D&D Encounters Season 12 – Against the Cult of Chaos – Session 1
“With the boldness of the bandit attack fresh in his memory Sir Moonbrook drove a fast pace to reach Hommel Lane as quickly as possible. This eventually took its toll on the horses and he reluctantly agreed to a short stop beside a spring pool with an ancient stone bridge on thier route.
As he bent to fill his waterskin a purple mist rose from the water and entered the paladin and a strange voice uttered a dire message as he commanded his squires to attack, their movements seeming clunky and awkward but no less dangerous.”
Back to normal this week with two sessions (although one was delayed a few days due to other commitments), both groups began with the same introduction but from there took different roads.
The Late Group.
This group was low on numbers, but having braved the horrible turn the local weather had taken I chose not to just cancel the session. The fight with the Paladin and his squires was quite brutal for the heroes with one of them being almost dropped from Moonbrook’s first blow and then one of the squires finishing the job. The squire beside the cart smashed Carjo before being taken out. It was looking grim until one of the squires struck at the heroes only for Carjo to dive in front of the blow and get knocked unconscious for his troubles. The selfless act and sight of an innocent dropping seemed to give the paladin some respite and he regained temporary control of his body, warning the heroes to bind him quickly and get him to the temple in Hommel Lane.
Arriving at the village they discovered the Canoness was out of town and left the paladin and his squires in the care of the remaining acolytes. They visited the Druid and constable discovering more on the troubles the village was suffering and decided o see why the local lords in the nearby keep were doing nothing about it.
They were given audience with the castellan and found that the lords were also mysteriously absent. The castellan was more concerned with the keep and its inhabitants than the town and so the heroes decided to try to get the local merchants to take control. Unfortnately the prevalent apathy enraged the Hexblade and he uttered some dark curses which caused an uproar until the Constable and his deputies arrested the party and escorted him to the cell.
While there the became aware that a fire had been started in one of the dairies barns, by the time it was brought under control two of the cows had been killed. The heroes were released in the morning and decided to investigate the suspected bandit lair in the fens.
The Early (delayed) Group.
The battle with the Paladin and squires went a little better for this group, they managed to overcome Sir Moonbrook (though the Genasi Swordmage still had to be revived by magical healing). They quickly discerned his apparent possession and headed to the Temple in Hommel Lane.
This group chose to investigate the disappearing villagers as well as meet the Druid etc. They went to one of the farmhouses that had been abandoned, finding no sign of struggle but a piece of parchment (as if ripped from a corner of a list) that one full and one partial name on it (the names of the former occupants). They also decided to visit the Leatherworkers, having heard that the leatherworker and his wife had disappeared after an evening at the Golden Grain. Entering the house they were confronted by the children (teenage daughter and two crying youngsters) at knife point they managed to convince her to let them search her parents room but when they wanted to search further they began to scream and wail. Half the party decided to leave but the Genasi tried to intimidate the girl as their cries began to attract attention. He was just leaving when a pair of deputies arrived and the girl told them he was trying to force his way in their home, earning him a trip to the cell.
The remaining heroes retired to the Golden Grain where they were befriended by merchant named Felixio whi bought them drinks for helping his friend Wyndell on the road. They noticed the smith and carpenter giving them furtive glances and the goliath and paladin decided to “go talk” to them. This eventually led to the goliath and the smith “taking it outside” where the goliath proceeded to land the smith on his backside, demanding he tell what he knew about the happenings in town. It looked like he was about to say something when his neck broke, apparently on its own accord. The assembled patrons confirmed to the constable that the heroes hadnt done it and they returned to their drinks. It was then they noticed that both the carpenter and Felixio were missing.
The heroes decided to retire to the rooms and were soon joined by their released Genasi. After discussing their options they decided to investigate the suspected bandit lair in the fens.
Both groups ended up choosing the same course of action, admittedly it was easier to “flesh out” the town encounters on the second game as I had the advantage of reading other DM’s reports to work with as well as more players to work off of. I’m really enjoying the feel of this seasons adventure as its reminiscent of an old-style campaign adventure rather than the “fight-a-week” that Encounters was in danger of becoming.
Definately looking forward to next week and a very familiar looking bandit lair.