Session five continued from here
Aha - high elf sorcerer
Charlie - human cleric of Zagyg
Erevan - high elf rogue
Rajabu - dwarf fighter
Adventuring is a lethal business, and the heroes were reminded of that when Darrien's cries of anguish were silenced and replaced with the snarling growls of feasting ghouls. With their cleric dead and undead "allies" at their heels, the remaining three heroes managed to slay the orcs without further casualties. Near the end of the battle, Lady Alba moved up from the shadows. The noblewoman motioned at one of the thouls and recited an incantation. Erevan, who had dropped out of the mage guild, was unable to determine its exact nature, although its effect was clear. The target thoul's arms dropped to its sides, and it swayed unsteadily, a confused look on its face. Before the battle ended, Lady Alba had bewitched the remaining two thouls.
I had statted Lady Alba out as a 5th level sorcerer, with a custom spell that allowed her to influence thouls. Unbeknownst to the PCs, she is actually a "compound" creature herself; the product of a vile ritual that combined her human form with that of a high elf infant, and in the process granting her arcane powers, and extending her life span significantly. This all plays into the Cult of the Second Dawn; a secret society that I'm developing for future sessions.
With the orcs defeated, the talented noblewoman demanded that the heroes escort her out of the dungeon. Glustinok, their ghoul "ally" reminded the heroes of their promise to help him depose the Ghoul Lord below and take the throne himself. When he sensed the heroes reconsidering this promise, he offered to give them half of the Ghoul Lord's amassed treasure in exchange for their help.
I remembered to dangle a carrot in front of the PCs to tempt them to follow up on this option. Lady Alba, on the other hand, was an arrogant noble who was not about to be led down deeper in the dungeon. The fact that the PCs were even speaking with these undead had her incredulous.
Eventually Glustinok got tired of the talk and commanded his two remaining ghouls to follow him down into the pit, where be began trying to snap the five ravenous ghouls down there into control.
This was a Charisma contest opposed by the Wisdom of the ghouls. Glustinok and his allies failed the first round of rolls, but would be able to try again if much time passed. Glustinok was getting desperate and was trying to increase his leverage by getting these five ghouls behind him.
Witnessing Glustinok's attempt to rally the undead, Lady Alba waved her arm, and the three thouls descended into the pit, and began attacking Glustinok and the ghouls below. She continued her conversation with the heroes as the undead monsters tore each other up below. When the dust settled, one lone thoul stood "alive", looking up dumbly from the bottom of the pit. Erevan put it out of its misery with an arrow to the skull.
Just then, another figure materialized nearby, out of thin air, a dark haired male with a mischievous glint in his eye. Introducing himself as Charlie, he claimed he was in the dungeon to try and sell his wares to the orcs, when he decided to hide when the battle erupted.
D&D Next now has a selection of Deity Domains for the cleric to choose from. These Domains allow a DM to represent whatever specific deities they want in their campaign, without hard-coding specific rules for each deity. It's a rather flexible and elegant solution, and one of those Domains caught the attention of the player who had controlled the now deceased Darrien. While all of the above was going on, he was rolling up a new character, a cleric of the Trickster god Zagyg. And so Charlie was introduced to the game. One of the Trickster cleric's abilities is to turn invisible for a turn, every ten minutes, so I thought it would be fun to leverage that as a way to introduce the new PC into the game. As I would soon learn, Charlie would soon have his own chaotic agenda that would greatly impact the direction of the next session.
Session five continued here