Arcane Game Lore

Never split the party!

An Epic Monster Battle

I was listening to the Saving the Game podcast, episode 94 on epic monsters and the hosts put out a call for epic monster battles so I thought I’d write one up from the campaign I played in in high school.

The “monster” in question would probably be best classified as a form of lich.  It was of a race known in the game world simply as the Ancients.  The Ancients had been the dominant species on the planet some one to two million years previous and had been supplanted by a race known as the Swamp Giants who had been in turn supplanted by the current dominant race, the Glish some quarter of a million years ago.  All three of these races were reptilian.  Humans made up a very small fraction of the world population and were “aliens” having come from somewhere else.  (There is a huge history I’m glossing over.  When I started playing the GM had been running adventures and writing stories for over 20 years in this world).

In any case, before I joined the group, the party had woken up this Ancient Lich lord while exploring some ruins a few days north of the town they called home.  It the distant past, the Ancient (I don’t know that he ever had a name that we knew) had been the ruler of his people and a powerful wizard/sorcerer.  After the party woke him, he was trying to rebuild a power base in the current era and we would occasionally run afoul of his efforts and spoil his plans.  He would occasionally come after us as we were the only ones that knew his was awake and he was trying to destroy the evidence.

It all culminated in a battle in the ruins of Old Hottam Bridge, which was the center of his kingdom in ages past and where the party had found his tomb and woken him.  He had established an expansive magic gathering device and was funneling magical power from the nodes and lay lines in the ruins to a central location where he was casting a spell attempting to bring his city from the past into the present.

Obviously this would not be good for the countryside and we went in to put an end to it once and for all.  As we worked our way into the heart of the ruins, the scenery would flicker between the present and the past and we had to battle monsters from the ruins agitated by the changes as well as horrors from the planet’s past.

As we explored the ruins, we came across a massive gold wire, probably about an inch in diameter that pulsed with magical energy.  At first we didn’t understand what it was but eventually realized it was the conduit providing the magical power to the Ancient wizard and feeding his spell.

We eventually found the Ancient in a plaza surrounded by minions and in the final phases of his ritual spell to bring his city forward in time to the present.  The scenery was flickering constantly at this point and the Ancient city becoming more and more real.  Out of time and options, we attacked, attempting to break through the barrier of minions and magic surrounding him.  As the battle began someone wondered if it would be possible to stop the spell by disrupting the magical flow and a few of us (my wizard and a few of my retainers) split of from the main assault and doubled back to where we had found the golden wire.  As our group at the time had 8-12 players (I don’t remember the exact numbers) and around 16 party members, 3-4 splitting off was not a big dent in the fire power.

Examining the wire we realized that anyone touching it would be fried to a crisp almost instantly due to the power surging through it.  So we came up with an alternate plan.  On of the characters had a Bladesharp 6 spell (we were playing a modified version of RuneQuest 3rd ed).  And I had a spell that allowed me to animate metal.  So one of the players donated his scimitar, the other player enchanted it, and using my animation spell we used the sword to slice through the gold wire with us standing as far away as the spell’s range would allow and behind cover.

The results were spectacular (although disastrous for the scimitar).  The blade sliced through the wire (the enchantment made it possible) and released a torrent of magical energy in a huge light and energy show.  At the other end, the disruption in energy flow caused the spell to collapse and temporarily stunned the Ancient wizard.  The surroundings reverted to the present day ruins and the party was able to overcome and finally defeat the wizard once and for all, destroying the magics that kept him linked to life.

In the aftermath, as the group was sorting through the wizard’s treasures, I asked if I could have the wire.  Bemused by all the other things found, everyone readily agreed and I began to gather it all up.  In the end, it amounted to nearly half a million gold coins in value so I made out like a bandit.  Needless to say, I bought the other character a very nice new sword.



Categorised as: Game Report

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