D&DEnc 16 – Legacy of the Crystal Shard – Session 8

ShardPrepping for this weeks session I was acutely aware that we only had 5 sessions left until the next season begins so I made a decision to pre-plan the sessions accordingly so that we don’t go over story and finish on schedule. I ran this by the group before the game and they were ok with plan.

As usual we were at Tabletop Tyrants and running the D&D Next playtest rules. The group consisted of our regulars:-

  • Richard – Half orc Druid
  • Hannah – Half orc Fighter
  • Adam – Tiefling Mage
  • Vipin – Gnome Paladin
  • Sunyi – Tiefling Bard
  • Tanis – Elven Mage
  • Shane – Half orc Barbarian

The following morning the heroes met Helga and set off through the snows towards the dwarven valley. A few hours into the journey they can see an extremely large band of dwarves approaching, as they get nearer they can see they are led by Stokely Silverstream. Briefly he explains that after the heroes left he sent dwarves to recover the miners bodies but more undead swarmed out of the tunnels, dwarves, goblins, orcs and others, the dead of Akar Kessel’s minions from decades ago. Worst still, marching beside the undead were living dwarves clad in armour of black ice! Stokely had given the call to abandon the valley and was leading his people to Bryn Shander and make a stand with their allies of old. Helga turned her wagon around and paid the heroes for escorting her to her uncle as agreed and the party continued on their way to find Algonell the hunter.

Following the directions they had been given they came upon a group of goblins guarding a cave entrance on a ledge on the side  of Kelvin’s Cairn. The heroes took the guards out quickly and as Richard grabbed a goblin corpse to use as an improvised club, Shane and Vipin charged down the tunnel to find another group of goblins in what looked like an oversized canteen. The goblins started shouting “Biglip! Biglip!” as the rest of the part caught up and engaged them.

verbeegAs the battle got underway Tanis decided to take no chances and launched a flaming sphere at the large side door just in time, as it opened and a pair of Verbeeg giants waded through the flames into the room, one of them throwing a ragged javelin at Rich’s druid.

Having thinned the goblin ranks, most of the heroes targeted the verbeeg and despite the large creatures strength and fortitude the massed attacks soon defeated them and the last goblin took off down the corridor deeper into the complex. He didn’t get far though as Rich hurled a handful of fiery berries after him, leaving a smoking corpse.

lairTheir enemies defeated for the moment the heroes explored the room the verbeeg had come from, finding it to have been some form of leaders quarters. Vipin recalled tales of the heroes Drizzt and Wulfgar fighting verbeeg scouts of Kessel that were still told in the taverns of Icewind Dale and realised this must be the same location.

As they discovered what appeared to be a hidden door Shane still pumped up from the battle charged through into a curving tunnel that seemed to come to a dead-end. The half orc lowered his shoulder and charged at the wall ahead, bursting through the secret exit, unfortunately with too much momentum to stop on the very narrow ledge beyond and tumbled down the cairn’s side.

While he clambered back to them, the rest of the party were in a tense moment as Adam animated one of the dead goblins and Vipin began to charge at the tiefling mage. Luckily Sunyi’s bard used a suggestion to calm the paladin and he was placated. They used the goblin-zombie “scout” the corridor, leading to a store-room where they found several sacks of silver coins and a chest, which they commanded the zombie to open but it couldn’t. They were quickly able to overcome the lock and found it contained gold coins and five blue gems. Pausing only long enough to divvy up the treasure the heroes move on to explore the corridor the goblin had tried to flee down.

Moving down the corridor there were several doors leading off to either side and as they progressed they check each. The first four looked like storage rooms that hadn’t been used for some time, their contents rotted away long ago leaving little remains other than the smell. The next four rooms each had a set of bunk beds (sized for human occupants) but nothing else of interest. The corridor ended in a set of double doors but the final side door before it held a single bed and an armoire. Examining the room they found that the armoire was locked and Hannah smashed it open with her hammer, which was when she found the glyph of warding as electrical energy crackled around her. Inside the remains of the cabinet was a single robe of palest blue material which they determined had a magical aura of some sort. Vipin slipped it on and immediately began to feel a chill seeping into his very bones and quickly took it back off. As he did so they noticed very faint silvery diamond-shaped snowflakes around the edging which a couple of the heroes recognised as the symbol of Auril. Deciding to take the chance to catch their breath they barricade the door with the remains of the armoire and perform an identifying ritual upon the robe before exploring further.

And that’s where we left it for this week. Everyone seemed to have fun though we agreed a battle grid would have been useful in the dining area, I plan to make a grid for the next four sessions as needed (probably utilising my drywipe mat as I can pre-draw during my prep). The combat this week was interesting as the goblins proved little more than an annoyance but when the verbeeg appeared the players were definitely taken aback, though they still proved little trouble for the 7-strong group.

Next week we’ll see what lies beyond the door the at the end of the corridor and close Act 2 with a bang.

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