We played 4e again on Thursday, making the decision to move on from the battle against the trees. The party found themselves in an ancient tree fortress, long since lost to forces other than those of good. The trees lower levers resembled the Sziezlock fortress in basic design, but the remainder of the enormous tree was made of a series of levels. Stairs curved around the edge of the tree, and openings in the walls led out either to balconies atop huge branches or into the middle of huge branches. The interiors of the the branches form massive living chambers.
The party rushed to the top of the tree, following who they thought might have been their former party member Pax. When they arrived they found themselves in brilliant sunlight, above the tree line of the Feywild. Keyleth and Jack notice the figure they saw as Pax slip through a portal before it closes. He looks back right before slipping through, and Keyleth is sure it is Pax. The party investigates a bit more and they find it is a place like the top floor of the Skiezlock tower. An energy field divides the top in half and one arm of a massive orrery can be seen. Beyond the field are two containers, each housing some disembodied body parts, they are in less than good condition. As Uthal investigates he hears a voice he does not understand. Keyleth and Jack perk up to the voice in Elven, especially his words about how hungry he is.
The party finds themselves facing an Adult Mirage Dragon. The dragon was the traditional guardian of the top of this tree and the ceremonies conducted here. In recent decades though, he has guarded the work of Malachai. The dragons attacks are Willpower based, and the party has a hard time with Willpower. The dragon in general was quite effective against the party. As with all large solos, I removed about 1/4 of the hit points from the monster and increased his at will and one encounter powers by an additional dice type. I also added a few points to all of the At-Will static damage. This works especially well with higher level monsters, and is a good way to challenge this party (who has an uber-Cleric). The party did miss 4 Eladrin archers on the lower branches as they made their way up, and they came up the stairs after the party. The appearance of the archers, and the effectiveness of their bows, caused a round or two of disruption, but in the end the party was able to dispatch all but one. One female Eladrin made her way back down the stairs in the middle of the battle. I wonder where she went?
Overall, it was a close battle, and the party had to work hard to keep themselves in the right position. The top of the tree didn't leave much room for maneuver. The party did learn that a convergence of the Material, Fey and Shadow planes happens tomorrow. Can they figure out how to open the portal and race through before the alignment occurs? And does the alignment even mean anything to the party or their goals.
It was a good session. I didn't get much painting done this week, at least not as much as I had hoped. I dipped the snakes I painted up last week, as well as a group of mummies for my Nefsokar Warlord army. They really are the perfect models for dipping. My order arrived from the Warstore and I got my first look at the Malifaux rules and models. The rules are way different from anything I have played before, and I am excited to give them a try. The models look good, but Baby Kade and Candy are much smaller than I had thought they would be, will need a very steady hand. Hopefully I will get a chance to paint one or two of them this week.
I played a game of Guillotine at work this week, the first game I have played at work in ages. Iain and I tried out our new copy of Duck! Duck! Safari this week. We played a couple of games, though one of them was on the edge of his skill level. We will keep working on it as he loves the idea of the games.