Spires of Xin-Shalast 13
The previous session ended with the death of the strange Taiga giant, so we picked up with discussion of what exactly the giant was and how to loot its body. Since the party hadn’t tried particularly hard to hide themselves, I figured that the inhabitants of the city knew that they were here, but it would take time for information to filter back to those in charge to order that something should be done about them. I originally decided to give them until the following day, but with their very unsubtle display of power within the Sihedron Temple, this now changed things so that the city would begin reacting to their presence much sooner.
Enough time was spent in discussion about the dead giant that a group of Lamias came to investigate what had happened. Prepping with some spells and carefully making their way into the temple, most of them were either invisible or hidden behind mirror images. Most of the PCs turned invisible and hid themselves, and it didn’t go unnoted that the NPCs were getting a chance to prep before attacking the PCs, rather than the more usual order of events.
Esheiri opens up with a Prismatic Spray, which softened things up, and later followed things with a chain lightning. One aspect of the Temple which I had made sure to describe was that it looked like it was ready to fall down, so the use of destructive magic seemed like a good opportunity to bring this into play. I let the players roll the dice for this… they rolled a three, so I put three counters out on the table and mentioned that the building trembled.
At the start of the next round, I removed a counter and had another dice roll, which resulted in rocks dropping down near the Temple entrance, not causing any damage but making the ground difficult. At this point it became clear that everyone needed to leave soon.
There is some pretty impressive wall running by Solassar to get up to (and kill) a flying Kuchrima (when a Rogue is making climb checks in the 40s, I’m willing to be generous on what they can achieve), then Serena summons a Tyrannosaurus Rex which really added to the fun – obviously it did a lot of stomping and roaring, which increased the amount of stress being put on the temple and it begins to really collapse. Some dice rolls later, and both the back rooms collapse and begins bringing the rest of the Temple down with them.
By this point most of the Lamia are dead or fled, so the group cluster around Esheiri for a rapid Getaway back to their camp before they can be crushed.
At the camp, Serena has time to tell the others that she thinks she’s a vampire, that she was possibly bitten by the Hidden Beast or its vampiric slaves. The player and I had a bit of discussion before the game about exactly what his character believed, and we came up with this interpretation which he was happy with.
Of course, as determined last time they tried to know anything about vampires, none of them knew anything about vampirism, so again they summoned a Shedu to make use of that creature’s knowledge. Since Serena didn’t appear to be dead, and didn’t seem to take harm from positive energy healing, the Shedu didn’t think she was a vampire yet.
Whilst that is happening, Solassar orders up a multi-course meal of garlic from the magnificent mansion, and Grodok tries to get Serena to drink the blood of a rat – I’m not entirely certain what the chain of thought was in that experiment, and I am certain I don’t want to enquire further.
Esheiri finally manages to sneak up with a Heal spell, whilst Solassar districts Serena, and plants the spell directly on her. This has the effect of curing her insanity, or at least making her think it cured her vampirism.
At this point they have used quite a lot of spells, and decide to call it a day and get some rest for the night (as well as gaining some XP from the events).
The following morning it is the 22nd Pharast (tick tock, though they still have plenty of time). At that point there is a discussion about exactly who had the Sihedron Ring, since it affects both teleportation (which Esheiri uses) and summoning (which Serena’s character is based around). It turned out both assumed they had it, and I had had my own assumptions, but had also forgotten to apply the restrictions on travel due to the Occultation Field. Eventually a decision is reached and we assume everyone who needed to had made their caster level checks to cast their spells the day before.
The plan is to go back to the Temple and search for any loot that was left behind there after the collapse, so Esheiri (with the ring), teleports everyone to the road close to the place. Not only has the entire building collapsed, but it is now surrounded by giants who seem to be digging through the rubble, as well as a handful of Lamia. Leading the giants seems to be the same stone giant they spotted the previous day, who had transformation effects on him. The group quickly duck into a nearby building before they are spotted.
Esheiri uses a mixture of Invisibility and Earth Glide to get to the ruins and start rooting around in them to search for loot. I figure that this will take quite a long time, and allow an Intelligence check to determine exactly how long (one or more minutes per check). Again, the counters come in useful to visibily count down the time she has remaining on her spells.
When her time is running low, she re-casts the spells, but this is heard by some of the giants, so at that point they start actively searching for her. After another 15 minutes though, she teleports out with a few items but much of what she thinks is down there still uncovered. At least she’s found the gigantic mace that the Taiga giant was using.
It it pretty much the end of the session at this point, but there seems to be a plan to maybe do something violent to the enchanted stone giant.