D&D Encounters Season 13 – Storm over Neverwinter – Session 3
This week saw our early group postponed due to players have work commitments, unfortunately when it came to the rearranged time real life once again intervened and so they have effectively missed the session. The late group went ahead as normal with a new player joining us for his first visit.
As Lady Nidris’s coach drove away a group of Mintarn soldiers led by the dwarven Swordcaptain the heroes had briefly met at the Moonstone Mask aproached them. The dwarf thanked them for helping Lady Nidris and asked the heroes to join him for a quiet drink and a chat in the nearby Beached Leviathan, leaving his men on guard outside.
Taking his usual table he told the heroes that the investigation of the kidnappings was too dangerous an undertaking for them and to leave it to the Mintarn forces in the employ of Lord Neverember. He was mid-sentance when a bolt of ice struck him, freezing him solid, as a pair of devils appeared in the taproom. A few of the patrons seemed to be under the demons sway and two of them barred the doors preventing the soldiers coming to the heroes aid. The remaining patrons began to panic and most hid under their tables.
The unusual rocking motion of the floor caused the newly arrived mage some discomfort but he overturned a table as cover and chose to use his spells from safety as the vamp/sentinel and hexblade charged forward into the cramped confines to battle the demons. The hunter assisted with his bow, and managed to convince one of the cowering patrons to unbar the nearest door. Unfortunately as he tried to do so one of the dominated ruffians threw his cudgel at him, striking him in the eye and killing him (I rolled a crit!). The hunter didnt have much chance to mourn as the ice devil froze him in place with another icy bolt.
The hexblade assaulted the ice devil but his blows just didnt seem to find their mark (an encounter power followed by action pointed encounter power both missed) and as a pair of the ruffians closed to back up their devilish leader the hexblade smiled calmly, already planning his next move. Black tendrils of mist spread out from the dragonborn to engulf the ruffians temporarily taking control of them and causing them to turn on the devil, scoring two mighty blows against the unprepared monster.
Meanwhile the fiery devil had chosen to head topside, swiftly chased by the vamp/sentinel and his faithful wolf. As they reached the upper deck the devil and another ruffian backed them up before the sterncastle and pounded on them mercilessly. If the sentinal had been a living man he would have fallen under the blows, but luckily his undeath merely slowed him momentarily.
Below decks the hexblade and mage concentrated on the ice devil, their efforts were rewarded as they dropped it to the ground and the ruffians seemed to come out of whatever had been controlling them. The hunter hearing the combat above chose to climb out of the nearest window and scaled the side of the ship before finally shooting the remaining devil with a well placed shaft.
After making sure the ruffians were truly back to themselves the heroes opened the doors and the Mintarn soldiers rushed in. Shocked at seeing their commander dead they were calmed by the heroes recount of what had happened and took his body back to the Mask.
Leaving the Leviathan the heroes spied another group of mercenary soldiers accosting a pathetic looking figure clutching a satchel. Intervening they asked what cause the soldiers had to stop the man. He had been running the streets like a mad man and now wouldnt let them look through his satchel. The heroes convinced him to let them check it which he agreed to and after confirming he was just a simple document courier. However he had the mark of one of the kidnap victims so the soldiers took him away to be sent to Helms Hold “with the rest of the nutters”, leaving the heroes once more in the streets.
This session offered some interesting tactical challenges for the players with the confined space and numerous innocent bystanders. I also ruled that any that had no seagoing background (which turned out all of them) would need to make a DC 10 endurance check every 2nd round or suffer queasiness, resulting in -1 on attack rolls for a round (the mage being the only one to fail, twice). The insight checks to identify which patrons were dominated worked well, though with the players optimised pc’s they passed them easily. All in all another good session, though it felt like it was designed more to drain party resources more than fill in any plot clues.