An unfortunate delay in posts, thanks to various factors meaning we couldn’t play for close to a month.  As a result of this, a lot of the last session was off-topic rambling but we got some decent stuff out of it, though this post will be shorter than most.

Having angered one of the wealthiest and highest ranking members of society in Sigil, the centaur considered it wise to buy a few things and collect her money from items she sold before hastily finding a way to return to the place that is emphatically not Narnia (honest) to lay low for a while.  She knew the problems with time that affect going to and from the once-snowy plane, but even if no real time has passed then she could at least get a lifetime’s worth of training whilst she’s there.  The medusa also did some urgent shopping after her run-in (or swim-through) with the Black Pudding, and on returning to the pub she decided to think of a way to better defend herself, and after a moment’s reflection decided Fire solves everything.  She played around a bit with the fireplace, discovering a hitherto unnoticed talent for setting fires by tapping into some primal nature energy.  Also at the pub, a bard had arrived, unaffiliated with the guild the group had consulted to spread popularity.  The bard had heard about ‘The A-Team’ but was largely uninterested in their exploits, she had just happened to find her way into their headquarters as she was pub crawling, looking for gigs after a day of shopping.  She had lived in Sigil for some time, getting adjusted to this strange and alien world having come from a much different place when she accidentally spilt a drop of blood into her belt buckle.

The belt buckle was also her holy symbol

As the group relaxed, and noticed the minotaur and Steve were nowhere to be seen, the Cleric’s Ring of Communication began to ring (metaphorically, and no pun intended).  It was a worker of the Rundeen Consortium, who had been given a ring for informing the group of any potential business.  In this case, he informed the cleric that they were due to intercept a shipment of weapons but were expecting enough resistance to warrant the services of the A-Team, and if they weren’t interested then the Rundeen would unfortunately have to ignore the shipment.  The cleric inquired as to what the shipment contained, and was told that it was various rare weapons but the main prize was a collection of experimental weapons known as Calimshite Fire Spears.  The medusa suddenly sprang to attention on hearing the word ‘fire’, almost setting fire to the pub were it not for the bard’s intervention with her fascinating music, and it was discovered that these spears main function was to shoot a jet of deadly flame from their tips, not unlike dragon’s breath.  The cleric and medusa were happy to fulfil the quest, it at least letting them get away from Sigil temporarily, and when they asked how they would get there they were told that there was an active portal in the Yuan-Ti town they had helped recently, and that the intercepting party would be leaving in two days time.
The bard decided she would travel with them, hungering for more fans especially on a plane such as Faerun, and decided to set up a grand performance this night before they left.  She performed well enough, getting some interest from the locals who, being mostly unsavoury races and demons, soon set up a mosh pit, and so they rested for the night.  The night was uneventful, though there was still no sign of the minotaur, and so the trio set off to find Kylie the tiefling, knowing she would know where to find this portal.  Approaching her house it was clear that she wasn’t in, which wasn’t entirely unexpected, so the medusa tried to communicate with some pigeons to keep watch in case she came back.  The first pigeon just blinked in lack of understanding, concentrating solely on the food the druid was offering, so the medusa moved on.  The second was arguably worse at understanding, as when told that if it could ‘see the person’ it could then ‘eat the food’ it instead interpreted it as ‘see the food, eat the person’.  The medusa didn’t bother correcting the instructions, thinking it could be quite entertaining, and instead moved on to a third pigeon who thankfully did understand the instructions fully and completely.
Deciding the best place to find Kylie would probably be at the Lady’s Palace, touting her services, the group headed straight there and immediately noticed her leaning against a wall looking bored as the area was surprisingly quiet for this time of day.  Calling her name, the tiefling’s first instinct was to run but soon realised it was the medusa and cleric she had dealt with before, and asked how she could help.  The party stated their intent, and Kylie was happy to oblige, leading them through the city to the portal.  En route, she told them about how there was a contract out on their heads, specifically the minotaur’s, and asked what they had been doing.  They recounted the story of what happened with the pimp, and Kylie quickened her pace once she found out who they were dealing with- it turns out that he had a reputation for paying off the authorities and employing plenty of lackies to do his dirty work, all the while he would be socialising with the city’s cultural elite.  She would attempt to pull a few strings whilst the group were gone, but couldn’t guarantee anything.  Sure enough, they arrived at the portal guarded by two men who asked for identification.  On hearing the statement, one of them passed through the portal to check on the other side, and indeed there was a Rundeen trade caravan waiting on the other side, so they were allowed through.
Wasting no time in the yuan-ti village, the trio made quick introductions with the Rundeen worker and his lizardmen bodyguards before setting on their way, the bard summoning her Phantom Steed which appeared in the form of a strange mechanical device that billowed smoke and flames.  The bard added to the effect by using Ghost Sound to activate what she called a ‘radio’ that played music for them as they rode.  Of course, the noise attracted some unwanted companions, specifically in the form of a strange glowing orb by the side of the road in the marsh.  The group were unfamiliar with it though it was clearly some sort of creature, and it rose from the marsh ready to attack.  One of the lizardmen was first to charge in with his battle cry of ‘Rar Rar OohRarara!’, and didn’t appear to do much damage but got nastily lashed by the creature’s tentacles in return, so the Cleric decided to fire from afar with her wand of Magic Missile.  Unfortunately this did even less damage as the creature seemed to literally absorb the magical energy before firing it back at the other lizardmen who had run to engage it.  The bard quickly summoned a strange creature which she referred to as a ‘ground urchin’, an animal that has dangerous quills and some volatile contents in its stomach, and proceeded to dropkick it at the orb where it exploded on impact, landing just off target.  Thinking she would do better to enhance her allies strength instead, she concentrated her efforts on strumming out a battle theme on her guitar to Inspire Courage in her friends, as the medusa fired a barrage of arrows at the creature, making sure there were no magical bonuses for the creature to absorb.  The cleric tried a different spell, one which she knew would not harm her companions- Holy Smite- but again she couldn’t overcome the creature’s Spell Resistance and so the creature fired it back but to little effect.  Using brute force, the party eventually managed to fell the creature thanks to one of the lizardmen who scored a powerful blow, cleaving the creature in two, proclaiming his victory with a continuation of his clan’s cry that very loosely translates to ‘he can’t <Decipher Script> my <Bluff> face!’

