Monday, 27 January 2020

The Cursed: A Previous Victory

[Part of the Cursed story line]

The team catch up to the reverend and he reveals himself to be the demon Belhifet! He explains the whole Kuldahar threat was simply a ruse to weaken Easthaven as it is here that he needs to open the portal to hell (not sure why he needed to wait till -now- to do that, guess he's an idiot). Unwilling to let him do that the squad rushes him and his remaining cronies for one last epic combat!

Providing ranged support, Reise is suddenly squished into a mist of fine blood by an iron golem who then proceeds to kick Iholikan around, severely wounding the elf. Meanwhile Belhifet hacks Wylfdene to pieces and then quarters Cristiana before finally being put down by Farcol and Sofie. His defeat also powers down the iron golem, and the threat is finally over!

I needed... a bigger... army...

Belhifet, being a demon, rematerializes in Avernus - upset at the loss of his Northern gambit. All his hopes now ride with his servant in the South... Hephernan. As for the three survivors, they are now trapped in a frozen town with no where to go till spring. Fortunately there is plenty of food in the form of cyclops meat. All they have to do is wait.

Insight: Belhifet wisely opens with a dispel so pop a bless and haste as your opening moves.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

The Cursed: Almost the Last Lieutenant

[Part of the Cursed story line]

The townsfolk of Kuldahar give the team a wide berth now that they've returned with Wylfdene in their number. They are glad the team doesn't stay long - just to rest and resupply before heading back to lower Dorn's deep to finish their mission.

Using the invisibility method proves most efficient as they find the last remaining mini-boss, an evil drow mage, and slaughter him without issue. With this, the stairs at the back of the temple are opened and the team faces off with the reverend - the main evil that wants to freeze the entire North.

With his disappointing cyclops army? Really?

They don't really wait to hear his monologue and instead attack as he summons a gang of monsters to his aid. Combat is cut short when they are all inexplicably teleported back to a frozen Easthaven though, now patrolled by Cyclopes. While the one eyed monsters are easily wiped out, their mirror-imaging lieutenant is a bit of a nuisance but Farcol works out the most logical way to defeat him:

Shoot all of him at the same time.

Insight: It sounds stupid but that is actually the solution to the mirror man. Using ranged attacks, everyone picks a different target and fires. Then it's up to the player to check the combat log to see which one didn't hit a "false" bad guy (lots of pausing). Once you know the real one, everyone focus fire and he'll drop pretty quick.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

The Cursed: Superior Numbers

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Angry at the previous detour, the party agrees to hunt down the spirit dragon to teach it a lesson - "That humans are superior and always have been." They sail with the barbarians to its base in the Sea of Moving Ice and then using invisibility simply walk past all the defenders until they reach the bottom floor - a sahaugin throne room.

Here they fight a literal army of fish men and Marchon gets overwhelmed and impaled by a hundred spears. The remaining five fight manage to clear the place and find the spirit dragon nearby - in physical form!

He also has a tornado breath which is interesting to dodge.

Summons are used heavily to keep it and the respawning sahaugin busy while the team arrows the beast down. The same method is used to destroy its soul stone. Thankfully, by this time, the barbarians had cleared the way out for the survivors and are very grateful for the assist.

Wylfdene's spirit, now back in his own corpse, has his own reward for them: by joining the party to help them end the threat in Kuldahar!

Insight: The dragon fight is a marathon. Stay at a distance and dodge the tornados. Goblin arrows (bought at Lonelywood and the desert castle) really helped here once my casters ran out of summons. Basically each arrow fired also summons a friendly goblin to help you - right at the target. They are great distractions!

Thursday, 23 January 2020

The Cursed: Luremoron

[Part of the Cursed story line]

A secret passage leads from the jelly well down into a massive cave system inhabited by demon summoning wolfweres. Stealthing doesn't work too well on the main floor so Cristiana and Reise summon up a small army of invisible stalkers and aerial servants to help them cleanse the place fully.

