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Recap 20171229 - Side Trek Adventure – Exploring Sunderham

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Recap 20171229 - Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords – Exploring Sunderham

After finding and emerging from the tunnels under the mountains, our heroes find themselves on the side of the mountain, overlooking the Slave Lord City of Suderham.  Bannor, Souldun and Raistlin decide to proceed ahead in an attempt to contact the local fighter’s guild and mage’s guild.  Gird and Mantis, and joined by Cyrano, having caught up to the group after acting as rear guard for a time, find an abandoned farm house to rest in.  

So, Grid (Human Monk – Art), Mantis (TriKreen Barbarian – Ross) and Cyrano, (Drow Rogue - Kenji), are moving down the mountain when they are spotted by gnoll warriors who, under orders from their demonic leader, are seeking out the invaders who broke through the defenses of the tunnel system.  The gnolls attack with a fury, having a huge hyena with them!  Suddenly from the flank, a fragmented group of allied agents attack the gnolls in the flank; Nekk (Human Fighter – Kobe), Kavakin (Goliath Cleric – Joe), and Nero (Dwarf Battlemind – Ken) join in the fight.

The hyena rushes forward and chomps down on Cyrano while Nekk moves and knocks the dog down with a powerful charge.  Cyrano moves up into the trees and lets the armored fighter tangle with the fierce canine.  The gnoll archers fire on Mantis and Gird, dealing considerable damage with their powerful long bows.  Gird hits the hyena once and then moves to down an archer.  Mantis charges and also downs an archer.  On the western flank, Kavakin and Nero are involved in a wild melee with four gnoll soldiers and two more archers.  Nero and Kavakin each down a soldier but the remainder press in on the tallest and shortest members of the party.  Nekk continues to battle the giant hyena, dealing heavy (about 15 to 20 pts a round) damage with his shield and heavy flail, keeping the hyena pinned down.  Mantis wounds a gnoll soldier that is protecting the archers and Gird finishes the gnoll off.  Mantis uses an extra effort to down yet another gnoll soldier, clearing the way so that Mantis can charge and down two additional archers.  With a well placed throw, Cyrano downs one of the archers fighting Nero, clearing out that area.  Seeing his opponent weakening, Nekk aims a precise strike, hitting the giant hyena in the leg and then downs it for good with a final blow to the head from his flail.  

After a brief rest, the two trios unite and continue toward the city.  In the outskirts they come across a squad of city guards asking some wealthy looking travelers for their papers of passage into the city.  The party observes from a distance and after not too long a delay the wealthy travelers and the guards each go their own way.

Making their way through the slums, the party overhears some men mentioning some of the party by name, with the intention to capture or kill them.  The group of rakes approach the heroes’ position from around a blind corner, with none of the ill intentioned rakes aware of the heroes as each champion except Nekk, rushes to a good hiding spot.  Nekk, decides to hide in the open as he (correctly) assumes that none of the rakes would recognize him as being associated with the good barons and lords who seeks to free the slaves.  The party notes that a few of the rakes appear to be very capable fighters, but choose to let the rakes pass by, even though the rakes clearly wanted to kill or capture the party and the party had the drop on the rakes and there was no one else in sight.  (DM Note: If any player ever complains again that there is NEVER a time when the party surprises the monsters, I’ll reference this encounter.)

Nekk and Cyrano attempt to gather information on how the party can get some passes into the city and find out the passes are all magically enchanted to prevent forgery.  There is a vague rumor of a tunnel somewhere into the city and there is a rumor of a mage that can create forged magical papers but the heroes are unable to learn exactly who might know where the tunnel might be or how to contact Rehc the wizard and forger, if that’s even his actual name.  A shadowy woman tells the party a cryptic clue… then tells the party that if they want passes, they can either get them the usual way and wait weeks, or they can find a group of patsies and take the passes.  Nekk and Cyrano note that the group of rakes who want to kill the party are currently dining at a nearby bar and the bar owner is loudly anti-government and no other customers are in the bar.  As such, the party very tentatively decides to subdue the rakes and take their passes.

