Fourteen: The scarred human fighter.
Garret: The crafty hafling rogue.
Kharis Sinsinger: The clever tiefling wizard.
Taliesin Pen Beirdd: The persuasive hengeyokai bard.
Our heroes have gathered in the tent city that lies outside of Tribute’s Ox Gate, where the Iron Road leads into the city from the north. Their group is approached by Ceren Dorok, the resident dragonborn trademistress, and her minders. Ceren offers the group a job. One of Ceren’s caravans vanished around two days out from the city: they never reached the Last Stand Inn, the last stop on the Iron Road before Tribute. The caravan was carrying a small rosewood box – she want’s the box recovered, unopened, and will pay 100gp a head for this service.
Taliesin and Garret use their street smarts to ask around for clues about the responsible party. Garret has no luck, but Taliesin overhears some seedy folk in a tavern muttering about a recently established bandit leader named Sarissa, who was apparently once in the employ of Ceren, as well as some clues as to the location of their hideout. Meanwhile, Kharis procures a map (the cartographer gives her a discount for a promise of a future favour). The map shows the likely route to the bandit hideout, as well as a keep on the approach to the inn that catches Kharis’ attention.
The party set off for the Last Stand Inn. On the way, they pass the keep marked on Kharis’ map: from their historical studies, Taliesin and Kharis remember that it once belonged to the dragonborn empire of Arkoshia, and that it is rumoured that the final stand against the tiefling empire of Bael Turath took place here, with the Arkoshians unleashed some bound Primordial power to the eventual ruin of both sides.
At the inn, Kahris and Taliesin enter. Fourteen looms outside, whilst Garret, with a professional aversion to front doors, opts to head in through the kitchen. He encounters the cook, and manages to persuade them he is here with their latest beer delivery. He has to spend the rest of the evening hiding from her. In the front room, Kharis spots some patrons gambling with rather more gold than would be expected: clearly someone has been spreading money around here. Taliesin approaches the gamblers, and persuades one of them to introduce him to ‘Kell’, one of Sarissa’s men who regularly visits the inn to fence goods and buy supplies for the bandits.
Early in the morning, Kell arrives for his scheduled meeting with his contact at the inn. Garret watches from the window while Taliesin goes to speak to him. Kell is distrustful of Taliesin declaration that he wants to join their group, but suggests that he might have some work in a couple of days, and Taliesin should wait at the inn for word.
When Kell leaves, Garret slips out on the inn’s window and tails him back to the bandit’s encampment, a cave situated next to a stream. He spots eight or so figures lurking around the cave, and he hears some muffled shouts or cries coming from within.
After Garret returns, the party head off to engage the bandits, finding six of them gathered around a campfire eating breakfast. Moving stealthily, they encircle the group before attacking. Kharis opens the fight by casting a Sleep spell into the largest concentration of bandits, knocking two unconscious and slowing the rest.
Between the spell and their flanking, they take the group out relatively easily. Garret engages the bandit’s archers, Fourteen draws the attacks of the majority of the foes, Taliesin draws off Sarissa and keeps the group healed, and Kharis clears out the minions with AoE attacks. Eventually, only Sarissa and one archer are left. The archer flees towards the cave while Sarissa surrenders.
The sound of clanking chains and bellowing comes from the cave. Sensing something amiss, Kharis uses Ghost Sounds to mimic Sarissa’s voice while Fourteen restrains Sarissa herself, luring out the archer then plugging him with a magic missile.
The group questions Sarissa. She makes it clear she robbed the caravan under orders from someone, but refuses to speak of her employer, even on pain of death (“There are worse things than death.”). She also reveals that there is some creature chained up in the cave itself. After debating whether to kill her, the group tie her up, and bring her with them into the cave.
Inside the cave, the group find the general supplies and equipment of the bandits. In the back chamber are two chests: a large travelling chest and a small, silver-inlaid rosewood box. The is also a colossal figure chained to the wall. It might once have been a man, but it has been transformed into something else. Glowing runes mark its skin, and the air around it is filled with unearthly cold. When it speaks, it is in a language none of the group recognise, and the syllables are almost painful to hear. A strange symbol has been branded into its forehead.
Garret spots a magical trap on the rosewood box that will free the creature if the box is moved or opened. It looks tricky, but he disarms it with a thievery check. The group also remove the larger chest (which is not trapped): after picking the lock, the group find a suit of magical armour (Razor Scale +1), and a gold bar worth 100gp.
Rules clarifications from the session:
1) Due to some sort of brain fart, I forgot, after totaling up the XP, to then divide it among the party members rather than giving everyone that amount. I’ll let the 1400 each from the first session stand, as level two gives you some totally sweet utility powers, but in the future, assuming a similar rate of XP gain, it should shake out at roughly a level up every three sessions.
2) As it came up in the game, I’ve double checked, and can confirm that rising from prone does not provoke attacks of opportunity. In 4e, opportunity attacks only come from A) voluntary movement away from a melee opponent or B) using a range power without the ‘Close’ keyword when in melee with an opponent (or if a specific power specifies otherwise). This does however bring me to…
3) Forced movement (such as the push from Thunderwave) does not provoke opportunity attacks – I got this wrong during the session. James’ Blunder power is an explicit exception to this rule.