Friday, March 29, 2013

Super Ghouls 'n Ghasts

On tuesday night the Hounds confronted a number of ghouls in the Eastern Wood of Tyrma. They were hired by the gruff dwarf Vagr Blackstone, the dockside representative of the Shadow Temple in the city. The ecumenical elvish priests of the Shadow had slain a mannish adventurer and his companions in the wood; they had been getting too close to the temple's activities. However, his horrific corpse had been wandering around and devouring travelers in the Wood.

They've been planning to kill Blackstone in order to protect the master smith Galdri Harnmr (who has a bounty on his head from the Arinnfal for, long ago, sleeping with the sister of a prince without his permission). It was a general decision that they would take care of the undead for Vagr in order to gain his trust and then murder him when the time was appropriate.

The relevant information here, though, is that they had decided to go after the undead and formulated a plan to deal with them. They knew that Tareus the Wanderer (the adventurer who was slain) and his companions had appeared in embodied form, so they could nary be any kind of specter. Furthermore, Vagr revealed that though they seemed to be stupified, Tareus would become enraged whenever a member of the Shadow Temple was within his eyesight, and that would drive him onward in a frenzy.

This led them to hypothesize that they were dealing not with zombies or revenants, but with the spawn of Kypselus: ghouls and ghasts. Myndil the Merry, knowing that he could protect the party with spells that would keep them at bay, went to the Temple of Noronia to ask if there was a way to increase that protection to extend to ghasts. Discovering that iron filings would do the trick, he purchased some from Galdri's Hammersong Forge and they went to their task.

They had decided to use the protection to shoot crossbow bolts and throw knives at the creatures and, after Myndil spoke with animals to have a chipmunk lead them to the grove where Tareus lurked in exchange for a few acorns and nuts, they enacted their protection spells. Now, in our games each combat round takes 15 seconds... but spells last a number of minutes. Thus, the 9 minutes of his protection spell were instead 36 combat rounds and availed them well. In that time they dispatched seven of the ghouls and two ghasts.

Some of Tareus' clan had skittered off during the fight, realizing their attempts to strike the Hounds were hopeless. Here is where the story gets interesting. The Hounds set off to look for them, and their protection spells silently wore off. When they found the three ghouls that had escaped, the creatures nearly killed the entire party.

Let's count that up again: preparedness? 7 ghouls, 2 ghasts. Unprepared? Nearly dead at the hands of 3 ghouls.

That is theory in action, gentlemen.

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