D&DEnc 17 – Scourge of the Sword Coast – Session 11
Another extended session at Tabletop Tyrants this week. No Tilly and Sunyi this week and Vipin had returned to DM his normal table, so down to 4 players this time with 3 of them running new characters (Oliver and Heather as their characters died, and Tanis wanted to change his too so we had said that Lan had headed off back to Waterdeep rather than Daggerford).
- Adam – Gedrick Gladomain, high elf ranger.
- Tanis – Gadwin, half-elf paladin.
- Oliver – Ace Freehly, human cleric/bard/mage/druid.
- Heather – Reida, wood elf druid.
Arriving back in Daggerford alone Gedrick headed for Sir Isteval’s to report on what had transpired at Harpshield Castle. There he met a trio of adventurers that had also answered the call and happily fell in with them. As they discussed recent events there was a loud knock at the door, followed by Jekk leading a very battered and dishevelled looking Darfin Floshin into the room.
The elf lord recovered enough to tell the group that his family home had fallen to the Red Wizards and their undead minions but he feared for his sister, Shalindra, safety. He had tried to enter the family estate only to have its protective wards turn upon him. While the heroes collected any necessary supplies around town, Isteval, Darfin and Jekk would consult with Delfen Yellowknife (the Dukes wizard).
A short time later Jekk caught up with the heroes and hurried them back. Darfin and Delfen had worked out a way of teleporting the heroes past the wards and into the basement of the estate, though it would not be without risk. Darfin told them that if his sister was able to she would have fled to the deepest chamber of the basement and secured herself within. If they could find her then her magic hopefully get them all out together, his only concern was that as the wards had been turned against him something was terribly wrong – only a Floshin could change the protective spells.
The heroes agreed to go, and followed Delfen to his towers summoning chamber. The wizard performed the ritual he had created and with a stomach churning lurch they found themselves transported to the estates wine cellar. Once they gathered their wits and decided on a light source they began to explore the basement with Gedrick leading the way.
They found an abandoned workshop where someone had crafted a clay statuette of a demon stabbed by a sword, Gedrick recalled the legend of Dragonspear Castle and the slaying of a pit fiend to close the portal the forces of evil were pouring forth from.
The next two rooms proved to be store rooms, one of dry wood, the other having shelves of candles, sacks and soap. The next room had a trough of running water and shelves full of washing implements. As Gedrick looked in the water he saw a pair of gelatinous masses and gave one a poke with his sword. The masses morphed into anemone-like jellies and began squirting water at the ranger, though none hit. He stepped away and quickly realised they weren’t coming out of the trough after him so left them alone.
They heroes came to the raised stairwell landing and remembering Darfin’s words chose to explore further in the basement rather than head up into the manor proper. Heading west down the corridor they came across a wall mounted fountain in the shape of a leaping dolphin that had another of the jelly creatures in the water basin. This time the heroes decided to attack it, using blades and spells and eventually reduced it several smaller pieces which they could see were slowly dissolving into the water. Continuing west they came to a large kitchen, they checked the water basin but found no sign of more jelly creatures but they heard a low moaning coming from the smaller fireplace to the north. As Ace looked up the chimney he fell back in shock as a black shape flew out and attacked the party – they were able to identify their foe as a wraith and knew they needed magic to cause it serious harm. They were able to despatch the wraith but not before it had drained some life energy from Reida.
The next room they explored was a pantry stocked with several ceramic jars of pickles, honey and preserves. Ace, Gadwin and Gedrick chose to empty a couple of jars (which they then returned to the kitchen and rinsed clean in the water. The heroes then decided to head back the way they had come, Gadwin wanted to collect some of the quicklime they had found in the workshop, while Ace and Gedrick wanted to try and catch the jellies from the laundry trough, which they did reasonably easily.
Returning to the landing there was only one other way to go, north, so off they went. The corridor led into a room that looked like a barracks area with bunks and a weapons rack. As they entered some of the weapons began to move and attacked the heroes by some animated force. The heroes quickly dealt with the threat and then examined the remnants of the racks contents, finding a well used greataxe and set of scale mail which looked out of place amongst the usual elven fare of longswords and bows. Searching through the contents of a desk draw they found the torn out pages of a journal which upon reading they found was Shalindra’s – her comments told that she found herself having nightmares, then allowing the red wizards in and helping them alter the wards of the estate, all the while seeing herself do these things while having little-to-no control of her actions. The final entry stated that as she realised that she had become possessed by Baazka, the demon defeated when the portal in dragonspear castle was closed, so she was going to seal herself in the estates most secure chamber.
A side door led to a pair of cells, one of which had the body of a dead half-orc in it. Aware of the Red Wizards liking for undead the heroes took no chances and used sacred flame to immolate the body. Returning to the barracks Gadwin tried to kick the northern door open but as it opened in to the room all he managed to do was jam it into the frame. Ace tried using his druidic power in an effort to affect the wood of the door but all it did was burst into bloom. Gedrick used his thaumaturgy to create a screwdriver and managed to pry the door open allow the heroes to pass through.
The walls of the corridor beyond were carved to show a woodland scene and ended in a set of white marble doors. At the slightest touch they opened onto a circular chamber with a statue of an elf in centre. All the heroes except Gadwin had entered the room when the doors on the far side opened, causing their entrance to slam shut, leaving Gadwin alone in the corridor. But Ace, Reida and Gedrick didn’t have time to worry about their ally as a quartet of figures came in from the other doorway. Three of them looked like zombies in armour with wickedly sharp axes while the fourth they identified as an armoured wight, and they charged at the heroes.
Back in the corridor Gadwin was worrying as both doors had disappeared and the carved walls were beginning to close in! He tried bracing them using a spear which slowed them slightly but soon the spear began to bend. Gadwin cried out “I don’t believe I’m going to die like this” (at which point I had him roll a Wis save, which he passed) and suddenly found it all to be an illusion. Gathering his weapon back up he rushed to the circular room to help his companions.
The battle was brutal with all of the heroes being dropped unconscious at least once throughout it, as the zombie warriors proved quite vicious as well as refusing to stay down once “killed” (one of them we referred to as super nugget as he managed to get back to his feet several times before finally succumbing). By the time the last of the undead finally fell the heroes (and their healing capacities) were thoroughly exhausted.
And that was where we had to leave it as we had over-ran even our extended session time, playing for 3.5 hours. Even running the estate in an abridged form seems to have been too much to complete in a single session but hopefully we’ll be able to finish it and complete the finale next week. The players were discussing at the end of the session that they wanted to find somewhere to take a rest before venturing forth to the wherever the undead had come from, whether that’s a good idea in a structure overrun by evil wizards and their undead minions remains to be seen.