Sunday, June 2, 2013

Descent: Journeys In The Dark (Quest) - The Desecrated Tomb


Quest VII - The Desecrated Tomb


After being informed by Baron Greigory's librarian that an important clue was to be found near Sir Arcite's tomb, the heroes set out to stop the Overlord's latest plan.  On their journey they encountered a band of Latari elves beset by the Overlord's minions, whom the heroes helped the elves defeat in a strike against their mutual foe.  Continuing on, the heroes quickly arrived at the tomb.  [The heroes only had a single encounter, the others cards were "no event".]

The heroes start down the gauntlet

Inside, the heroes quickly fought past a nest of cave spiders only to find themselves facing the walking dead.  The Overlord has desecrated the tomb, and the dead could not rest.  However, the heroes knew they had to press on if they were to find a clue to the Overlord's next plan.  Fighting through zombie after zombie, the heroes eventually found a tattered map.  The map showed the location of a cavern deep in the Greatwood.  Whatever the Overlord wanted in that cavern, the heroes knew they had to stop him!  Fighting free of the zombies, the heroes made haste to stop their enemy's plan.  [A few turns had passed before the heroes realized that they really needed to hurry on this quest.  The Overlord's forces were pathetic, but the numerous cave spiders and respawning zombies created a large number of obstacles that the heroes had to deal with on their way in and back out.]

The heroes make progress, but the zombies keep coming

Jain figures out where the clue is as the party fights off more zombies

Escape on the last round!

The heroes arrived just in time to see Sir Alric ordering a pair of ettins to stand guard over the entrance.  Unfortunately, the ettins' limited intellect required the knight to speak slowly, and he lost vital time.  Seeing their chance, the heroes quickly launched an attack before Sir Alric could proceed any further into the cavern.  Leoric's runic magic bound Sir Alric in place, rooting him as Jain fired a volley of arrows at her foe.  [The heroes won Encounter 1 by one round, so even though Sir Alric had a large number of "free" moves, the Overlord did not get the first turn in Encounter 2.  This spelled trouble for Sir Alric due to Leoric's Immobilize condition on his rune weapon.]

Sir Alric tries to explain to the ettins how to guard the entrance

The heroes assault Sir Alric Farrow

Meanwhile, Grisban held the ettins at bay, severely wounding one as the two giants got in each others' way attempting to hit the dwarf.  One of the ettins' errant swings managed to strike Leoric, but not before the mage released a series of powerful blasts at Sir Alric, forcing him to drop the Dawnblade.  A shadow dragon emerged from deeper in the cavern and moved to attack Grisban as Sir Alric rolled out of the way.  [Sir Alric was pinned in place for a couple of turns, as he was pummeled with ranged attacks.  In this Encounter, he acts as a hero when defeated, so he was able to recover on the subsequent turn, but it forced him to drop the Dawnblade.  Fortunately, I was able to move the shadow dragon on top of it to keep it out of the heroes' hands.]

Shadow dragon guarding the dropped Dawnblade


Unfortunately, the dwarf had learned much (and had drank even more) during his recent adventures, and as Leoric recovered from the ettin's attack the pair quickly defeated the shadow dragon with rune and blade.  Seeing their chance, Jain quickly darted past the dying dragon's thrashing limbs and grabbed the Dawnblade before Sir Alric could do so.  The heroes quickly fell back to the entrance as Sir Alric howled his rage and gave chase with the ettins.  However, the clumsy ettins and heavily armored knight could not keep up with Jain's skills at pathfinding, and the heroes escaped with their prize.  [The heroes won a decisive victory, as Sir Alric never even made it out of the Frozen Cave and the dragon Khorayt never even woke up!] 

Jain dashes away with the Dawnblade

Jain dashes away with the Dawnblade

OVERview

Surprisingly, Encounter 1 was a closer call that I expected given that I only had cave spiders and zombies to work with.  Zombies are absolute garbage even in Act II (the master minion is the only one with respectable hitting power and health, and zombies only have a brown die for defense).  I decided to give the shadow dragons a rest and chose cave spiders because they were 1) more thematic and 2) the master cave spiders' web ability would (hopefully) help slow down the heroes even further.

On the other had, Encounter 2 was a big letdown.  Looking back, I should have placed Sir Alric one space away from where I did, and used the two ettins to block him from the heroes.  If nothing else, the heroes would have had to waste a few attacks to break through the ettins.  Leoric's rune weapon allowed him to Immobilize the target on a Surge, and that kept Sir Alric locked down long enough for the heroes to defeat him.  Once that happened, I did manage to use the shadow dragon minion to block the heroes from reaching the dropped Dawnblade.  My goal was the retrieve it on Sir Alric's next turn and then proceed toward the dragon Khorayt.  Unfortunately, Grisban made short work of the shadow dragon and Jain was able to rush in, grab the Dawnblade, and make it well down the hallway toward the entrance before I could do so.

This is one of the quests that I definitely want to try again, and see if I am able to achieve victory.  I was curious to see how the Sir Alric vs. Khorayt battle would play out, as the dragon has respectable stats and only the Dawnblade can affect it.  The heroes may have won this quest, but Act II was still an Overlord victory!