it tore apart its opponents flesh to wear in future battles

The bard quickly mounted her mechanical phantom steed to escape the lizardmen’s awful singing, with the others in quick pursuit as a bolt of lightning struck a nearby tree, momentarily deafening everyone around.  Luckily the group arrived in the town before the storm could become too unbearable, and the bard immediately set to work finding a suitable tavern to perform for the night as the medusa and cleric did some more shopping and attempting to sell their healing services, though the medusa got caught by one of the fighting pit workers for selling her services without a license.  Finding the same tavern as the bard, mostly thanks to overhearing some of the slaves spreading word around the city, the group once again settled down for a night of music and rest before embarking on their pirate mission the next day, the medusa reflecting on how she would be glad to get away from towns or cities or urban environments in general.
During the night, the medusa was woken by a disturbance in the street- looking outside she noticed a mugging in process as two men in black were beating up a drunk.  The bard also witnessed this, and they both went outside to set things right.  The medusa wasting no time, she tried to intimidate them with threats of petrification.  This was enough for one of them to run, but the other thought that if the medusa was capable of turning to stone then he would be stone already.  Though the bard proved slightly more intimidating after the attacker noticed the size of her axe, and as he turned to run the medusa hit him with a well-aimed shot that was enough to make him fall unconscious.  Needing some healing for the drunk, they tried to get the attention of the cleric by throwing a stone at her window, which apparently failed so the medusa threw a bigger stone, not caring about smashing the window as it could be fixed with a couple of Mending spells later.  This was enough to wake the cleric, and turn her ethereal temporarily as well as her new Blink reflex kicked in, and she immediately set to work healing and sobering up the drunk as the others dragged the unconscious attacker into the pub and tied him up, hamstringing him for good measure.  He regained consciousness and immediately recognised the cleric, and became increasingly worried about where the minotaur was as he was the same would-be thief that targetted the honeymoon suite the last time the group were in town.  The medusa delighted in torturing him for a while, taking his license and burning it before returning him naked to the street, still with his hands tied behind his back.  Taking pride in a good deed done (in a somewhat morally grey way) the trio went back to bed for the rest of the night, before being woken by the general daytime traffic of the busy port town.
After their usual morning prayers, the group set off for the docks which proved to be by far the busiest part of town.  They easily identified the Rundeen ship, thanks to its conspicuous black sails, and went to meet the captain.  In true dashing pirate style, the captain swung down from the rigging with the wind blowing through his hair as he struck a pose in front of the party and introduced himself as the notorious Daniel Simone, and he would be their captain for the day.  He went through the compulsory safety procedure, informing the group that the sound of seven bells means the ship is in trouble and in that case they should follow the green paint on deck to the lifeboats, and they were also shown where the buoyancy aids were.  With formalities over, they set sail for adventure on the high seas with the horizon as the limit, getting to act as swashbuckling pirates in the name of good.

