|Art by pungang of Deviantart|
The other part of the session dealt with the continuing misadventures of Bronan the Barbarian and his crew of 'sidekicks'. While Maxmilian was busy with the lethal tea drinking samurai Bronan and company were busy being sapped over the head repeatedly. When the surly Dwarf refused to yield his head was encased in a bubble of water while a well dressed man with a spider silk vest and slicked back hair leveled a staff tipped with a blue gem at him and admonished his henchman in the worst British accent you can think of.
Bronan awoke beneath a rock cairn pulsating with the slow rhythmic chanting of the earth cultists surrounding him. His joints stiffened and his skin turned rock solid and grey, eventually he passed through the stone and emerged through the other side looking not unlike a statue. He confronted the high priest Romaag who explained that Bronan was the first successful experiment creating a durable stone soldier. All the others, he motioned to the statues surrounding the altar, were failures. He promised Bronan power, riches and leadership if he joined the cause and sent him on a mission to find a giant snake (twist on the conventional quest he gives) and to prove the strength of his sorceries by showing Bronan just how resilient he now was. Thus began the wanderings of Bronan.
Bronan found stairs leading down, he moved through numerous empty passages (luckily) before making his way to the main corridor. There he encountered an Ogre shaman and his henchman. After bargaining failed Bronan the level 4 Berserker decided he would take them on completely unarmed. Given my ability to be a harsh DM declines drastically after midnight I gave him quite a bit of warning on how bad of an idea this is.
So when things went south he decided to flee between the Ogre's legs and headed further down the corridor. There he encountered a large group of bandits bearing the same insignia as the ones at the moathouse, he posited that he would have a better opportunity against the humans. While true it wouldn't be long before he was either swarmed or caught between the Ogres in a pincer attack. Warning in hand he turned tail and found a side passage with wind blasting forth. Tucking Wonilion beneath his arm and throwing Chuckles on his back the Dwarf statue pushed through the wind to safety as the Bandits and Ogre Shaman (different temple factions) duked it out.
Coming to a four point intersection, each with a different colored passage Bronan's dwarven senses picked up a secret staircase allowing him to ascend to a hidden level on B1. Encountering a host of undead skeletons, humans and gnolls he slowly led them back to the wind passage where the mindless undead we're blown to pieces. Returning upstairs Bronan's wandering eventually took him to the Ogre Chieftans room where his failed bluffing resulted in him being captured by the Chieftan and brought back to the high priest Romaag. A good stopping point we ended the session there. Bronan's absence of mortal fear reminded me that my players are used to games where lethality is minimum, where the player is always expected to win is built into the system. It was something I needed to rectify, and a refresher course was necessary. I'll tackle that in my next post.