A continuation of this post. It should be noted that we wrapped this campaign after Session 16, and I only took detailed notes for the first four sessions. That said...
Fitzy, air genasi spellsword.
Moonblossom, wild elf bard.
Moonblossom, wild elf bard.
Nagus, ferengi cleric.
Teka, human fighter.
Crimsonbeard, dwarf rogue.
Ea, tiefling monk.
Jezebel, human fighter.
The party decides to enter the room with the silver blocks and shadow-pits. They find half of Smallbeard’s corpse and Moonblossom falls into a pit. Fitzy uses some lightning magic to retrieve Smallbeard’s corpse, and it’s effective but also super gross, like lots-of-burnt-hair-and-a-cooked-half-dwarf- flying-into-you-at-galloping-speed gross. Crimsonbeard figures out the puzzle; they drop bedrolls on the ground and walk across the bedroll bridge. True to form, they have a healthy discussion in the middle of the room, and decide to go left instead of right after a heated yet pointless debate.
The dark garden. Everyone’s on edge. Nobody likes the vibe. They go in anyway. They do lots of searching, lots of paranoid mucking around and rhetorical question-asking, but not so much that they tarry too long. Fitzy leads a tepid push south – only then the statues come to life, and start holding on to the heroes, pathetic-like, not letting them leave. Teka resorts to violence. The others trick their unwanted stony admirers into accompanying them to the exit, then make a break for it.
Two surprised Oku lovers – Tuntun and Agrimony – have been making out on a bench in the other room, fairly innocent-like. The room looks like a 3D render of one of those 19th century secret garden paintings, only with fucked-up bird people instead pudgy nude youths. The party is surprised by the shift in tone. Agrimony and Tuntun are surprised that a bunch of armed mercenaries busted in on them while they were making out. The party was surprised that two weird teenagers were making out in bird masks. A suspicious Nagus demands everyone reveals his or her nipple jewelry and state why he or she is not Chronia Torn –thus, a conversation ensues. The heroes learn from Agrimony that Chronia Torn is north-east of the garden, that “There’s a pig thing around here somewhere, watch out, it’s gross,” and are warned against going deeper into the garden at all. Ignoring her warning almost as fast as she gives it, Fitzy opens the door and unleashes a 7HD Id Pig. Everyone’s repressed desires start to manifest – Teka and Moonblossom start making out, Crimsonbeard stares at a goofy snowglobe thing he’s got in his pack like it has all the answers; Nagus starts counting his money; Tuntun and Agrimony both start acting like birds. It’s up to Jezebel, Fitzy and Ea to actually beat the thing, which they do, really hard, because Jezebel is pretty self-actualized and rolls critical hits with shocking regularity.
The id pig vanquished, our heroes search further in the garden-complex, finding little of interest until nine orchid-men ambush them. The ensuing fight is epic. (The orchid-men’s pheromones cause players to damage themselves on their own initiative and skip an action if they fail enough saving throws, so at one point only the monk was actually landing any hits, and the cleric was too busy killing himself to heal the party – that part of my soul that loves all things Dark Souls was positively beaming). They eke out a very narrow victory and, barring the doors, decide to rest and recover for as long as they can...
DM Notes: I wish I would’ve recorded the conversation with the Oku lovers, but honestly, you probably had to be there. This session had everything: Puzzles, exploration, over-the-top roleplaying, an absurdly easy fight that shouldn’t have been easy, and deadly fight that shouldn’t have been deadly. My players loved the id pig, too, which ... well, I'll save that for another post. The encounter with the id pig has definitely had some unexpected repercussions.