The session picked up just at the end of the battle from the last session, with the last of the attackers having just been felled. As the party picked itself up, a couple of things occurred:
- They found some sigils on the victims, metal discs with 3 lightning bolts engraved on them. They had no idea what this meant. The priest From Leilon helped them, mentioning The Storm King.
- The council asked them to head into town to investigate where these attackers had come from.
- An acolyte ran over to tell the council that at least 2 children had been left in the town.
The party headed into town, the paladin at least, not needing further motivation than the missing children. In fact, he’d charged off as soon as it had been mentioned.
They discovered a group by the water, carrying out a summoning ceremony. Before they could get properly into range, they were spotted and engaged.
The battle went well, though they did not get through unscathed. However, as they had not rested from the previous fight, they started to find themselves running short on spells (especially), and the damage piled up on top of what they already had suffered. This started to put them under pressure.
From my perspective, I was a little deflated when they cast counterspell, knocking back the priest’s Call Lightning that she was going to open devastatingly with! Nothing she could do in response to that and she ended up having to slink away under the cover of a darkness spell.
The party fought well, knocking over the priest and her 5 berserker guardians. It did use up almost all of their available spell slots.
No time for a rest though, for as the priests fell, the water bubbled and a Water Elemental and 2 Water Weirds appeared. This fight actually didn’t go too badly for them, though it was long. They were helped when one of the Weirds, unable to attack the party on land, headed away to peruse some fishermen. One of the party slowly ground that one down while staying at range, reducing the number of opponents the rest faced.
And the session finished with the last one dissolving back into water. We will kick it off next time with the post battle tidy up.
As players, there were lots of positive comments. While I have struggled to push this group, I was expecting this series of running battles to challenge them in ways that the other combats had not. I had expected them to start running low on options and resources, and this is exactly what happened. And the players enjoyed it (and so did I).
Getting on top of the prep helped a lot this time. Something to keep in mind for the next step between modules. I’ve been reading up, sorting out my hooks for the next couple of episodes in this module. I think I will go above the recommended numbers for my creatures. Otherwise they just get smashed and there is little challenge to the party. I have also been looking at playing them smarter too, using better tactics. Enemy just charging straight in makes sense for zombies and such, but for mid-level fighters and others it makes no sense. Especially against this experienced group with things like fireballs and spell shaping.