Luckily the lycanthropes had been working on a portal to escape the caves, so the team finishes it by collecting the required gems scattered around the lower caves of the area though Marchon almost dies to a dire bear of all things.

To be fair, the thing is massive.

Once the portal is repaired the team step through buffed and invisible - finding themselves right in the Luremaster's throne room. Ironically, the idiot also can't see invisible so with haste and first strike he is destroyed before he can summon any help. He leaves behind a magic ring that transports the party back to Lonelywood.

Insight: Invisibility is still handy when entering the sub-caves as all but one of them opens with an ambush. This way you get to position and strike first, preferably at the enemy casters.

The Cursed: Ghosting the Spirits

[Part of the Cursed story line]

While exploring the courtyard walls the team runs into the "Luremaster", the spirit boss of this place who has a penchant for riddles and tests. This eventually leads them down to a massive crypt, filled with undead and traps that warp party members to various locations alone. It is more irritating than it is dangerous, especially when its Cristiana that gets warped as her turn undead actually just destroys them outright now.

How the ability actually looks is open to interpretation.

Eventually they get inside the main keep, guarded by beholders and even more spirits. None of them can see invisible, except for the keep lord himself (interestingly, not the Luremaster) who is easily put down. They then waltz down to the dungeons which house numerous beasties. This time Iholikan solo stealths the place, stealing skull keys and using invis potions as required to let the team pass without combat.

Finally on the next floor waits the Luremaster, pissed at all the hiding the "heroes" are doing so he seals the gate behind them. He then floods the chamber with olive jellies. Luckily Reise's skull traps are very effective in clearing them out. Exasperated, the Luremaster just teleports away - hoping starvation will kill the team for him.

Insight: The revenants in the crypt are like trolls. You can down them with regular fighting but they need flame to be killed permanently.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

The Cursed: Chaos Court

[Part of the Cursed story line]

With Wyldfene's lies exposed, the barbarians begin fighting each other - basically the loyalist Wyrm tribe against all the others, including the six outsiders. Reise almost dies but once the Wyrmers are down the remaining barbarians call off the invasion and treat the adventurers as heroes - asking them to pursue the dragon spirit to the sea of moving ice and slay it there once and for all.

The team decide to think about it first and return to Lonelywood to sell loot - only to deal with an assassin (and a bunch of mercs taken out by the wizard innkeep). Unfortunately a halfling agent manages to kidnap them using his magic ring, taking them far away to a castle courtyard in the Aranaoch desert!

Invisibility is handy!

After an initial ambush from harpies and wyverns, Reise decides she's had enough of getting blindsided and so makes use of her new mass invisibility spell to quickly hide the party and scout the entire courtyard area avoiding more conflict.

Insight: Mass invisibility is not as good a singular invisibility. The duration is shorter and monsters can sometimes still "sense" you and follow you around. The only upside is that it's more convenient to cast.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

The Cursed: Gloomfrost Reflection

[Part of the Cursed story line]

The Gloomfrost happens to be the top of a really tall mountain and after the team deal with some polar bears, frost salamanders and yetis use hastened invisibility once more to reach the cave at the summit. This cave is mainly home to remorhaz and ice golems - none of which see the party run past.

Upon finding the seer and requesting for help, she simply gives them a plain mirror and tells them to show it to Wyldfene. Marchon is a bit pissed at this ("we traveled all this way for a mirror!?"), but fortunately the seer also teleports them back down the mountain afterwards.

Maybe it's one of these future tech mirrors?

As instructed, the six adventurers then return to the barbarian camp and are once more granted an audience with King Wyldfene, who is more interested in just executing them on the spot this time. However when shown his own reflection, the spirit dragon inhabiting Wyldfene goes berserk and flees - leaving the corpse of the barbarian leader to collapse in a heap.

Insight: There are traps on the second level of the Gloomfrost, but triggering them won't break invisibility so you can just alternate leads to tank the damage.