Monday, February 22nd, with the Ar-a-mach’s last spasms of effort to awaken Luath Draoidh defeated, Citadel House turns its attention to the old elven college where they have learned a powerful lich is in control.
- Rovert (TrS): Level 14 Human Necromancer
- Sidriss, Level 5 Black Dragon-Infused Lizardfolk Monk Henchman
- Drej, Level 5 Psuedodragon Familiar
- Elf-eater Skeleton
- Zengiff, Talking Rock
- Conan (MiM): Level 9 Elf Vampire Magic-user (Fire/Wind/Death)
- Scar, Level 6 Hawk Familiar
- Stephen (EnS): Level 6 Human Thief
- Animus, Level 1 Hawk Companion
- Earl (WaB): Level 4/3 Human Fighter/Tinker
They decide to take the road to Rathad Oidhche and then follow the Great Road, to avoid looking like they are sneaking through orc territory, since they feel no need to check in at the blight along the way and with good roads the long way is just as fast. Tuesday night, they make camp off the north side of the Great Road a little west of Rathad Oidhche. During Stephen’s watch, an explosion splits the night as a small projectile punches through the protective crystal dome created by their tent, deflecting to barely miss Stephen.
As the party awakes and moves toward the sound of continuing explosions, Conan is nearly killed by a critical shot through the dome. With Conan in bat form, Stephen and Sidriss sneaking, and Earl keeping to the tent, the fire turns onto Rovert who takes several shots as he moves toward the enemy, eventually stopping to heal himself.
Once in position, Stephen shoots a crossbow bolt into the sniper’s general area to draw his attention. This forces him out of position and soon Sidriss and Conan ambush him while Stephen hides.
He is a gnomish hitman, presumably hired by the Ar-a-mach, though he doesn’t know his client. They take his guns (a musket and two pistols) as well as the first half of his bounty for the job, but during the interrogation they take a liking to him and let him keep his sending crystal, with which he can communicate with Stephen who also has one. He is grateful for his life, but mentions that without his guns he will need to find some honest work for a while. This spurs Earl to offer him a job selling his red pointy hats he has been prototyping among the gnomes. Glic Lorgoir accepts the three sample hats despite misgivings that his contacts won’t be among the well-to-do customers interested in such hats. They urge him not to use blackmail to sell the hats among the aristocracy and see him on his way, having turned an enemy into a friend.
In the morning, they make their way up the road to the college. They spend the afternoon preparing a raft and slay a couple of ogres during the night (Rovert makes quick work of them and animates their skeletons). Thursday morning, they use Conan’s floating carpet to tow the raft with the ogre skeletons across the lake to the college.
Once there, they send their familiars to survey the college and make their way toward a metal dome at the top of a hill, hoping for a good view. (This is the observatory, my notes on it say “Oh boy, keep them away from here.”) As they approach, a massive, 25 foot tall undead rounds the dome. They try to hide from it, but as it comes closer it spots them and attacks.
The undead giant, stuffed with zombies (thank you Creature Codex) is a formidable fight for them, but Rovert almost finishes it by stopping time with his pocket watch. It goes on to knock Conan out cold (he took exact lethal damage, but since healing is continuous, presumably he had 0.001 HP recovered from the previous hit). It or the zombies it was hemorrhaging might have finished Conan off, but Stephen finishes it off with a critical sneak strike crossbow shot and the zombies join others attacking Rovert as Sidriss beats them down.
Having finally reached his sniper position on the rim of the dome (WaB always seems to expect people to reposition during fights rather than just attack), Earl sees reinforcements coming, led by the Grim Jester who attacked the prison. He descends again and he and Stephen grab Conan to carry him toward the dock (Sidriss is flying away with the time-frozen Stephen). When they reach the dock, Rovert sends Sidriss back for Conan and they are soon all aboard the flying carpet to flee as skeletons come down the road toward them, rays from the cathedral door blasting some of them as they pass.
Once back at the great road, they decide to withdraw back to Citadel, all but Rovert and his companions who linger at the college for the next session. They divide the loot (letting Earl keep all the firearms with the promise he will study and reproduce them) and head back.
The college is a death trap. They’ve been careful so far not to go in too recklessly and mostly fought things on the edge, but this was a close call for Conan.