Day 10: Craziest Thing That Happened

The topic for Day 10 is supposed to be “Craziest Thing That’s Happened That You Saw (to party/characters/players etc).”

Keeping with D&D (had a couple of whoppers when I ran WEG Star Wars), I think it was the final session of our Dark Sun campaign in 1993.

I was on my 3rd PC of the campaign (a PC tended to die every so often). Gharl, Priest of FIRE! Athas didn’t have traditional clerics, but did have priests who got power from the basic elements.

Gharl, Priest of FIRE! was a Mul, one of those part dwarf / part human guys. He had a STR score of 20, and apart from the Half-Giant was the main melee combatant at that point. I think we also had a Half-Elf Ranger. Our D&D gaming group was down to just the DM and 3 players. There was also a NPC Fighter that Gharl, Priest of FIRE! had hired as a bodyguard.

We came to a tower out in the wastes. After killing some sort of beastie guarding the outside, we went in to investigate. Except for the Half-Giant – he couldn’t fit through the door, so he stayed outside on guard duty.

Inside we faced some skeletons that we dispatched. We came to a door on the landing on our way up the stairs to the upper floors of the tower. We didn’t hear any noise, but we decided to skip it and deal with it later. We had a crazed Defiler to find, kill, and take his stuff!

We defeated the Defiler after a mighty struggle, taking several wounds and blowing all my good spells. We searched and took his stuff, then Gharl, Priest of FIRE! had an idea.

We could take over the tower and use it as our base of operations, instead of constantly wandering about. It even came with a handy supply of bones to animate a force of guards (The smashed skeletons down on the first floor). Gharl, Priest of FIRE! was not one of those squeamish do-gooders who would pass up free resources like that. His long-term goal was to set up his own shrine and lord it over a bunch of minions. Since he was Lawful Evil and all.

While ransacking the tower, we eventually came back to the door we had skipped on the way to confront the Defiler. We double-checked it for noise and traps. Finding nothing, we opened it.

Some sort of horror made of bones shambled out at us. Darn, we had let our guard down after the battle with the Defiler.

The Ranger moved to engage it. Gharl, Priest of FIRE! decided to hang back a round or two to see how tough it was. The Ranger was faring poorly, taking another wound and starting to fight defensively, wondering aloud why his boon companion wasn’t wading in with him. The NPC Fighter moved in and joined the battle.

See, Gharl, Priest of FIRE! had decided to make his move and try to take over leadership of the party. All he had to do was get control of the bony horror. It must be some kind of undead right? He could Command undead right?

So he held out his hand and ordered the horror to cease & desist! Nothing happened. Well apart from it taking another swing at the Ranger.

Slight miscalculation. Oopsie.

Finally charging into melee, Gharl, Priest of FIRE! got in a couple mighty blows, but could not do enough damage once the Ranger went down and started bleeding to death. He turned to flee as the NPC Fighter also fell.

Gharl, Priest of FIRE! died trying to reach the exit to the tower.

So the Half-Giant, still outside on guard duty, peered into an upper window. “How you guys doing? Anybody? Yoo-hoo!”

After a while, he gave up and wandered off into the wastes alone.

The DM told us that if Gharl, Priest of FIRE! had only gotten in one more hit the thing would probably have fallen, what with his +8 damage bonus.

So that was the time I basically got the party TPK’ed, resulting in the end of the campaign. (Although I look back and wonder why the DM didn’t think of some way to let the Half-Giant break into the tower or something. The player did try once, and DM said something like “Nope. It’s a magic tower and you can’t damage it.” The Half-Giant basically stood outside twiddling his thumbs for 3/4 of the session. The player was reduced to playing Magic: The Gathering against himself.)

Although I think it was pretty clear we were all tiring of wandering Athas by that point anyway.

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