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Down and Out in Taren Kost – Campaign Report Episode 9

16 July, 2019

Kings can fight backThis takes place immediately after Episode 6, though it was played after Interlude 2 (and Episode 8).  Chronology gets confusing with a constellation of character based play structure.

Our cast for this episode:

Fiorentino, Reed Greenbottle, Hartessa and Skatska

Episode 9: Losing at Chess and Life

Having found out who was responsible for the theft of the magical chess set, they recruit aid (in the form of Fiorentino) and, after a night’s rest, head out after the sinister sounding Grandmaster of Night.  Who has made his lodging at the Great Hall, a Nordic-styled place in the foreigner’s quarter.  The characters decide to disguise themselves as northerners . . . with as much success as you would think.  They have had some food and drink when the innkeeper delivers a pawn to Reed, “From the man at the far end of the table.”

They approach, cautiously, a rather plump and well dressed man, with a chess set in front of him (not the one they are looking for, alas) who invites them to play.  When they reply, “what against all of us?”  He waves his hand and three more chess boards appear, “I accept your challenge.”  They play and all loose, Skatska putting up the best fight.  “Well played.”

Skatska demanded a rematch, wagering a gold coin.  While the Grandmaster is distracted, Fiorentino talks to the local rats, leading to Hartesa sending Portabello to scout into one of the storerooms which, as it happens, has been cleared and three chests along with six wooden guardians have been placed there instead.  After Portabello is dispersed, the characters, break in and provoke an attack, luring them into Fiorentino’s defensive position.  A short fight with two of the pawns, is made worse when the Grandmaster throws a captured bishop who transforms into a monstrous bishop dressed sort of like a Greek Orthodox priest with a massive beard, fiery eyes and a razor edged crozier.  They grab a couple of the chests, make distractions and flee.

Once safely outside and away, they open the chests.  Finding clothes, of a different cut and size from the man they talked to, and a small box containing a scroll on black lambskin.  In the second chest, a massive spiky devil explodes out of like a massive, evil jack in the box.  They flee like rabbits and beg the Ghostchasers for help, the Ghostchasers mobilize in force and sweep the area, including the Great Hall, the storeroom is now filled with stores for the hall, no sign of the remaining chest or guardians or Grandmaster.

Retiring to the Gilded Lilly, they decide to use the scroll, for it is a scroll of devil summoning recognized as such by Hartessa.  Needing blood, they drain some from the insensate Mercurtio and then heal him back (ah, D&Disms).  They summon the devil, which looks like the bishop they fought earlier but without the clothes or crozier (but with a wicked glaive) and sent him to find the Grandmaster . . . unfortunately, devils in D&D 5E do not have a laundry list of amazing powers (like innate teleport without error) that they did in earlier editions.  So, the devil kicked down the door of the room the ritual was performed in and stormed off into the street to pursue on foot.  Which went about as well as you would expect.

And on that odd note, we closed down the game as it was getting late.

Notes: Not one of my better games, but these things happen, long week for everyone.

The Grandmaster was a complete jerk, one of those people who is convinced that he is the smartest person in the room, with lots of illusions and a handful of weak constructs and some summoned creatures to back him up.  I am honestly rather surprised he survived but no one even tried to attack him.

Photo “You come at the King, you best not miss – 172/365” by tranchis is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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