This posting is late and will be a bit shorter than usual as a result.
So the villains were down to the final 3 days of the ritual. With their layered defenses in ruins they decided to pull their remaining resources (the alchemical golem and the Ceustodaemon) up to the Sanctum and abandon the lower levels.
Shortly after the midnight ritual a pack of 6 Hounds of Tindalos gated in and attacked the villains in an attempt to take over the ritual. They were dispatched without too many problems although the Ceustodaemon was killed in the battle.
Next up a raging barbarian came charging up the stair from the lower levels. He changed into a silver dragon and managed to paralyze most of the party with his breath weapon.Only the wizard and the bloodrager managed to either avoid the attack or make their save. I expected this encounter to be very difficult but the bloodrager killed the dragon in 2 full attacks (he was hasted by the wizard). The bloodrager took lots of damage but with perma-displacement when raging over half of the dragon attacks missed.
The last combat encounter was the "Sons of Balentyne" - relatives of the NPCs the 9th knot slaughtered back in the first book. They consisted a paladin, a cleric, a wizard, and a fighter/barbarian. I have to give my players credit on this encounter. When we first started this campaign I told them I was going to be ruthless and I wanted them to play smart, not just our normal kick down the door style. Well, they out played me on this one. The wizard entered the sanctum invisible and immediately set up what I thought was a safe zone where the party could finish buffing for the battle. A wall of force was put up protecting the NPCs and they began buffing to super human levels. Some of the PCs retreated around the corner to protect their final sacrifice for the ritual when the PC wizard decided to fly over the wall separating the two groups and polymorph the wizard. The wizard rolled poorly and "POOF" the fight was pretty much over before it even began. The rest of the PCs pick up on the strategy and either fly over the wall or have the alchemical golem toss them over.
The paladin when down fast to focus fire, and the cleric tried to keep the fighter/barbarian up. The evil PC cleric got a little too close to the battle and took a full round attack which left him unconscious. Once again the bloodrager ripped through the heroes and left them dead. He crit once for 114 points of damage which is pretty damn good for a 9th level character.
So will all of the forces of good dead the time of the final ritual arrived and Vetra Kali-Eats the Eyes was summoned. They played fairly smartly. Their first request was for Vetra Kali to kill no one for 24 hours. It sighed but agreed and consumed its first eye. The second request was for the Tears of Vetra kali. It was delighted that mortals wanted it and handed it over gladly. It then consumed its second eye. The third request was for it to return to its home plane. Vetra Kali was enraged and removed the magic that was holding the Horn together. It began to shake apart and the 9th knot teleported away leaving their alchemical golem behind. It took almost an hour for the Horn to finally come crashing down.
The 9th knot broke the seal and shortly Tiadorra arrived with their reward from Cardinal Thorn. They were given a letter and told to go Ghastenhall where they would receive their next mission in 30 days.
As so ends Book 2. It should be noted that the third request was only for Vetra Kali Eats-the-Eyes to return to its own plane. There was nothing in there about not returning....
We still had some time left in the evening so we played a round of Red Dragon Inn and then everyone went home.
Another awesome Guardians poster design
3 days ago