21 Jul

FRC Session 36…Here Be Dragon

During the last session, the crew of the Jupiter 2 continued their journey, adrift in the Underdark. They passed through some sort of purple worm hatchery, came across something of an oasis and restocked on some supplies (after defeating some of the more hostile inhabitants of the area), and then came across a rather deep and fairly wide gorge that blocked their path. Attacked by some giant mosquito like creatures, they prevailed and one of the opponents–lit by faerie fire–plunged into the depths of the gorge. Some two-hundred feet or so down, a larger creature gulped up this falling meal. As we ended the session and as the faerie fire light disappeared, the shadowy swallowing creature looked to possibly be flying up towards the party. That’s where we pick up after the break.

This recap is from Rachel. Thomas and Muse missed this session. RJ played Meri and Dave played Verrak. My comments, as usual, are in [brackets and italics].

Rising up from the chasm where the large mosquito guy fell is a shadowy dragon, that breathes shadowy fire and hits most of us pretty hard. We retreated into the tunnel behind us but several of us were hit again—at different points Verrak, Meri, Adran, and Dench were knocked unconscious. Fletcher healed a couple folks and those of us still up pulled the others back into the tunnel. Dench turned into a bear and summoned two more to battle the dragon as we retreated. The dragon followed us into the tunnel for a bit but was hung up for a little while fighting the bears. Fletcher cast a hypnotic pattern that incapacitated the dragon—it looked distracted and we were able to get away and catch up to Stool, Topsy, and Turvy, who had made a run for it. We kept going just in case the dragon resumed its pursuit.

[The dragon was able to breathe two rounds in a row and this decimated the party’s hit points. The whole encounter convinced the group to take a different passage.]

At the vertical shaft with multiple tunnels off it, we tried the next tunnel to the right. It narrowed to a crawl space so we headed back to the shaft where we tried the next two tunnels to the right, both of which were dead ends. Fortunately for us, the next tunnel to the right kept going. After traveling for a couple hours, we stopped to take a long rest in a line in the tunnel.

The next morning we traveled about four hours before getting to another large chasm. Dench turned into a spider and began crossing the ceiling to see if there was a spot to secure a rope on the other side. Once across, Dench did not see a spot so he summoned two bears and tied the end of the rope to them. As Fletcher was crossing the rope, the shadow dragon flew up from the chasm and chomped through the rope. Fortunately Fletcher was able to magically move to the other side as the rope was severed. Fletcher cast a hypnotic pattern and the dragon fell as it took effect. Dench summoned four large owls to cross the chasm and get the rest of us, but lost concentration when hit by the returning dragon and the owls disappeared. Fletcher successfully hypnotized the dragon again and it dropped. Dench summoned the owls again and this time they were able to bring Verrak, Adran, Meri, and me (Rory) across the chasm.

The dragon came back up and breathed fire on a few of us, but the owls made it back and were able to drop off Stool, Topsy, and Turvy. We started moving down the passage but the dragon followed. Fletcher and I were knocked unconscious by the dragon but revived by our comrades. The others kept fighting the dragon and Meri got the killing blow.

[Yep, it was the same chasm and the distance between the prior encounter with the dragon and this location was significantly shorter than the path the party took. Dench yelled when he got to the other side of the chasm and especially in the quiet of the Underdark, this attracted the attention of the dragon.

The fight was petty tense. Fletcher used his hypnotic pattern multiple times, plunging the dragon down into the depths but it returned a short bit later. It wasn’t even clear if everyone, especially the svirfneblin twin and Stool, would even make it across on the giant owls. Fletcher had, however, really pissed of the dragon and it focused most of its attacks on him. I believe the phrase, “Dying to a dragon is the best way to die in D&D” was even uttered.]

After debating whether to try going down into the chasm in search of the dragon’s hoard, we decided to keep traveling and found a larger passage that looked more like the passages we had originally been traveling through. We traveled a couple more hours and found a place to take a long rest. The next two days (Kythorn 6th and 7th) were uneventful days of travel. After traveling on the 7th, we found a cul-de-sac with a vein of jasper in the wall that looked like a great place for a long rest. Dench used stone shape to harvest two and a half cubic feet of jasper, which we broke up and put in several of our bags. During the second watch (Fletcher and Turvy’s shift), Fletcher thought Turvy’s habitual grunting was getting louder but realized the floor was actually vibrating. Suddenly the floor of the cul-de-sac (where the rest of us were sleeping) erupted upward!

[And that’s where we ended the session. Although most of the session was taken up with the various encounters with the dragon, it wasn’t really a “grind.” Dave even commented that this encounter was in his top three of all time. It was certainly enjoyable for a combat encounter…pretty dramatic actually. There was quite a bit of discussion about to go or not to go after the possible dragon hoard. In the end, it was deemed too dangerous and doing so might get the party even more off track or lost than they already were.

Beer Log: It is back! Here’s what we sampled this session, using, as always, our hit, miss, crit, and fumble rating scale.

  • Grimm Future Perfect: A bit tart and fruity (berry) and a hit.
  • Grimm Psychokinesis: More solid brew from Grimm. Nice and tart and fruity. Better than the Future Perfect and a real solid hit!
  • JDub’s Fruits of Florida Blueberry IPA: Thanks to RJ but sadly I wasn’t a fan. It had a nice blueberry aroma but a fake blueberry flavor overlaid on the IPA. A miss for me.
  • Blackberry Farm Summer Saison 2016: Quite tasty with nice earty, fruity, and some citrus. A definite hit.

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