The narrative on this game was fairly brief as it largely consisted of the PCs arriving on the other end of the portal in the Lighthouse where the Harvester had fled. The Lighthouse structure itself is unassuming, grey brick with light streaming in from windows lining its cylindrical interior. The Harvester’s corpse collapses onto a large round table in the room’s center and the party takes a short rest. As the heroes rise to proceed up the spiral staircase that leads up along the lighthouse’s side to its apex, a welcoming party of gelatinous creatures and githyanki materialize to challenge their ascent.
The party made its way to the second level of the lighthouse where they found a laboratory with what appeared to be The Ravener tattooing an arcane shackle onto the back of a clone of Percy. The Ravener looked up and smirked, stated something about the party arriving just in time to greet another completed work, and then set Percy to work. Both Lanathel and Belfour were nearly overrun by the swarm of dretches that came to the Ravener’s aid, but the party managed to repel the initial onslaught. Lanathel discovered that there was some sort of illusion emanating from the lab table that she’d teleported near after the first wave of dretch hit. A quick survey of the table revealed a crystal globe which seemed to be the source of the spell and, one quick smashing later, the “Ravener” was revealed to be a salt golem, “Percy” a chain demon, and the back wall faded away to reveal the Ravener. After a bit of taunting, the Ravener fled through the walls and hovered up to the Lighthouse’s top layer, leaving the party to question whether to lick their wounds and allow him to escape or to press onward despite several of their number being near death.
Encounter 2 — The Welcoming Party
Encounter Level: Standard — Level +1 (5450 xp)
Primordial Muck — Reskinned Elemental Ooze x1 – Level 12 Brute (700 XP)
Gelatinous Mother — Reskinned Oblivion Moss Mindmaster – Level 12 Elite Controller (1400 XP)
Half-Formed Heroes — Reskinned Mosslings x6 – Level 12 Minion Variable (1050 XP)
Githyanki Mindslicer x2 – Level 13 Artillery (1600 XP)
Battle Troll – Level 12 Soldier (700 XP)
None (aside from a 10 × 10 table of difficult terrain and a stairway leading up)
This battle was supposed to be a bit of a warmup without a lot of frills. The group focused in very quickly on the primordial ooze and then moved on to the gelatinous mother. Initially the mindslicers stood on the stairway and bombarded the group, screened off by the ooze and battle troll, but Percy managed to pull one of them down with his spiked chain while the other fled to the middle of the battlefield. Zefram managed to tank very effectively, keeping the mother in particular from establishing range that she desperately wanted.
Encounter 3 — Little Tattoo Shop of Horrors
Encounter Difficulty: Easy — Level -1 (4150 xp) (50 xp short of Level)
Dretch Lackey x5 – Level 12 Minion Brute (1250 XP)
Tattooed Victim — Reskinned Chained Cambion – Level 10 Controller (500 XP)
Githyanki Revenant Assassin — Reskinned Thrax – Level 11 Lurker (600 XP)
“Tattoo Artist Ravener” — Salt Golem – Level 11 Elite Brute (1200 XP)
Demonic Advisor — Reskinned Nganga – Level 11 Artillery (600 XP)
None (minus a bit of aesthetic illusion which required an Insight Roll of DC 20 (when inside the table’s radius) to spot and a move action to smash)
This was a fight that I knew going in was more challenging than its XP total. Dretches hit hard and have a fairly potent aura that, if you don’t controller-kill them early, make life around them painful. Belfour took a good 60 hps of damage in the first round from their attacks alone. The Salt Golem in conjunction with the control from the Chained Cambion’s aura can tighten up a battlefield and there was a lot of initial difficulty declumping. The “Advisor” went down first which was good as its curse effect on Belfour was really going to prove damaging over the course of the fight. These mobs are mostly from Dark Sun and the challenge level associated with them shows. Again, in both of these fights, I tried to stay low on status effects and selected against too much daze or stun.