FrankenFourth: Age of Worms, Episode 506

  • Humal (level 8 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 8 dwarf war cleric)
  • Sumia (level 8 elf rogue/ranger)
  • Kuhnja'bi (level 8 human w/ devil-in-the-details fighter)

Not wanting anyone to be too worn down, late, or even dead for their next fight the next day, and figuring that they'd pretty much explored all but one section of the under structure anyway, the party decided to settle in for the rest of the night.

The next day Corzale attempted to dig up whatever information she could on Pitch Blade, because the only thing the party knew about them besides their team name was that they were dwarves and used melee weapons, and they only knew that because Kuhnja'bi fought them during last year's tournament.

Corzale initially tried going right to the source, but apparently also being a dwarf wasn't a sufficient enough conversation starter. There were only a handful of other teams left, and none of them knew anything. This left the guards.

As luck would have it one of them was forthcoming, albeit in exchange for some information about her and the rest of her team, as he was trying to figure out who he should bet on. He revealed that the Pitch Blade duo wasn't particularly smart or fast, but they more than made up for their shortcomings by being monstrously strong and tough: they'd yet to be defeated, but the teams that lasted the longest had spread themselves out so Pitch Blade would have to cover more distance.

Corzale thanked him for the tips, and then returned to her companions and conveyed what she'd learned. Sumia and Humal both had potent ranged attacks and abilities, so they figured their best bet was for them to hang back, while Humal's minions, Kuhnja'bi, and Corzale tried to keep Pitch Blade at bay. Since the guard specifically mentioned that they weren't smart, Humal figured that he could also try charming one.

Their arrival on the arena grounds was met with louder applause than the last time (as well as some booing), though it paled in comparison to Pitch Blade's appearance. As expected, they were both clad in thick plate armor and wielded blackened longswords. They stood motionless and quiet, even ignoring the announcer's request for both parties to salute each other, until the gong sounded.

Humal was the first to act, instructing his chimera and cockatrice skeletons to march forward. Corzale lagged behind a bit, preparing to unleash a blast of divine light when either opponent was near enough. Kuhnja'bi stood his ground near Humal, while Sumia hesitated, waiting to see what Pitch Blade would do.

None of them were prepared.

Both warriors leaped through the air, easily clearing both skeletons and crashing into Kuhnja'bi and Sumia. Kuhnja'bi, similarly armed and armored, was able to hold his own even before Humal commanded his minions to support him. On the other hand, Sumia was both lightly armed and used to fighting unfairly: she was grievously wounded before Corazale came to her aid, giving her the opportunity to escape.

Through his arcane sight Humal saw that their bodies both radiated a variety of magic auras: they'd probably quaffed a number of potions and/or been provided with magical assistance prior to the fight. He also realized that their heads were shielded from his magic: their helmets were probably made of lead and cold iron, which meant that he'd be unable to charm or even confuse them.

Despite their advantages the party was ultimately triumphant, and Sumia watched as Raknian stormed from his seat before the announcer presented them with their trophy and prize money.

The guard that "tipped" off Corzale was noticeably absent by the time they returned to the Coenoby, but Ekaym was waiting for them. The party hadn't found his sister, or even a woman at all, living or dead, but they had discovered a pack of ghouls and a powerful concentration of necromantic energy: they hoped to discover the source of at least the latter later that night.

Design Notes
Much of the session was the characters trying to dig up information on Pitch Blade, and then fighting them, so nothing really informative from the math side of things. I did fuck up the fact that both dwarf fighters were supposed to have fiery swords. Oh well, it's not like the party could have looted them.

Or can they?

(Yes, if they can find them.)

Also, cold iron helmets are a valid way to reduce your chances of being affected by mind-affecting magic (though they can be taken off, which was a strategy that at least one of the players suggested). Actually, cold iron armor is good for resisting arcane magic in general (and magic from fae critters), but it also applies for helpful magic.

If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

The Blackguard is out, so if you want to play a dark reflection of The Paladin that isn't just a lazy flip, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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