D&D Encounters – Week 1

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Well this week saw the official start of our first season running/playing the D&D Encounters. The adventure is titled “The Elder Elemental Eye” and as our assembled players looked expectantly up at me from their seats around the table we began.

Their characters, a halfling sorceror, human sunpriest, and eladrin knight had been hired by the agents of the rulers of Iriaebor (in the Forgotten Realms) to investigate a suspected outbreak of the abyssal plague in the small but strategically important tradeway town of Easting. If they were to find evidence of the plague they were tasked with finding and halting its source.

Approaching Easting they came across a burnt down home with five fresh graves beside it. A cursory investigation revealed that the doors and windows of the building had been sealed from the outside prior to the fire and several sets of footprints showed efforts to keep nearby buildings safe but not to save this one. Exhuming one of the graves revealed the burnt remains of a plague victim, the sunpriest Gauldoth recognising tell-tale signs.

As they advanced further into town they spot the Thirsty Ox tavern but their attention is drawn to the accompanying barn. also sealed from outside but guarded by a pair of farmhands and a young squire, all three looked drawn and tired. Following a brief conversation the heroes were directed to the local temple and the towns leaders. When they found them, they were in the midst of a heated discussion. Father Evendur advocating quarantine and care for the plague victims apparantly sequestered within the barn, while Sir Arveen argued a more drastic policy of burning the infected – including herself if the heroes took over the duties of protecting the town!

Evendur managed to get all to agree on the party examining the quarantined villagers for now, before deciding on further action. As they approached the barn doors burst apart as a plague demon sprang out and attacked the weary squire. The party responded as the sunpriest charged forward enraged by the abominations, the sorceror let fly his arcane energies, and the knight heroically investigated the abandoned farmers hut nearby!

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It looked a dangerous task as the demons began to drag infected villagers and the squire into the depths of the barn, but Gauldoth (the sunpriest) managed to help the squire get free – though not before he they both took severe wounds in the process. By this time Aofel the knight had joined the fray and the farmhands had ran screaming for the safety of anyplace else. At this point they became aware of another shadowy figure in the back of the barn, as it began to throw handaxes at the knight.

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The sorceror withdrew to call for more assistance (or as described “scream like a little girl – with pigtails!”) before hurling more arcane bolts at the beasts. The shadow-figure was revealed to be a bizarre ginger haired dwarf that attacked the knight with its battleaxe, then tried to back off only to be struck back by the knight and to cower gibbering in the corner. At this point the knight decided to run “up the wall” to gather momentum in an attack on the remaining demon, unfortunately his enthusiasm outstretched his ability (rolled a natural 1) and ended up on his plate-mailed ass!

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Eventually the party despatched their demonic foes, captured the gibbering dwarf and one surviving villager. Sir Arveen rewarded them with an Amulet of Health and when they gave Evendur the dwarfs residuum to empower his cure disease ritual on Sir Arveen, another potion of Healing each was forthcoming.

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