The Magic Tree


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I have a scene to describe. A little background first. I tend to think of myself as a rather devious DM. Why not enjoy the game too. I rarely kill off a player in my games unless there is no way to avoid it, but this was one of those moments that this "situation" could not be avoided.

I had been harassing my party for about 5 gaming sessions now with a Nyciiea Daemon, a rather nasty bit of work, but more cruel than anything. The party were, I quickly learned, adapt at bringing him down quickly to a certain level of hits to which he would normally make a hasty retreat, but I wanted a little more fun out of it. The original reason the daemon was sent was to retrieve the artifact the party had been questing for, and return it to the "Villain" of the game. However after the first encounter I realize I would have to wear them down first. They would always take up a similar attack, Dwarf, Paladin in front, next is Rogue and Ranger with bows, and finally the wizard and Cleric. When ever someone upfront had taken a lot of damage, they would rotate that line, and attack with the most powerful weapons and spells, while a hand off of potions healed them - I found out later that they had been hording healing potions secretly in anticipation of a nasty encounter like this. Well, needless to say, they beat the begeezus out of the daemon really quick, but instead of running, I had other plans. The daemon did disappear, but returned four more times, each time doing a little bit more damage (I really felt bad, killing the Paladin's warhorse; he almost cried; and I did a separate adventure to let him find another).

On the final encounter, things took, well a twist. I had been giving the party clues and pieces of the armor, but they did not put two and two together until this night. The daemon had returned, appearing in the middle of the camp. The party had decided to bed down on a rising cliff - they felt it prudent to only be attacked from one direction. Who am I to argue the logic. By the end of this encounter they had learned to fly...;-)

The daemon grabbed the wizard, a female who had just recently bonded with the cleric. He ran with her to the edge of the cliff, the party following enmasse. When he reached the edge, he held her over the cliff (about 250' drop to the typical jagged rocks), and demanded the armor. ??? The armor - my crew wondered. what possible could he mean. He asked again. I want the armor - and held out his other hand. Ok, I realize that Paladins try to be noble...but really - the Paladin removed his magical armor, and bundling it up in a fish net, gave it to the daemon. The daemon, of course, lobbed it over his shoulder, and over the cliff. The Paladin screamed (yes screamed) and jumped after it. The rangers eyes got the size of saucers, and jumped after him. The dwarf shook his head and put his face in his hands. The wizard looked around shrugged his shoulders, and using a magic item began to fly after the cleric, who was using a medallion of telekinesis to hold onto the armor, which at this point had a naked paladin clinging onto it. The Ranger went whizzing by, missing the whole Paladin/armor thingy and gave me a very stressed look on when I told him he missed. The Cleric also went whizzing by trying to get to the Ranger. They did meet up of course in a very dramatic 6 rolls of d20 dice, and the two began to fly up, meeting the Paladin on the way down (Ranger had freaked and lost concentration). The Ranger quickly regained composure and began levitating the Paladin/armor up again.

In the mean time the dwarf walked past the daemon, looked over the edge and watched the whole episode. (That what he said he did). The Rogue had done what I expected him to do, disappear. He had gotten a ring of levitation at some point and went straight up. About 100 feet. He watched as the dwarf walked toward the daemon, and thinking the obvious - the Dwarf was attacking - began a controlled decent toward the daemon, holding out his trusty knife in front of him At about 25', the ring gave out (shoot - did I forget to tell you, the magic on the ring was time limited??? ;-) ) and with a rather startled look - began to plummet. I never though a jaw could drop twice, but it did, a) the Rogue watched in horror as the daemon got closer, really quick and b) watched in even more horror as the dwarf, walked by the daemon, not attacking him as the Rogue had originally thought. I stopped talking. smiled and waited for the whirlwind to die down. When the discussions stopped I had five very stressed players looking at me. And a twisted Dwarf waiting for the hammer to fall....I had some fun.

The rogue fell. He bounced - no ricochet off the daemon and onto the Dwarf (now I had six stressed players...heh heh) the Rogue, weighs around 165, ample enough to do some damage, and had fallen from over 20 feet. The Dwarf was already leaning over the side of the cliff ( remember that was what he said). Being in this awkward position and the speed and weight of the Rogue...well, both began screaming over the cliff. They did encounter some resistance though, the group coming back up. The dwarf is a walking tank, and hits the Ranger/Cleric grouping. Bad rolls (1, 1) indicate that, well, the Ranger and Cleric are unconscious. The four of them begin a free fall. The Paladin gets high enough to meet eye to eye with the daemon but is about 10' away from the side of the cliff. Think Wylie Coyote here. He begins to plummet. The daemon watches as the players make little red spots. The room is very quiet. The wizard looks at me. I stand up, put my arm out, shrug my shoulders, pinch my hand together and make a juicy snapping noise, and motion to toss the Wizard off the cliff.

The room was very quiet for a long time. Then the Rouge pips up,

"Oh crap, I had that Staff of the Magi. Would that have helped?"

I laughed so hard I gave myself a stomach ache. It was a month before we started again.

A final note. When we started up the game, they all looked at me and asked how the Daemon could follow them around? I said he didn't. When he was hurt bad enough, he polymorphed into a flea and lived on the Dwarf until he had healed then attacked again...

The player never used a Dwarf again...

Man I love this game...;-)

Peter Bath


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