Nekk charges in and catches one swordsman under the chin, knocking him down and knocking him out.  Nero duels with an opposing spearman.  Mantis rushes by a man with a rapier and downs an axeman.  Gird jumps and spins and hits several of the opponents, knocking one on his heels and downing a man with a buckler and short sword.  Cyrano tangles with woman with two short swords and the drow falls back.  Nero strikes at the woman and the she uses her off weapon to parry the blow.  Nekk side steps an arrow which strikes the monk in the shoulder, but Nekk is then free to turn and knock out a second swordsman with a sharp blow of the upper edge of his shield to the unfortunate swordman’s visor slit.  Nekk then charges over to pin the twin swords woman in position.  Mantis charges around a couple of swordsmen and hits the archer who fires back and clips the bug in the upper body.  Mantis runs to the other side of the room and charges the archer again, downing the bowman.  While retreating from the swordswoman, Cyrano backs into a man with a hand axe and after a few exchanges, the drow downs him with a number of slicing wounds.  Mantis moves to assist Nero who is fighting the man with the rapier and the spear and Nero wounds the spearman and Mantis finishes the spearman off.  Nekk then catches the swordswoman in the leg, tripping her and knocks her out with the haft of his flail ending the fight.  The party relieve the slave merchants of their passes into the city and tip the bar tender for his cooperation.

Following the cryptic message from the shadowy woman the group is lured into a trap posed by a number of devils.  “You (yew) may pull (maple) open the door for (fir) to find (pine) what you (yew) seek, against the wall, not (walnut) the beach (beech) is cherry and okay (oak).”   Although the shadowy woman tries to lure the party to the lumber warehouse near the wall and military quarter, the party investigates the warehouse near the docks and finds nothing of note with the merchant guards telling the heroes to come back the next day.  At the warehouse near the military quarter, the party is greeted by the devil Mistfo who asks the group to surrender Cyrano, Mantis and Gird and then tell him where Raistlin, Bannor and Souldun are.  The devil tells the rest of the heroes that they are free to leave.  As the heroes refuse, four winged devils appear and act as cover for the fat Mistfo and a large devil with grossly long arms explodes out of a pile of crates in the corner.  Mantis leaps up and strikes a solid blow on Mistfo who teleports Mantis next to Cyrano and Mantis hits the drow instead.  Next, Gird is hit by a stunning blast of magic and diverts it so instead Cyrano is struck again.  Nekk engages the claw demon which strikes Mantis with a crushing claw.  Nero stabs at the claw devil and displaces it into the street beyond.  Nekk follows the clawed horror out into the street and continues to flail away, keeping the brute off balance.  Gird spins to his left and catches a winged devil with a devastating hook kick.  Nero impales a second winged devil with a powerful thrusting stab.  Gird spins back to his right and downs another winged devil, this time with a ridge hand knee strike combination.  Ravakin heals the drow and evades another winged devil.  Nero is distracted by the shadowy woman who blocks the stairs.  Ravakin moves outside to support Nekk just as the clawed devil strikes both of them with devastating effect, dealing a serious blow to each of them, but especially to Nekk who confirms that there is no way he can withstand another blow like the last one.  Nekk does a reverse spin, confusing the clawed devil and dazes it.  Meanwhile, Cyrano downs one of the winged devils and joins the majority of the team in concentrating on the fat Mistfo.  With Mantis, Nero, Cyrano and Gird all concentrating on Mistfo, it is not long before their combined efforts enable Mantis to get in a killing strike.  About the same time, Nekk strikes a precise blow, followed by a solid shield bash to finish off the claw devil.  The group then drags the claw devil’s body into the warehouse, takes a short rest and makes contact with an agent of the barons who guides the heroes to an inn where they can find further contacts that may lead them to the location of the slave lord headquarters!

Next adventure, further exploration within the hidden City of Suderham!

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