Seekers of the Ashen Crown week 22: Lestok loses his marbles

As the party fled the moon pool, Zaranni’s Solitaire hot in hand, Jak and Quentin were on Lestok’s heels as Kayde and Aruget moved to catch up.  While Kayde had no problem running, Aruget held true to his blademark oaths by lingering behind to make sure everyone else made it to safety.  Quickly surrounded by a couple of dolgrim and their ilithid masters, he cut down one of them as the others gained some distance, scurrying up the walls and across the ceiling of the cavern thanks to Lestok’s C.L.I.M.B. gunk that he’d smeared on their boots beforehand.  Satisfied that they had a good lead on the creatures, he slowly began making his own escape.

However, the daelkyr were tenacious  As Aruget ran, they paced him, with one of the the ilithid unleashing a fearful mind blast on the paladin, causing him to black out momentarily before he regained his senses and cut down another dolgrim, wounding one of the ilithids in the process as as he did, it disappeared into thin air, revealing itself to be no more than an illusion.  Aruget caught up with Quentin and Lestok with a renewed sense of hope.  At the head of the group, Jak and Kayde kept pace with each other, with Jak regularly yelling encouragement back to Lestok – with his newfound care for the gnome, he was damned if he was going to see him fall behind in this miserable place.

The ilithid, however, was not deterred by being wounded nor by the fact that Aruget now saw through its deception.  As Aruget, Quentin, and Lestok moved forward, it kept pace with them.  While Quentin cut down more of its minions with a flash of lightning from his fingers, Lestok took advantage of the greatest weapon in a gnome’s arsenal: an idea.  Hanging upside-down on the cavern ceiling, he dug into his pockets and pack and pulled out some of his trusty string, his bent fork, and a bag of marbles.  Tying some string around the bag in a clever way, he rigged it to the ceiling, leaving one end in his hand, and called forth to the ilithid to come and get it!  For within this bag was the very thing they had stolen from him!  Lestok’s command of the daelkyr language was enough to convince the desperate monster that the Solitaire was within his reach.  As Aruget hesitated, confused but trusting Lestok, the ilithid rushed forward to grab the bag, which promptly burst open, spilling marbles all over the floor.  It lost its footing and went down in a mess of small, round glass, leaving Aruget the opening he needed to decisively chop its head off.

With their master dead, many of the daelkyr fled.  With the most pressing danger gone, the party continued their flight.  Kayde was the first to escape the caves, leaving Jak in a quandary: to pursue his best friend, or make sure Lestok made it out okay.  Seeing Lestok behind him and alone, Jak decided to stay in the caves a while longer until he was convinced that Lestok would be safe.  He yelled at him to keep moving, seeing that the gnome had stopped, for Lestok had one last trick up his sleeve for the remaining daelkyr who continued to chase them: an illusion of a goblin shield wall blocking off the tunnels.  As he cast his illusion, Aruget caught up with him, and Jak, satisfied that Lestok would be safe under Aruget’s care, went after Kayde.  As the rest of the party followed, the whole group found themselves faced with something they hadn’t felt in a long time: fresh air.  They called Yeraa, whose group was already safely on the surface, and agreed to meet her at the cave entrance.  As they walked, a combination of adrenaline, weariness, and guilt at leaving the dwarf behind swirled through the party…but all Lestok could think about was unlocking the secrets of Zaraani’s Solitaire.

Behind the Scenes

  • Question of the week: Where were you when the Mourning happened, and what was your reaction to hearing about it? For those unfamiliar with Eberron, the Mourning is the name of a mysterious, cataclysmic event that transformed the once prosperous nation of Cyre into a dead, twisted land, leading to a grudging end of the Last War.
  • Yes, this entire three-hour session was run as a Chase. And it was AMAZING. 10/10, would run for my life again.
  • We ran the DM out of bennies trying to keep his ilithid alive! 😀
  • Support rolls were king, and our only crit fail of the evening was one that didn’t matter. Should we always be so lucky…
  • Kayde and Quentin almost got brained…if not for the timely use of Kayde’s “Not Today!” adventure card that defaulted the ilithid’s attack to a failure. Phew!

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