When I write up scenarios to happen in the "future" of the game, I don't try to pigeon hole them into the lulls or gaps in the action - instead making them occur when they would. Life isn't scripted and sometimes there are times when we are bombarded with things one after another - the same goes for the characters.
I had made sure that they knew about the Moon Portal MONTHS ago (in game) and the limitations of it (7 minutes, up to 7 miles away, during the start of the full moon) - so there was no gapping in time I could have fudged. In the game world I use, I made the moon's cycle 30 days, the same time as the calender - 12 months, 360 days total year. So the Full Moon occurs every month at midnight on the 1st day of the month.
And we were waiting for the group to be together - Coruth'tae training in Cymbarton, 3 days away solid by fast moving caravan - he wrapped up his training on the 26th, left on the morning of the 27th - and got back to Orihalcus on the 30th at 2 in the afternoon. And when the math worked out I was laughing inside because they were talking about going to "take care of that damned troll once and for all" on the following morning - and I knew the troll was going to raid the town at midnight of the 1st!
So they faced T'Nagrath the Forest Troll - clad in their underwear and each person sporting 2 items only. And they thought he was just showing up to harvest living meat and rain havoc - but when he was bee-lining for THEIR house and they realized that he was being led - they all freaked out, knowing it was for the charm they took from the tower. And they did all they could to slow him down - 7 minutes was a hard line in time that the troll could not cross. Killing him would have been nice, but without armor or proper preparation - they were willing to settle for "seriously impede". And that they did.
Write up follows:
Karis went home to break the news to the kobold women after taking a brief detour to the stables to get the cart and two ponies ready. The other two members went off to the Blue and Dancing Minepick Inn to meet with Fabambus and better explain themselves to the gnome and learn about him and his skillset and abilities.
The kobolds were upset and didn’t want to go. Karis explained to them the order of command and the difficult position that they and their actions have put him and the rest of the Sundered Chains in. There was sadness and Ilva admitted that she didn’t want to be the cause of trouble. Eventual acceptance was achieved and they packed up their belongings getting themselves ready to go. Karis informed them that they would be staying with Lord Daernhorse and to treat him with what respect that they would the party. He told them they would be safe and with the bounty being established here, return to Orihalcus would be deadly for them.
He went with them to the stablery and with both his own letter to Lord Daernhorse and Sir Walter’s, there was some hugs goodbye and the three women left. From there, he went off to the Blue and Dancing Minepick to meet up with the rest of the party.
Detheron and Gwyn were sitting with Fabambus Rattletrap, the loquacious gnome waxing long and interestingly about his skills, the past adventuring party he had, some of the things he had done, artifacts recovered, and his wife Willamina. His former group had disbanded over 2 years ago and he has been home during that time – but the desire to further his own research on some magical theorem had him strapping back on his backpack and looking for a group searching for skilled help.
He spoke of Coruth’tae and the two of them and their similar yet decidedly different skills – and that the grey elf would not be long behind him supposedly wrapping up a few loose ends. Detheron was not…rude…this time, but he was definitely at odds with the gnome, unsure of what to make of the strange little fellow. Gwyn liked him. And then Karis came and the interview continued, with the half-ogre giving the green light and thumbs up.
The party talked about Dargan’s Folly and their soon to be eventual return, but for now they were going to be planning a trip to Fengarth’s Tower to take care of T’Nagrath the Forest Troll once and for all, and would do it after Coruth’tae came home. There were some purchases made around town and some restocking of supplies with repairs made to weaponry and armor where needed.
As for Coruth’tae, he had sold one of the jewelry pieces (the bracelet), but when faced with the prospect of selling the sapphire ring, he was told that it was a part of a set – as dwarven rings like this are made in matched pairs. He was offered 1250 for the one ring, but if he had the 2nd one, the jeweler would be willing to go so far as over 3000 crowns for the matched set. Coruth’tae knew the 2nd ring was magical, the dweomercraft upon it according to the guild diviners was one of protection and bolstering (+1 to AC and all saves) but to sell the matched set to the jeweler (who wouldn’t care about the enchantment – looking at it as ancillary) might not be in the party’s best interest. So he didn’t sell it, waiting to get back to the group and asking them their opinion on the matter.
