The party finished up in the caves with some convincing directions, and a battle with some hags.
Hearing the noises around the corner, the bard cast disguise, appearing as the drow lieutenant from earlier. He walked out into the group of low level cultists, assured them that there was nothing to be concerned about (They had some lucky opposed rolls here and the cultists weren’t too keen on disobeying the second in charge as well as not too keen on disturbing the crazy Gadrille. All of this worked in the party’s favour.). So the cultists went back to work, stripping the current wreck.
The bard eavesdropped and snooped about for a little longer before returning to the group. Collectively they decided to see if they could convince these guys to leave without a fight, so the bard returned to the cultists. He told them they were needed elsewhere and that they should leave immediately. (Again some lucky rolls had the cultist completely convinced) so they did. Who were they to disobey the bosses.
As they left they mentioned another group of cultists in the caves, and the hags. The group decided to deal with the remaining cultists (in hopefully the same way) and then the hags. They had decided that leaving the hags here was not doing the area any favours.
So the bard went off again to talk to more cultists. This group were slightly more difficult to convince and almost walked in on the party (which would have given it all away). However, before long they were in a boat and on there way to “the headquarters” (I have no idea where that might be, and don’t care. I was just rewarding a rare piece of non-murder hobo RP with some easy victories).
Then to the hags.
As the group arrived in the cavern with the hags, they were greeted with cautious friendliness, that was spoiled immediately by the Dragonborn Paladin demanding their deaths. So the battle was joined.
The hags got off the first attacks through some excellent DM initiative rolls. A mighty lightning bolt tore through the party causing some concern. Then there were several misses from the hag side, before the hunter crippled one of the hags with his arrows.
A fireball from our wizard was the solid return from the party. The hags did attempt a counterspell with little effect. This severely wounded several of the hags and their constructs (a floating skull with a stinger). At this point I realised that I had forgotten to look after the party’s fear response to the hags, so that would wait until a complete round had occurred, to be fair.
From the fireball, things started to go badly for the hags. One died and the other two took some serious damage. This meant that their coven actions were interrupted. I could not see that they could cast any spells without the coven so they would have to melee the group.
Once again, a handy cast of Hypnotic Pattern caused problems for the groups attackers. One hag was completely taken in and so the group was able to concentrate on the other. This meant it was down to 6 vs 1 and the last hag died too.
An uneventful return to Leilon followed. The party rested while the wizard tried to find out anything he could from the “jar of eyes” and the “severed finger” that they found in the hags cave. Actually I just put them in the locked box as they were momentos that one of the hags kept. She collects different eyes (as one might collect stamps) and the other was the ring finger of an ex (who didn’t know she was a hag, until she bit his finger off, well all his fingers). Maybe I can use them later….
The group also went up a level, so now level 8. They continue to destroy everything I put against them, so even though they are at least a level behind the expected level for this adventure, they are doing fine. I also awarded some extra special gifts from the Lord who hired them. Partly this was a “First Anniversary Gift” of the game as well, as it has been going for more than a year now.
- The cleric got “Shield of Expression” – the shield has a face which the bearer can change the expression of;
- The paladin got “Dread Helm” – helmet that makes him look scary with red glowing eyes. So now we have a Dragonborn Paladin in plate armour with a Dread Helm;
- The wizard received a “Enduring Spellbook” – a spellbook that isn’t harmed by fire, water etc;
- The monk got “Expanding Pole” – a pole that extends magically from 1 – 10′ on command;
- The hunter picked up “Quiver of Elhona” – a bag of holding for arrows, javelins, bows; and
- The bard received “Perfume of Bewitching” – gives advantage on charisma checks.
The idea was that all the items were sort of related to the players but also didn’t actually provide much (or any) bonus in a fight. I’m thinking that the Lord could be more generous after the next modules complete.
So Wrath of the Storm Lord is completed. To tease them in to the “Sleeping Dragons Wake”, I mentioned that they noticed a fisherman arrive in town and run into the Town Council buildings. The fisherman has arrived from Leilon Point with reports of attack by “violent sea mermaids”. Once they finish Leilon Point, they will hear rumours of the Death Knight Dreadnaught washed ashore.
The next module is designed using an “Adventure Board” system, where all the adventures stem from reading a “Help Wanted” board in the village. Not really a fan of this, plus my way fits better with the story. The Lord is happy with their work, they are still uncovering Storm Lord cultists, so why would he suddenly cancel their contract. Notably, they haven’t thought to haggle on their contract since they have been so successful and have risen in levels, another reason that the Lord is happy to keep them on. He’s paying seasoned powerful adventurers (now level 8) at the same rate as when they were just famous, mid level adventurers (I think it was level 5).