The Captain soon realised he shouldn't have eaten that egg for breakfast

Still within sight of the formidable coastal defences, the lookout on the crow’s nest sounded a warning of a Roc that was heading in their direction- an enormous bird spoken of in legend, said to be capable of lifting huge creatures for their dinner, sometimes even as big as elephants or dinosaurs on the nearby plains.  Sure enough it seemed to have the ship as it’s next target, despite the coastal ballistas trying to deter it from it’s course.  The ship itself fired a volley of ballista bolts at it, but it had a grace that defied it’s size that allowed it to weave through the bolts.  The cleric fired a barrage of Magic Missiles at it from her wand, which did decent damage but not enough to disrupt it’s flight, and hoping to get in a good shot before it came close enough for the medusa to use her spells the druid fired her new bow at it, enhanced by the bard’s music and the captain’s rallying cry, hopefully using the Dislocating power of the bow to either lower the roc into the water or confuse it enough to lose it’s balance.  Loosing the shot, the arrow flew through the air, striking the enormous bird right between the eyes, stunning it in mid-flight.  Unfortunately, being fifty feet above the water and flying at approximately nine miles per hour, the momentum was enough for the Roc to fall directly on top of the ship- a fact that the cleric’s Blink reflex quickly took into account as she turned ethereal, proving it’s worth for the very purpose she wished- getting her out of danger when large objects are falling towards her.  By a stroke of luck, the medusa was standing in just the right place for her to use her new tail to swing to the safety of the sea as the Roc fell onto the ship.  Unfortunately, the Bard did not have the benefit of the Lady’s wishes and suffered a fate true to most bards dedicated to her particular style of music- that of Living Fast, and Dying Young.  The captain had managed to use his experience to swing from the rigging onto the back of the bird as it crashed, and although many of the crew were crushed there were still many survivors with the presence of mind to jump to the sea.  The roc itself, though it had only been stunned, the fall was enough to get it entangled in the ships rigging and impaled on the various jagged bits of wood, causing it to eventually drown as it couldn’t break free.  Everyone helped to drag the bird ashore, annoyed that they had lost their chance at intercepting the weapons shipment but also hopeful that their acquisition of a full-size intact Roc should fetch a tidy sum from a museum or for scientific research.  Sure enough, the Rundeen Consortium offered 9000 gold to those involved in it’s capture, which was distributed evenly- the medusa getting 3000, the cleric getting 3000 (though offering more to the druid for it was entirely due to her that it was acquired), and the pirate captain getting 3000 which he distributed amongst the crew and donated to the families of the poor unfortunate souls that perished.
Interestingly, as they counted what they could of the dead, the bard’s body was unfound- all that remained was a small smattering of blood that was later rumoured to have been in the shape of the mysterious deity the bard worshipped, and brandished on her belt buckle.

Notable events:
Roc falls, one person dies.
Em’s centaur leaves the party to train with possibility of returning later, bard introduced instead.
Bard definitely not based on a certain videogame character, but proves that she would have made an accurate videogame character as she couldn’t swim.  Bard dies.
Players live up to stereotype, as when all the characters are female then a great deal of time was spent shopping.
By strange coincidence, when one of the last bards devoted to the music of the universe which she believed was connected to rocks and metal dies, another genre of music gains popularity in the form of the lizardmen’s battle cry that has begun to spread due to it’s success in battle.
It is revealed that the A-Team have a contract on their heads in Sigil, put out by the angered pimp.


Analysis of an epic moment:
Some clarification may be required regarding how a CR9 creature can almost TPK a fully healed party of level 9 adventurers, and a ship full of lower level NPCs.  Here is what happened in game terms.
Medusa fires bow at Roc, not expecting to do much but enough to not waste a turn doing nothing.  Natural 20.  Crit is confirmed, thanks to the Roc’s relatively low armour class due to it being so huge.  To determine the result of crits, we consult a crit table- percentile is rolled, 60-something% is the result.  This is a powerful hit, resulting in the target being stunned for one round on top of crit damage.  A Roc is a bird, and therefore in the sky when it gets stunned.  The Roc was travelling at 80ft per 6 seconds (1 round), which is roughly equivalent to 9mph.  As the Monster Manual text states, a Roc weighs 8000lbs and is easily big enough to cover the length of the ship with its wings spread, as when flying.  I decide to roll percentile to see where the Roc lands- low it’s in the sea, high it’s on the ship- with a small allowance for the displacement on the arrow.  The result was 97%, emphatically meaning the ship.  The cleric has the ability to Blink when large objects fall towards her, so she’s fine- that activates as you can’t say a gargantuan animal following towards you isn’t a large object.  The other two characters get reflex saves to see if they can jump out of the way- they both fail.  But then the medusa’s player remembers their wish, which resulted in being able to take a luck reroll on any dexterity based skill- so she took it, and succeeded- barely.  The bard, having not had any wishes, was unfortunately crushed by the Roc, which meant finding out how this sort of damage works.  For every 200lbs of an objects weight, the damage is 1d6.  A falling object also does additional damage based on how much momentum it has- 1d6 for every 10ft it moves before impact.  This made a total of 48d6 damage, on every creature that was on the ship, from a CR9 creature that could usually only do about 2d6 damage per round on a single target.