So it was session #4 in Chris's (The Clash of Spear on Shield) Ephemera setting on Monday night. We had three player characters, all first level magic-users armed with charm or sleep. We also had a few henchmen plus a couple of charmed "friends" that we had picked up along the way. Here is Darius the Handsome's version of the Monday night's adventures:
Having rescued the lost Ryan and saved the village of Alden from the scourge of a small but hungry minotaur, we decided to head north to Tarn. We had been told by Lana, the huntress of Alden that we might find more information about a prophecy, mysterious map and an even more mysterious magical gem that had come our way.
So off we went to Tarn, a slightly larger small village. The travel was uneventful until we were within a day's walk. At dawn, while the mists were still rising from the plains, we spied a young man running towards us at full tilt. Actually, we heard him first, his feet pounding on the ground and his breath coming in ragged desperate gasps.
He was running on a tangent to us and would have passed us by. We couldn't see anything behind him...nothing was chasing him, at least that we could see. We stopped him but he was in full panic mode, so I cast a charm his way.
We learned that the king of Tarn had fallen under the influence of dark dwarves...similar dark dwarves had played a nefarious role in the minotaur affair. Older children will being selected from the population of Tarn, escorted out of Tarn, and not seen from again.
As to intervening, there was no debate. Children being hauled away? Bad. Bad. Bad. The only question before us was "How?" How could we save these kiddoes?
Rather than enter Tarn and find ourselves outnumbered, we decided to work our way around the town and then continue north. Sam, our young charmed friend from Tarn, had informed us that the dwarves were taking the kids north from town and then returning without them. We opted to lay in wait to the north and then follow a group of dwarves as they traveled away from Tarn with their young captives.
We found a good hiding spot, north of Tarn, where we could see the dwarves crossing a river. We would start trailing them once they had traversed the ford near our hideout.
We didn't wait long. Four dwarves with a flock of children crossed the river. We were able to follow them through the tall grass of the plains without being noticed. The weather held for a few days but then the clouds betrayed us. As it began to rain, the tall grass bent under the added weight of the fallen rain.
We decided to act before we were noticed. Egbert cast a sleep spell, taking out the four dwarves. We tied them up and arranged to have Sam lead the children to a safe hiding spot in the woods to the west. I kicked one of the dwarves to awaken him and then charmed the pants off of him. Well, I charmed him but let him keep his breeches.
This dwarf, named Bob, gave us directions to a temple-like place a day's journey further north. We led him away and then dispatched the remaining three dwarves.
Bob led us to a massive stepped pyramid. It was unguarded so we entered. Bob was less useful as a guide, once we were in the pyramid as he had spent little time inside it.
We made quick work of these weird animated robes, but were deterred by a room with four skeletons. First level wizarding types tossing out sleep and charm spells pose little threat to the undead. After exploring a bit further, we found a room with cushions along the walls and a single human bone on each cushion. I noticed some small vents or pipes in the walls and found traces of sulfur and oil. Concern that this could be a trap, we hightailed it out of there.
We had to take on the skeletons. Using our henchmen and charmed friends, we were able to destroy the skeletons, fighting them piecemeal rather than all at once.
Our session ended here for the night.