Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Winter Wolves and Surprise Elves

The most recent episode of CaptCprajus' D&D campaign saw the party traveling further north through desolate and game depleted territory. A large wolf pack was stalking them at a distance until hunger, and the urgings of their Winter Wolf leaders drove them to attack the party just miles from the elven city they sought.
The pack leader, a large snow white creature, moved into our path and stood snarling, daring us to come closer. His pack mates then began to close in from the sides and rear, revealing two other winter wolves and a dozen or so common wolves, all of them leaner than normal. 
Torul advised the party stay close together and move toward the pack leader so the other wolves could be drawn into a tighter formation to make the party capabilities, especially those of the wizard, more effective.
The fight began and Sophia shut off the right rear flank with a web spell trapping two enemies and redirecting the rest to the left side of the party.
Hungrier members of the starving pack rushed to the attack and were swiftly cut down by a combination of Roysen's Spirit Guardians prayer, lethal crossbow fire from Mulva, and Torul's sword.
When most of the pack were in a very tight formation Sophia unleashed her newest toy, a fireball spell, killing most of the pack and seriously damaging the remainder. Those in the web suffered even more damage due to the web igniting.
A few of the wolf pack ran off to lick their wounds and find less dangerous prey.

And that is when the Surprise Elves showed up, crossing between realities to partially surround the party. In the ensuing conversation they admitted to having observed our fight, but decided not to help us because we seemed to be doing fine on our own. Surprise! (Translated from elven - expend your powerful resources before we show up so we're less likely to get killed if we decide you aren't welcome on our snowy turf - foreigner.)

Would they have been more inclined to help if we were fighting a dragon? Somehow that seems unlikely.

Sophia revealed the artifact she carried and the surprise elves suddenly became much more welcoming. (Oh crap, they brought back our happy fun ball!) Surprise right back at you!

The party was led into the heart of the elven city and presented to their queen, to whom Sophia presented the magic Snow Flake of That's Right, We Recovered What You Lost.

The elves became sincerely friendlier now that they understood that the party were trustworthy despite being a foursome of murder hobos. In fact they became so much friendlier that they presented deli counter numbers 4 and 5 together.

You want us to what?

Ok, so we were very close to a portal that would get us back to the surface world and out of the Hollow World. But . . . there's always a catch.

It turns out that about 100 years ago, the elven garrison near the portal was attacked and driven off by a dragon which is believed to lair in the attached cave complex. Sometimes you just cannot choose your neighbors.

We were asked to investigate the ruins of the keep and see if it could be returned to elven control.
 Long story short (too late!), the party and a small detachment of elite surprise elves, went to the icy rift that the portal was hidden within to determine the situation. Mulva, invisible and very stealthy, crept close enough to Hailstorm Tower to witness and overhear some frost giants that now inhabit the ruins.

She saw a male and female embrace, obviously in love, and then saw another male come around a corner and start a discussion. Could there be an exploitable love triangle among some of the giant tribe? Would they be friendly enough to allow the party safe passage through the portal? Would a toll be charged? Had the giants killed, cowed, or allied with the dragon whose lair entrance was only 100 yards away?

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