My kids have split off and started a separate adventure while the rest of the group completes the Valley of the Brain Collectors and Starfall adventures. Both of which I think are too horrific (former) and adult themed (later) for them. So I have cracked out and updated Expedition to the Barrier Peaks for them. This is the session fifth of that “side” campaign. They will re-join the main group in adventure six – Divinity Drive.
I had to rush this adventure and hand-wave a bit of the story as that evening they would be rejoining the main group again to take on the Black Sovereign in Palace of Fallen Stars. My original issues with the adventure the main party either bypassed or overran it (the whole drug subplot for example). It was still very fun pitting a level 20 mind flayer against a level 12 party of two (with some muscle of course).
Our Brave Band of Adventurers the Crimson Lotus:
- Heidt, a ranger who has traded an affinity for nature for an affinity for machines. This android has mastered cybertheurgy as well as the lasgun. Has chosen the mechromancer archetype (blog post at some later point!). Seeking to learn more about his history he has become an archaeological expert on all things related to the Rain of Stars.
- Rikku, an elven rogue who was adopted by Khonnir Baine when he found her wandering the wasteland near Torch more than a decade ago. She claims to be a blood elf from a far-away land. Her history is tied up with a nearby ruin.
By Rikku Yuffina Kyrus
Using a spelljammer Heidt and Rikku have located the orbiting Avenger and board it. With the help of the ships machine spirit UNITY 1.0 they awaken a squad of Sisters of Battle and together do battle against the Mind Flayer Space Marine Xallitharid.
We dock onto the Avenger and UNITY 1.0 starts talking to us. The mindflayer space marine is on the Avenger, and UNITY says that he is invincible. He has an aberration artifact, which gives him immortality (DM’s note: a halo aretefact called the Psychrious Worm). UNITY knows a way to kill him though, but we first need to reboot her. 42 lead us to her computer, and Hiedt reboots her. She then wakes up the six Sisters of Battle, who thank us. UNITY 1.0 says 42 will lead us to the mind flayer on the bridge, and then she explains to us how to beat the mindflayer. His artifact is connected to the warp monsters, and if UNITY turns on the warp shield (DM’s note: Geller Field), which protects ships from the warp monsters, the artifact will loose connection. The thing is, as soon as she turns on the shield, the mind flayer will know, so we need to get there first, tell her, then she’ll turn on the shield. 42 leads us to Xallitharid’s chamber (DM: The bridge of the Avenger), and we see him on top of two hordes of treasures. We contact UNITY, and she turns on the shield. The mindflayer notices us, and he attacks.
The mind-marine (or space-flayer) deals a giant mind blast in our direction. The Sisters seem unaffected, but we are pushed back and stunned. Alexis moved forward and chucked a flame grenade. The mind-marine looks like an ant has bitten it. The mind-marine shoots his laser at Alexis, and she becomes stunned. Mandy repeats what Alexis did. Deathtrap flies towards the mind-marine and gives him a claw attack. Zap 210 and Izumi chuck grenades. The mind-marines appearance freaks us out (DM: frightened from Unnerving Presence). We ask Leet and Samus to chuck us around the corner, and they do. We try to break out of the stun, but we both fail. Samus looks at the two stunned and frightened “heroes” and says “mediocre” while shaking her head. She then turns and with boltor blazing charges into the fray screaming her battle-cry! (DM: Each time a Sister did something I played one of the Soulstorm quotes).
The mind-marine uses a mind blast again, and Alexis gets stunned, twice in a row! He turns around and claws Deathtrap back. Deathtrap claws him again. Zap 210 runs onto the bridge platform nest to Deathtrap and uses her dagger against the mind-marine. Alexis tries, but fails, to break out of the double stun. Mandy, Izumi, Leet and Samus all chuck another flame grenade. Mind-marine heals himself and attacks Deathtrap, but misses. Deathtrap reposts. Hiedt fails to break out of the stun, but I succeed.
Mindflayer does another mind blast, and Zap is stunned. Alexis is now triple stunned! I go around the corner and shoot the mindflayer. The mind-marine starts to devour Zap’s brain. Deathtrap tries a disarming attack, but he misses. The mindflayer kills Zap 210. All the Sisters become enraged and in one voice call “WITNESSED!” as their fallen sister is killed, they are spurned on by righteous fury doubling their holy efforts to kill this foul xenos. The mind-marine tries to attack Deathtrap, but misses. Deathtrap lands a critical repost on the mind flayer (DM: doing more damage in one hit than the rest of the group combined). Hiedt breaks out of the stun and the fear, but is still recovering.
All of the Sisters, excluding Alexis, shoot with their gun; Samus is the only one who gets a shot in. Alexis tries to break out of all the stuns, and then the mind-marine gets enraged, and uses a huge claw and punch attack on Deathtrap. Deathtrap blows up, but Alexis still does not recover. I shoot with my pistols.
The mindflayer does another mind blast, and Alexis and Izumi become stunned. I get knocked out (from this point onwards, Hiedt tells me what happens). The mind-marine starts to suck Izumi’s brain out of her nostrils. The able Sister of battle all shoots their guns again, and Mandy and Leet hit. Hiedt runs from around the corner, and shoots the mindflayer for the killing blow.
I get revived and the Sisters of Battle thank us (though they still call us mediocre). We go through the piles of loot and become rich. The Sisters give Hiedt an X-laser upgrade to his lasgun, and they give me a cool watch. UNITY 1.0 gives us cybernetic upgrades. We go onto my ship and fly back down to Pangaea.
(DM’s note: The idea for this battle is that they have a time limit to kill the mind flayer – I picked five rounds arbitrarily – before the Geller Field fails and it becomes invulnerable again. It also gets weaker over time losing an action every 100 hit points Xallitharid looses. What makes this guy particularly deadly, even without the psychirous worm is that he can potentially mind-blast every round. In our battle he actually used mind-blast during the first four rounds. Deathtrap ended up being key in this battle because he was immune to the mind-blast and also the brain devour attack. Once he exploded in round 3 the Sisters started dropping like flies and Heidt and Rikku started becoming worried. In the end they killed the flayer on round five and it was indeed an epic battle).