Keep on the Shadowfell w/ Essentials, Part 4

Picking up where we left off, the group took on the last cultist protected by a trio of ghostly warriors that drained healing surges and targeted Reflex (to the chagrin of Delinth's 20 AC). Since they were insubstantial and Donner didn't have a reliable way to inflict radiant damage, I reduced their hit points in order to help keep things moving. With the baddies out of the way, they investigated a large hole in the floor where all the blood was draining, and saw a larger chamber below where someone was chanting in a dark language, and an inky black portal rippled with each fell utterance.

They tried to descend on the chains dangling from the ceiling, but Riven slipped and fell into the pool of blood. This didn't faze Kalarel, who simply turned around and watched as the rest climbed down. Once they'd reached the pool, he simply ordered his skeleton soldiers to kill them before returning to his regularly scheduled ritual. Well, skeletons and a shitload of zombie minions in the blood pool. Donner and Delinth managed to swing over to the ledge, but the skeletons swarmed Riven and tried to pull the others back in. Delinth's cleaving stance allowed him to damage the skeletons as well as take down a minion each turn, and once the undead were bloodied Kalarel decided that this would require more hands on attention and unleashed a zone of grasping hands: hundreds of arms burst out of the ground, tearing and grabbing enemies, dealing damage and immobilizing until they save. From his vantage point, he was able to then safely follow up with an action point and pepper them with some generic dark energy bolts that, while not dealing a lot of damage, did weaken Delinth for a turn.

Things started to look bad, as the party hadn't been able to fully recuperate from the last series of encounters, and both Riven and Sand were running low on healing surges and Riven was having a bitch of a time landing any actual hits. A lucky crit from Delinth knocked all the monsters down (thanks to his magical hammer), and cleared a path for Sand and Riven to get out of the zone and rush Kalarel. Riven used fountain of flame to burn the shit out of him, while Sand used one of his tricks to bundle of backstab and Sneak Attack for one nasty cut. Kalarel wasn't down, but he was feeling it and retaliated with a wave of exhaustion, which polished off the last of their surges and slowed them. He hobbled away, taking another hit from Sand for good measure, but this meant that neither Riven nor Sand could use second wind and Donner had run out of healing words early on.

They did have action points however, and on the following rounds doubled up their attacks. Delinth had crushed the last of the undead, and had both hit points and healing surges to spare. Closing the gap with a run-and-charge, he walloped Kalarel with the power strike he'd been saving, Sand wedged another short sword between his ribs, and Riven pulled a Jon Woo with magic missile (though the "pew pew" sound effect somewhat diminished the scene). Kalarel fell, his soul got pulled through the dark portal, which collapsed in on itself. Sand found a poisoned dagger and a bunch of shinies before heading back to Winterhaven.

Tonight, it's off to Thunderspire Labyrinth.

For sake of time, the previous session I condensed the whole Shadowfell Keep portion to the ruined foundation, and the poster map that came with the module that had the "evil temple" parts. I'd wanted to draw out a catacombs floor, something more logical than in the actual adventure, and I'd recommend doing something like that. Just populate it with undead, traps, and maybe some cultists. Just don't do long hallways that twist about randomly before they terminate into torture chambers and bed rooms. Ugh.

Also, I halved Kalarel's level, making him a level 4 elite controller. I changed up his spells a bit, and gave him two different things that he could do with his minor action; hose someone taking ongoing necrotic damage, or having an undead critter make a free basic melee attack. I felt this worked better than giving him a "double swat" attack, but it would only worked when something was close (and still there). The only other things in the encounter were a few skeleton warriors guarding Kalarel, and the blood pool had about 8 zombie rotters. Kalarel is a nasty contender here, so throwing in lots of crazy shit could easily result in a total party kill. Also, I only had four peeps.


  1. That sounds AWESOME!!! You should post your stats for Kalarel, and deconstruct how you built him.

  2. Hon, it's spelled "Rybon." I made an effort to make it as girly as possible.




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