The Lord of the Pit Strikes!

I didn't take many pics of Saturday's game (partially because I'm ashamed of the volume of unpainted metal and plastic, but also because we were so wrapped up in the events of the game that I just plain forgot!) but let me tell you: it was a doozy!

After the game...

I'm still early in the Against the Lord of the Pit campaign diary, so I won't go into details about the most recent session, but it was an emotional slog. The game started with half of the rulers of eastern Greyhawk (the leaders of Nyrond, Almor, Tenh, and the High Queen and all the lords of The Great Kingdom) attending a council with the PCs (now rulers of a quarter of eastern Greyhawk themselves, specifically The Pale and The Storm lands - that is, the lands of the Ice, Snow, and Frost Barbarians and their conquered realm of Stonefist) in the cloud castle of their giant ally. They were suddenly attacked by Bitterwing, the ancient, gargantuan white dragon minion of the Lord, and in the ensuing battle, all of those NPC rulers fell to that beast's frozen breath!

The PCs were devastated - after six years, the War for Greyhawk had just ended, and they'd been victorious. They'd crushed the Lord's allies, but in this moment He proved that he was still very much in the game. They spent the next several weeks mourning their dead and trying to put the pieces back together.

When they'd finally recovered and felt that the east had been sufficiently stabilized, they made a risky decision: in an effort to boost Hildy's limited range of spells, she and the elf Galerion used his new spell to teleport to the frozen lake at the base of Cold Mountain (the Lord's lair) to recover her great-uncle's spell books. It was a gamble, but they all knew that Hildy needed those books so she could learn the ancient spells. Without them, they could never be powerful enough to finally put an end to the Lord of the Pit.

Unfortunately, they we spotted by The Black Axe, the Lord's newest minion. (Hildy's father, slain during the final days of the War for Greyhawk, and raised as a deathknight!) They were forced into a confrontation, and when the enemy summoned a demon to fight at his side, Galerion made a hard choice: knowing he could not teleport them both to safety, but that he might be able to get Hildy safely away, he made a heroic sacrifice and teleported her - despite her pleading him not to - back to her mother's glades in the east. Then, he turned to face the knight and the demon, alone on the ice.

The whole thing was the player's idea - I have house rules about pushing spells when you're out of spell slots, but he knew that would mean having to make a roll, with about a 35% chance of successfully teleporting them both to safety. So he asked if he could cast the spell without having to roll if he only teleported one of them. Being a sucker for dramatic scenes, I happily agreed, and Hildy was sent - screaming and crying - away. We all shared the scene of the noble elf turning to face his enemies, knowing he went to his doom, sword of his fallen prince in one hand and spear of his father in the other...

It was an epic chapter of the campaign!

(Or, as Hildy's player put it: "It was horribly beautiful!")

More story to come, including explanations of how we got to this point and the revelation of the fate of Galerion, elf lord, Tree of the Elves, son of Denid...