As for the last 2 days he had in town, he spent it gambling. And when all was said and done, the house had taken the fine grey elf for almost 60 crowns. At least he tried!
It was almost 4 days by caravan before he arrived home, raining and soggy cold Spiritmonth the 30th about 2 in the afternoon. Money was returned to the group, split up, and a discussion followed concerning the magical ring and possibly selling it or keeping it and not getting the mark up value for the matched set. Coruth’tae was looking to keep it himself and Detheron donated it to him, but then a verbal altercation followed on the cost for getting the ring identified and who should pay for it and then cost of healing and before you knew it, druid and illusionist were bickering. It ended eventually but because the half-ogre more or less said to end it – not because it was resolved.
We talked about going to go to Fengarth’s Tower and we have an ace in the hole – Blessed bolt of Thor! The Forest troll needs to be slain by lightning – and what better? We were going to get a good night’s sleep and then visit Sir Walter and ask for dispensation to go and visit the tower and take care of the troll threat. We went to the Blue and Dancing Minepick and ate (already missing the kobold women and their skill at cooking and keeping the house in good repair), bid Fabambus good night and went home to sleep.
At the stroke of midnight, when the moon was at its fullest, a shaft of radiant moonlight struck town square and with a horrible blast and concussion of expanding air, T’Nagrath the troll portalled in with a roar of glee and shouts of joy. The militia on duty began crying “Troll! Troll! Too arms!!!” Crossbows clattered and pikes and spears were pressed but the 11’ tall beast turned aside what blows he could and hacked off arms from two of those arrayed against him.
With the alarm bells clanging the group awoke and hearing the not too distant sounds of battle, cries of “troll!” and T’Nagrath’s distinctive laugh, they ran for the door wearing only undergarments – a cold rain falling. Gwyn grabbed his crossbow and quiver of bolts, Detheron took Heimdall’s Bulwark and his holy symbol, Coruth’tae his spell component pouch and wand, and Karis his shield and sword. Fabambus, staying elsewhere opted to merely look out the window. J
The party hit the streets running, Coruth’tae and Detheron realizing that the troll must be using the Moon Portal as spoken about by Adeptus Bjorn. It will open a single portal up to 7 miles distance for a period of 7 minutes at the height of the full moon at the end of which time it will bring whoever went through it back with whatever they are carrying/holding. And the clock was already passing.
T’Nagrath was holding a darkwood staff and slammed the butt of it into the ground, launching a fireball from the end of it to crack under the feet of a 3 count of guards, immolating 2 of them and blasting the third skyward. More crossbows fired and hit the troll, its amazing regenerative powers keeping it moving and relatively unscathed. The group fanned out, Karis taking point as we threw AC to the wind and tried to close with the running troll – the same troll running in the dark street in our direction, the staff it was holding seeming to pull it forward.
A guard tried to intercept but T’Nagrath tore at the screaming man, ripping his arm free and laughing aloud. More missile weapon fired and screams for the Sheriff was growing. Townsfolk were huddling behind shutters and other guards were charging up the street from the main gates. And then we were there. Karis ran to intercept but the troll whistled past, slamming at his out stretched arm and ripping the underside of it wide open. And then it was past, the staff definitely pulling it along.
Detheron struggled to heal Karis and Coruth’tae summoned the illusion of a spinning saw blade again – the same one that felled the troll last time. T’Nagrath didn’t recognize the party seemingly during all this until that blade appeared than it roared “YOU!” and detoured in the grey elf’s direction. Karis slammed his weapon at the troll’s back, slowing it down and Gwyn used some of the magical impacting bolts we had to slow the troll down and knock him to his knees.
