The Architects of Betrayal (TAB) 47: Who Ya Gonna Call?
Updated: Jul 20
As I'm sure the picture and the title have already made obvious, the group decided to play with the haunts again. But first comes the gratitude of the mayor for their part in his (and his family's) exoneration.
It manifested in a rather peculiar fashion; a bill. 50,000 GPs for the pain and suffering of his family, and the damage done to the community. The group agreed, but pointed out that they did not have such funds available. In the end they took out a loan. At a reasonable interest rate. 15% compounded quarterly . . . Or they could just avoid Neverwinter. I like that approach.
Anyways, after all of that nonsense they'd managed to work up their courage enough to delve back into the depths. And since Quagrim had purchased shiny new scrolls of Speak With Haunt you know what they were after.
They decided to start with the northern haunt first. You might recall this one as the ghost goblin mage. There was a slight argument over who should cast the spell. In the end they chose to have Golbat cast. Since it was a neutral haunt and good ole Globat was Neutral Good the haunt got no save.
/*DM's Note: Just before they cast the spell I warned the group that any question asked would be seen as a question from their characters to the haunt. Hey, its not my fault they didn't have the questions figured out in advance.*/
Q: What's holding you here?
A: The asshole casting the spells!
Q: How can we lay you to rest?
A: A break from all the counterspelling would be nice.
Q: (As Beth turned to Clint) Do you have polymorph?
A: He doesn't cast that.
What followed was a scathing rebuke of Beth for refusing to heed my warning. This despite the fact that the answer was significant.
Questions wasted, the group still wasn't sure what they were supposed to do. The answers had suggested that there was another individual involved in the events creating the haunt, but all they could see (due to the bend in the path they were taking) was the goblin firing into the archway.
In an attempt to see exactly what the gobin was casting at, Quagrim summoned two Invisible Stalkers and sent them to investigate. Unfortunately, he'd forgotten that haunts are triggered by proximity and don't care about piddling little things like invisibility. So as soon as the first stalker entered his agro range (roughly 50ft) the mage flipped around and cast Greater Shout in its direction. Fortunately, the group was far enough back to avoid the effect. One of the stalkers however, was not.
The other stalker made it to the other side where it witnessed a blurred figure just inside the archway. As each spell reached it the spell would die as if counterspelled. This was relayed by acoustic pulsation proliferated via aeriform suspension to the rest of the group.
Of course, one of the side effects of shouting one's observation in enemy territory is the arousing of interest of said denizens. As it turned out the drider inhabitants had been using the haunt as an early warning system for trespassers. The shouts from invisible forms drew their interest even more, though they seemed content to simply sit and watch. More on them later.
Meanwhile the gnome got it into his head to have his stalker minion attack the shadow figure blocking the spells. While none of his attacks actually did damage to the haunt they did disrupt the image momentarily. The only effect seemed to be that the image failed to counterspell the next magical attack. Most of the time this had no real effect. But some of the spells worked in a line, or cone.
One such spell was Tsunami. As the ghostly goblin cycled around to that particular spell the Tsunami washed the stalker away.
Meanwhile Globat had noted that the goblin was casting a specific set of spells in a pattern. He waited until the Tsunami had passed and stepped into agro range, taking a Polar Ray in the face for his trouble. As you will recall from the previous encounter with this haunt, Quagrim had discovered (the hard way) that if one took the full damage of one of the spells they could make a DC 26 will save to retain a portion of its power in the form of five charges. These charges could be used as an immediate action to enhance a spell, making it a higher level spell of the same descriptor. (For instance, casting Scorching Ray with one of these charges could turn it into a Sunburst) And no, they didn't get to keep the charges outside of the Haunt's influence. Yes, that was the first question I was asked.
Minerva was the one who realized that this allowed them to counterspell the spells the goblin was casting. Four successful counterspells later and the haunt was no more. Minerva and Globat gained an int point for figuring the haunt out.
Which still left the driders, who had now decided to investigate. Globat smugly declared "I got this" and cast a Prismatic Wall in the open gap. He then spent two more rounds to permanency it.
He was barely done before the adjacent wall formed into another arch (as Stone Shape). Quagrim immediately cast flame wall into the new gap. Immediately afterwards the flame wall was dispelled, and a drider charged through the opening.
Realizing the tactical disadvantages of entering into a wizard duel with an entire town the group teleported back to Neverwinter. I can't help but wonder what derailments await me upon their entry . . .