Saturday, January 31, 2015

Roleplaying in the Dark Elf City

Last Saturday's session concluded the campaign (here's the session before that and this is the origin).  A succession of adventures that started with interaction, talking with non-player characters (what some people roleplaying); gradually moved towards exploration, seeing what was in the caverns; and increased the amount of combat until it seemed silly not to use some kind of large-scale map with miniatures or markers.  I wanted to bring it full circle by focusing this session on interactions with NPCs.

In return for acquiring the indigo crystal for the dark elves of Trehallvyn, their queen, Elaryss, insisted on holding a celebration in the adventurers' honor.  The party was uneasy from the start and their apprehension lasted throughout their traveling to Trehallvyn, waiting for arrangements to be made, having dinner with the Elaryss, her sister Sephir, cousins (only Senna was mentioned by name), as well as, a male wizard, Zadok, and finally mingling in the palace's chamber of celebration with Alzahn and company.

A plot between Sephir and Alzahn to overthrow queen Elaryss created a lot of juicy conflict.  Especially when only a few PCs knew what was going on (nine players that day).  With those in the know acting completely independently, it was delicious chaos!  One favored Sephir, one or two favored Elaryss, and at least one party member wanted to bring down the entire house of cards.

Eventually thrown into prison, the party was forced to leave Trehallvyn and never return.  Some were expecting to fight their way out of the dark elf city and were a little disappointed that everything turned out ok.  Except the party had to leave a large portion of their gold from the dragon's horde behind.  Trying to go back and retrieve it later proved fruitless.

But there was more!  As the adventurers already knew, there was some kind of hellish portal in the foundation of their castle.  No longer a pool of fire, they discovered winding stone steps leading a couple hundred feet down into the earth.  Whereupon, the PCs saw robed cultists and a large demon (a Balor, actually) performing a ritual before an altar with a half-naked man strapped to it.

Yes, one last epic battle.  I broke out the lava field wasteland maps (which looked awesome!) and we had just under an hour's worth of combat.  Several members of the party nearly died.  For their trouble, the adventurer's looted the bodies and are now the proud owners of a talisman of ultimate evil.  Exactly what it is and does is still unknown to them (I often change what's written in the rule books).

A very satisfying, albeit short, campaign.  Everyone leveled yet again, bringing some characters up to 6th level.  Because family vacation looms on the horizon, I'll not be Game Mastering for three weeks in a row.  The horror!  After that, I might pick up where we left off... or not.  I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Thanks for reading my session reports.  Hopefully, they were either entertaining, informative, or both.  I also want to thank all those who played their hearts out and kept coming back for more.  It was awesome!


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