Thanks must go out to Bill, the player of Quinn then Kwyn, who agreed to DM last week Encounters session. The run in with lizard men turned south and apparently resulted in them being chased through the woods by one of the big brutes. Thankfully this week the party was aided by two events. Firstly, the hobbit Merrick discovered that while climbing through some webs the previous weeks, he happened to pick up a mysterious potion. And the party was joined by the elf wizard Lucan.
The party was ambushed by lizard man needlers hidden in the forest. Surprised, darts flew out at the first rank of the marching order, which happened to be Faverel the wizard and Merrick the rogues. 2 darts hit each of them, fropping them to bloodied. Only Lucan was sharp enough to avoid the surprise, and slew a needler with his magic missile. Faverel was next to go and he ran towards the streams edge, fell prone, and shot a magic missile at the two club wielding lizard man brutes that just emerged from the murky edge of two brown pools in the clearing.
Merrick was next to go. He took a moment to point out that the background of his halfling tribe is a river culture, and wondered if this agave him any bonuses. I pointed out he could traverse a waters edge tile as non difficult terrain. This proved helpful, but for now he chose to climb a tree. Halfway to the first branch he had his hands and feet gripping a big chunk of bark that slowly peeled away and dropped him to the ground. Even with all these antics, he remained un-noticed by the participants of the battle, aand so he shot a lizard brute in the back with his crossbow, blood spouting through the torn scales of its scaly hide.
Kwynn charged forward to duel the lizard brute. But first he towered over the creature and attempted to intimidate the dumb brute. The lizard man laughed of his first attemp and when asked who his leader was, he said the partry would soon find out. Then Kwynn hacked away, cleaving the lizard man within inches of its life. Lucan cast bewguiling strands to push away the brute that charged too close for comfort, knocking him towards a blow gunner. He was unfortunately hit by a dose of poison dart that sent him sinking to the ground. Then Kwynn was pounded to his knee by the lizard brute, and suddenly the entire party was prone. Merrick was knocked unconcious by another darts.
It was at this moment the single blue scaled lizard man wizard crept slowly out of the mire to cast a bolt of acid at the knight. His shield scattered the vile hissing brew.
There are moments when a battle seems on the cusp of tipping out of the realm of survivability, and it seemed to be a dungeon mastering need at the moment to gently describe the possibility of character death. In three seasons of Encounters, three characters have been chronicled D.O.A. in these session reports. One of them was L’il Merrick himself a handful of sessions ago. I didnt want that to happen again, but I also needed to mention that a total party kill was possible, given the circumstances. Somehow, things turned around, and the party was victorious, but at great cost.
Two surviving needlers wrought havoc on the party for many rounds of combat before finally being taken out. Kwynn shrugged off darts, clubs, and claws to hack away inexorably at all lizard men to come his way. Merrick drank, the potion and it healed him. Out of surges, he climbed the tree and found himself in the perfect position to jumpon the lizard wizards back. He did, and wildly sucesssful, he slew the foul hexer right then and there with his deadly short sword. The wizard was on the edge of the pool though, and since the halfing had jumped from a tree branch onto the creatures back, he was in the pool. Luckily being a river halfling, he was able to step onto the shore next round.
The battle turned around with the lizard wizards death, and the in an excess of enthusiasm, Lucan eschewed his typical attack of magic, to go charging out of the woods at a lizard man, dagger held high. He instead rolled a natural 1 and in old school style, fell prone at the needlers foot. The needler clawed him in the face, looked around and noticed he was the only lizard left, and took off into the woods. Of course Merrick took chase,and after a short skill challenge, a quick battle ensued where Merrick was victorious. Instead of felling the hideous creature, he knocked it outl and dragged it back to the others. While they questioned the lizard man about what lay ahead, Merrick dove into the pool to check the lair of the lizard men. He saw the narrow tunnel went twisting between tree roots, and wisely decided not to follow.