the tower could move around, and apparently traverse dimensions. So, this had everyone randomly hitting buttons, maybe making a vague attempt to be organized, but it didn't seem like they were succeeding at much. Alron was on one of the upper levels, and just before he went to step onto a teleportation circle, someone hit a button that turned them all off. He was stuck. The circles looked identical, on or off, so he just sat down in the middle of the circle, hoping that it would transport him the moment it turned on. Well, instead, it shocked him. It came on and Steve had written down in the module that if anyone was in a circle when they were powered up, they'd take damage... and not a small amount, either. Ouch.

But, the cirlcles were working, so Alron gets down onto the bottom level by using that circle, and this was after we have traversed dimensions to a different world I should add, and he finds a way out at the base. A secret door. Going outside, he found himself in a lush forest... and the door closed behind him. Crap. He couldn't open it again. Double crap. Okay, well, our rope was still there, so he climbed up the side of the tower... and when he arrived at the top, he found that he had three giant leeches stuck to his back... each of them doing 1d4 damage per round of bloodsucking. Damn! He was already low on hit points. I didn't have him go straight for the teleport circle because I didn't know if it would get me to anyone in time, so I had him turn around and slam his back into the wall, in the hopes of crushing the things, but it didn't seem to have any effect. He took more damage, and then got out a torch, lighting it up, and stabbing one with it... it fell off of him, only to fall onto his leg and keep sucking... shit... he was boned... he started to run for the teleportation circle, but that was it, and he was at zero hit points. He fell over and the leeches proceeded to feast upon his blood... Alron was dead. The group found him... who knows how long later, with three bloated leeches around him.

That was it. All the adventures he'd gone through, all the hell he'd endured and survived, and THAT'S how he ended... by three fucking leeches. I'm still bitter about that. No, he couldn't go down fighting a horde of orcs, or a dragon, or something heroic... he basically died for nothing. Wonderful.

We had a druid character in the group (technically a cleric of Teutares, which Steve had written up as similar to, but significantly different from, the druid, but it's just easier to say druid), and he left the group right after that, so he took Alron's body with him, for a proper burial right by that religion. Steve told me later that Alron could come back to the group, if the group was in the right area... basically Alron's soul was now invested into a coniferous tree, which is what happens to the faithful followers of Teutares, so that they will never die. His enemies become deciduous trees (that have to die every winter, only to live again and go through a horrible cycle of life and death every year), or ground-plants, that are trampled upon by people and the creatures of the wild. So, with his soul invested in this tree, if the group was in the right place, he could re-form into a human again, and I could play him again.

Sadly, this never came to pass.

Incidentally, I had the opportunity to remake Alron in the latest edition of D&D, but at the last moment, I decided not to. He deserves a nice retirement, so I left him there. heh.

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