The DnD group met up for our second Terminus session in as many weeks and it was a pretty entertaining one, though it was more roleplay light than the last one.
We picked up where we left off the last session out. We started moving deeper into the ruins and in a marshy area, where we yet again were ambushed by plant-looking creatures. Vallo voiced his disappointment in Adah-Kah (who has a +25 to perception checks) for missing them. Out of character I joked that I was trying to smell them instead of looking around. In character, we set up for battle as mossy looking monsters rose from the murk to attack us.
We quickly noticed that there was a larger, mossier creature that seemed to be organizing the others and that the smaller moss creatures were augmenting its strength in turn. We also realized that they were essentially surrounding us, so we needed to pick a direction to attack. Meggido did a good job of positioning the monsters and Adah-Kah immediately used the bonuses given to him (and the rest of the party) by Vallo and went after the lead moss monster. It ended up being a fairly quick and brutal fight. The moss men tried to use the party's powers against the party, but rolled low and the party did not. The smaller moss men seemed to heal the big boss moss as they died, but it was too little too late and some massive damage from Adah-Kah, Sabriel, and Meggido did it in. It should be noted here that it was a pretty crit heavy night on my part. I got one in this fight and "wasted" a second on critting my initiative.
At this point we had the option of going to higher, more visible ruins or lower, less visible ruins. We quickly decided to go for the high road. Once we got to the more visible ruins, we ran across some Wood Woags and an Ivy Heart in another pseudo-ambush (still smell checking!). This was also a fairly quick and brutal fight, but much harder on the party. The Ivy Heart and Wood Woags got to attack first and managed to bloody three fifths of the party in the first round and a half. Adah-Kah helped to focus fire down one of the Woags and moved on the Ivy Heart while Meggido pinned down the other Woag. I got two different crits on the Ivy Heart in this fight and we got pretty massive damage off on it at one point thanks to Vallo buffing the party.
During that fight, Adah-Kah spied (no more smell checking) an older Kuo-toa woman spying on them and then scurrying off. Her tracks were fairly obvious, so it was easy for Adah-Kah to follow them back to her hut. Adah-Kah knocked on her door and when she answered explained that he'd seen her watching them. The inside of her hut appeared to be full of animals. When the Kuo-toa woman asked Adah-Kah why the party was in the ruins, Sardis exclaimed that they were one world saving business. The old woman chuckled and Sabriel finally stepped in and explained a bit more and the old Kuo-toa was given a description of the room we suspected we'd find with a piece of the artifact we've been collecting.
The Kuo-toa also explained to the party that Karus (Karus, Karus is on fire...) was a dryad and with some banter, the party also intuited that Karus' tree is actually an Treant and that Karus believes he is as powerful as (or has become) a lich. Karus was also behind the spread of the darkwood and had recruited most of the local Kuo-toa to his service. Given past experiences, it seems pretty likely the party will need to end Karus' control of the area in order to get what we need to save the world. In the past we've done fairly well when directly searching for the artifact and gotten rid of this kind of threat, but when not in that situation we've often left enemies alive to haunt us later. Hopefully, we'll remember to put this one down when the time comes.
Anyways, we followed the old Kuo-toa lady to a bridge near a large waterway. As we went to cross the bridge, we were ambushed (smell checks are back!) by a group of three Kuo-toa, one of whom rapidly grew into a raging behemoth. This fight definitely qualified for brutal, but was by no means fast. The Hulkuo-toa smashed into the party doing fairly significant damage and the other two Kuo-toa were no slouches either. The party had to do some fancy positioning to get the best impact out of our attacks and it took a bit of time to whittle away the health of our three opponents. One of the regular Kuo-toa fell first and then we focused on the Hulkuo-toa while keeping the other smaller Kuo-toa pinned down. Eventually the big guy fell and we pressed the small Kuo-toa to surrender, which it refused to do. We had to knock it out with the intent of questioning it on if Karus knows we're coming, what Karus' defenses and plans are, and where Karus' Treant is. There are vague suspicions that the Treant that we encountered last session might be the one Karus' is bonded to.
We're back to a more normal rotation of gaming after this so it may be a brief bit until the next Terminus posting.