The Adventures of Not-Annalax: A D&D Interlude
Recall the terrible situation the party was in at the end of the previous session: Annalax and Elknel fleeing for their lives through the forest, with the rest of the party being dragged away by Nightmare Creatures. Well, the DM had a cunning plan on how to deal with this: specifically, we would temporarily put our characters on ice. Instead, we would play some Level 11 Emissaries from the Shadow Cat, on a mission to rescue the captured party.
(Annalax wasn’t captured, of course, but it makes little difference. He’s currently cooling his heels back at the town on the edge of the forest. Elknel too).
So I have switched from a Level 7 Drow Rogue, to playing a Level 11 Snake-guy Warlock.
Beyond talking like a sssssnake, there has been little opportunity for role-playing the temporary characters. Instead, it’s been all about the combat.
The first combat was anti-climactic in the extreme. Up against a motley collection of Nightmare wolves and bears, the higher-level characters made absolute mincemeat of the opposition, to the point where the entire thing was over in a single round.
The second combat was more interesting. We came across a clearing in the forest, with all-sorted Nightmare critters at our end, and a stone altar at the far-end, where some sort of eldritch summoning ritual was going on. At the end of the second round, a large sphinx-monster began to come through an opened portal. Aforementioned sphinx clearly had a ton of hit-points, and some impressive capacity for damage. Its claws were like swords.
My Snake-Dude found himself on the receiving end of an attack from the all-sorted critters, to the point where he was knocked down to half-health. So he cast Greater Invisiblity on himself (a spell Annalax would kill for). Then it was Dimension Door over to the altar, to put the summoners and sphinx within range.
Fifty sessions of this adventure. Quite the milestone… except that it was the first complete session in the entire campaign where Annalax was not actually present.
Instead it was Snake-Dude. Now, the problem with being a Warlock is that you get few spell-slots, so I had one last spell left, before falling back on the default Eldritch Blast.
The spell I chose to cast? Hold Monster on the sphinx. In my case the spell-save DC was 16.
The sphinx had +9 to its Wisdom saving throw (curse it…), but if it failed, the fight would basically be over. It was roughly a one-in-three shot. Worth a gamble.
The sphinx rolled an 8 (+9 = 17), so narrowly made the save. Oh well. Snake Dude retreated behind a tree.
In the event, the rest of the party were able to push the sphinx back through the portal, at which point the combat became a mopping-up operation. Snake Dude took out two of the summoners with Eldritch Blast… in one case with a critical hit (I visualise it as incinerating the foe, except for his smoking boots).
The session concluded with a vision of the captured party, in chains. Prisoners of the Hags. Zhan proposed a cunning plan, which involved cutting a deal with the anti-Hag Nightmares, but Ember still believes that all Nightmares must be killed on sight. Time will tell how they resolve this impasse, but they will be doing it without Elknel and Annalax.
I have been putting my session updates at two-per-post, but since this one concluded the Adventures of Snake-Dude, I thought I would add it here. Session Fifty-Two will resume with Annalax.
Anyway, the Level 11 Emissaries ran across the Hags’ House. It was, unsurprisingly, completely surrounded by Nightmares. Two of the party started a minor fire as a diversion, while the remainder of the party tackled the Big Critters inside (though not the Hags themselves. That’s for next week). In short, it was another combat session.
Snake-Dude cast Silence to mess with opposition spell-casters, only to be knocked down to half-health by a critical hit from one of the Critters. Snake-Dude decided to run away, then trying (and failing) to cast Hold Monster. It was rather ignominious from our serpentine Warlock, who simply doesn’t have damage-dealing area spells. The rest of the party had better luck, though the fight was still on-going at the end of the abbreviated session.
Back to the Annalax Index: https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2021/01/07/the-adventures-of-annalax-a-compendium/