September 26, 2011

Level 20 Achievement Unlocked!

When last we left The Grey Hand...
They had been following a fire salamander and its trail of embers led them to a set of double doors. However, these were no ordinary double doors. After looking carefully at the oddly moving bas relief, they realized that it had been infused with a bevy of tormented souls. Not very nice. Inadia called upon her god, the Raven Queen, to quiet the suffering of these abused souls and her god answered by bestowing a blessing upon the bas relief that eased the souls and caused them to no longer hunger after the lifeblood of the living.

Ever cautious, Vealkarion put his ear to the door and listened for sounds within. The occupants within were arguing with each other about administrative dungeon handling and why it had been the suck lately. There was no mention whatsoever of The Grey Hand. Thus insulted, they gave Kalavich leave to kick open the double doors, so they could give them what for.
Inside the room was a fire throne where a diminutive fire demon was animatedly chewing out one of his subordinates. When The Grey Hand barges in, he states his name as Sinder the Inferno and throws in an insult for good measure. He then Hulks up, and his signature move is revealed to be spewing magma from his body to grab his victims from 20 feet away and slowly roasting them next to his hot, hot body.

The fire Salamander Assassin was also in the room, along with two bat-like monsters with a pennant for doing large bursts of fire that caused victims to feel weakened.

The Grey Hand, well rested and raring to go, rolled up their figurative sleeves and got down to business. Which is, of course, the dismemberment and looting of uppity monsters.

Well-placed AOEs from Inadia made short work of the minion baddies and Malak's shouts of encouragement and tactical orders allowed everyone to not only be more determined to wipe the floor with their enemies' faces but draw from some unknown source of strength to deal yet another blow. Vealkarion, in particular, let loose a flurry of arrows so quickly and so densely that the ground ran red from the monsters' wounds. Kalavich separated early on in battle from the rest of The Grey Hand, but stalwartly held his position in the corner. Ctharyan, under the shadow that is ever present but cannot be seen by those of lesser skills, flitted from one side of the room to the other, though not always of his own will, striking his unsuspecting foes. The pool of his own blood was difficult to hide at times, but what he lost of his own blood, he made up for tenfold in the blood of others.

The glowing motes from an earlier scuffle appeared through the walls when the ground was thoroughly soaked and bodies littered the area. The combination of The Grey Hand's valor and bloodlust, and the unforgiving glowing motes caused the last few monsters' blood to run cold (tough to accomplish since most of them were fire-based) and they turned tail like the cowards they were, but not before one of the glowing motes claimed one for itself.
We are now lvl 20! This battle in particular really brought to light just how many different status and bonus effects we all do now. No longer is it just simply immobilizing and dazing enemies, but a whole slew of other stuff that is really really hard to keep track of. Zach wasn't at this encounter, but A played Zach's character for him and everyone kept on feeling like we were just not rolling enough dice :). I feel like we should have spent more time in the beginning doing monster knowledge checks because it wasn't until the middle-ish of the encounter when we all realized that the fire demon, Sinder, was undead and thus it was time to pull out all of our radiant powers. And even though I remembered in the beginning that my skull does 2d6 extra to demons, I forgot for the rest of the encounter.

It was a good "let's see how we can fuck up this room full of monsters and not die ourselves" encounter and it was even a little iffy there for a bit when a few of us were bloodied. My character only survived without needing a heal because of her skull which grants +10 resist to necro and fire. Which came very much in handy. Oh god one round lasts so long now. We had more monsters than usual and since we have a party of five, you have lots of time to think about what you want to do, but more often than not, by the time it gets around to you, the battlefield has changed so much that your original plan no longer works. But we did get through several rounds, enough for me to have used up all of my normal encounter powers, though P's Victory Surge really sped things up. It was like we were rolling along really well in the beginning but then lost steam after everyone had used up their encounter powers. Or maybe that's just me and I should pick different At-Will powers...again.