Session Date: Friday 23 October. Character level: 17. Continued from previous session.
[This journal entry contains significant spoilers about the final sections of the Rise of the Runelords adventure path.]
Faced with the huge lamia matriarch, the heroes immediately set about killing the giants and smaller lamias guarding her. Most High Ceoptra turned out to be a formidable foe indeed, protecting herself with a wall of blades and healing herself and her allies. However, the heroes had not one, but two planetars on their side now, and victory was all but inevitable.
Once the lamias had been dealt with, the heroes had time to examine the massive golden sphere dominating the room. They climbed the ramp leading to the top of the sphere, and activated it. They found themselves transported into a small area – a platform high above a sea of lava. In this chamber was none other than the Runelord of Greed himself, seated upon a massive golden throne. He was accompanied by a blue dragon, a rune giant and two storm giants.
While the heroes busied themselves with Karzoug’s minions, he cast powerful spells upon himself, protecting himself behind a wall of force and transforming into an enormous blue dragon. Ciaran reversed the gravity in the area, taking the rune giant out of the early part of the fight.
The wall of force turned out to be Karzoug’s undoing – he and his draconic ally were separated from the fight while the heroes killed the other minions. Karzoug was still a terrifying enemy, but once surrounded, he didn’t last very long against the combined might of Nu, Cecil, Nova, Radha and Ciaran. However, Snappy (Ciaran’s familiar) struck what was perhaps the fatal blow to Karzoug: Hiding on Nu’s back, Snappy waited until he was close enough to Karzoug to cast irresistible dance, which meant the runelord was forced to waste an entire round dancing (in case you were wondering, this is the song he danced to).
With Karzoug defeated, the runewell exploded in a burst of bright light, healing everyone, including Karzoug’s minions. However, they surrendered immediately when they saw the battle was lost. The heroes let them return to Xin-Shalast, and returned themselves as the Eye of Avarice began to disintegrate around them.
Destroying Karzoug also brought down the field preventing teleportation effects from working in the area, meaning the heroes could return home instantly.
They parted ways with the planetars, who had fulfilled their duties. Nanali returned to her tribe, and became the most powerful Shoanti shaman that they had seen in many years. With her strong alliance with the masters of Jorgenfist, Nanali’s tribe went a long way towards bringing the Shoanti tribes together. Ciaran continued to rule Jorgenfist, taking it from a fledgling settlement to a notable town where scholars visited regularly to access the great library. Cecil began searching for a way to regain his original elf body, aided by Ciaran on this epic quest. Nu moved on, as his fame had caught the attention of the monks tracking him. Radha became a renowned chef (and spy), and travellers came from far and wide to try her recipes.
[GM Note: This final encounter taught me some important things: walls of force need to be very well placed to be effective! Also, I completely forgot that rune giants shouldn’t be affected by reverse gravity, which made the encounter a teensy bit easier than intended. Snappy’s irresistible dance definitely stole the show. Needless to say, we had an absolute blast and it was a fitting end to the campaign.]