Snarling in anger, T’Nagrath forced himself to his feet and charged on PAST the group, angling for…their HOUSE!! He was racing with the staff before him – bent on reaching something. Detheron was worried that he was planning on blowing it up so he “quenched” the staff – and Coruth’tae who had seen the staff real up close announced it was a staff of power, capable of hurling fireballs and other spells – but can also be used to focus location spells.
The troll was “homing” in on the charm we had taken from it the last time we faced it – the same charm that was at our house and in Coruth’tae’s room. Crap. Hoping to stop the troll, Coruth’tae ran at it as fast as possible and using his own body, dove between the troll’s legs and tried to trip it! He was kicked and stomped on and although the troll didn’t fall, it was slowed and lost more precious time – time it NEEDED to get its goal!
Detheron caused a sleet storm to appear just in front of T’Nagrath between it and our house – a 40’ wide storm of driving freezing ice and rain. The troll was cursing and we assume it fell but could not see it in the swirling storm. Karis snarled and ran in and Gwyn charged closer. We guessed time was almost up – maybe 2 minutes left. And from the sounds it was inside our house now. Karis made a decision – running along the side of the storm he charged the side window and shield held in front of him leapt through the window, shattering the closed shutters and falling to the floor. The troll was just on the inside of the door and racing for the stairs.
Gwyn followed Karis’ charge and came through in better shape, seeing T’Nagrath making his way up the bottom stairs and making a real fast decision.
In our own home, he loaded up a Blessed Bolt of Thor, took aim at the troll 25’ feet away, and fired.
The power build echoed behind him and sparks shot down his arm, into the crossbow, blowing it to splinters and a blast of lighting screamed away – burning T’Nagrath’s legs to charred ruin as he LEAPT up the stairs to avoid a direct hit (made his save). The stroke of lightning tore through the stairs disintegrating the bottom 4, scored across the floor, consumed two of the main support beams, burned and set the house interior on fire, blew through the wall, across the space to the next home, arced throughout the home slaying all the people who lived there (3 adults, 4 children), slammed through the opposite wall and into a third home where it arced along killing most of those who lived there (6 adults, 3 children) before the roaring stroke of god-borne lightning came to an end.
T’Nagrath was mortally wounded and was not going to make his goal. He pointed his staff at the dwarf and half-ogre and tried to fireball them, but nothing happened! The fireball effects had been quenched! So angry it instead switched to lightning bolt and it arced out – hitting the dwarf glancingly but striking the half-ogre dead on – tossing Karis back OUT the window and into the alleyway!
Coruth’tae had dared to run through the sleet storm and saw the burning devastation in the house and the troll on the second floor. He screamed to Gwyn to “Stop him! Get the staff!!” With the clock running down to seconds Gwyn pulled out a single sharp edged crossbow bolt and ran for the crumbling stairs. He LEAPT! Clearing the missing bottom 4 and scrambled up the collapsing others fast as possible and then tackled the troll, one hand on the staff and pulling while his right hand slashed down at the braided cord wrapped around the staff and the troll’s wrist.
And he failed to cut it!
T’Nagrath became illuminated in some radiant moon light and grabbed the dwarf by the shoulder, growling, “I didn’t get my charm, but at least I’ll get a consolation prize!” And as the Moon Portal began to teleport the troll back to Fengarth’s Tower, Gwyn felt himself being taken along! He pulled and yanked and slashed with the crossbow bolt and broke free just before T’Nagrath “jumped” away with a bellowing cry of frustration.
Detheron used a fast Quench spell on our house, deadening the flames that were eating it, but the rest of the town had gathered together a bucket brigade to help try and put out the other two homes, Fabambus adding his own efforts to it.
And that’s where this game ended! At 12:08 PM on Deathmonth the 1st – 1 minute after T’Nagrath Moon Portalled away.