D&D Exp DDEX1-4 Dues for the Dead

DDEX1-4This past weekend at Tabletop Tyrants we held our third D&D Expeditions event. These one day specials are proving very popular, and this one was no exception. Thirteen players between 3 tables, with another of our Encounters players taking to the DM’s chair (you can read how Jon got on in his blog post).

I had four players on my table, Daniel and Sarah from my Encounters group and two returning faces from my 4e Shadowfell campaign, Matt and Rhys. Character wise we had a pair of maul wielding barbarians, a bard, and a wiry monk.

Following the hook of the help wanted sign, the heroes head straight to Valhingen Graveyard and talk to Doomguide Glandon and readily agree to investigate the area where Sister Bethel’s remains had been discovered. They happily accepted the proffered goggles and aid of Cassyt as a guide.

Entering the relevant mausoleum they descended into the crypts below, ignoring the upper chambers in favour of checking the site the body was found (on the landing outside room 4). Investigating through the door Daniel decided to perform a cannonball into the bone pit, prompting Cassyt to shake her head and make a note in her small notebook. As the barbarian climbed out they heard a voice, possibly either a female or child, calling “help me, help!” from deeper in the chamber. Moving to investigate they found the next chamber to house a pile of gnawed body parts, unfortunately as they examined them a ghoul that was hiding under them attacked. Despite the initial surprise it didn’t fare well against the four heroes. When they investigated the next chamber they saw two more of the foul creatures and one leered at them as it mimicked “help me!” before breaking into an eerie laugh. Once the heroes had dealt with the pair of undead Cassyt said a quick prayer over their victims remains and the party moved on.

They came to a rickety looking staircase circling a large four-armed statue, and despite it creaking ominously it held as they descended. The statue held objects in three of its four hands so Daniel put his head in the empty one – but nothing happened. When told it was cold to the touch he licked it (during several seasons of 4e Encounters Daniel was nicknamed Captain Lickit).

With two exits the heroes first explored the open passageway finding another chamber with bodies interred in the walls and an obelisk covered in strange runes. As Sarah’s bard and Cassyt looked at the runes, Daniel and Matt thought they saw a couple of the bodies move out of the corner of their eyes but when they turned to watch more closely nothing happened. Cassyt realised that the obelisk was enchanted to protect the remains by making intruders believe things were moving. Once they were sure there was no threat they returned to the large statue and took the northern door.

This led into a room with a high ceiling with a grate to the open sky, but their attention was attracted to the door to the north and a trio of voices beyond. The door had been barred from the inside but the barbarians shouldered into it, forcing it open a crack. Daniel decided to scratch at it with his claws and creepily to squeeze his fingers into the gap to scare whoever was behind it. Unfortunately one of the occupants bashed the door shut, slamming it on Daniels hand. Smashing the door again opened it and the heroes discovered a trio of grave robbers who had apparently hidden here after being attacked by zombies. After confiscating their loot the trio followed the heroes directions to get back to the surface safely. Cassyt seemed to be pleased by the party’s actions and smiled as she wrote another note in her book.

Heading down the stairs the tunnel took on a different appearance with skeletal bodies poking out of the walls floor and ceiling as if the tunnel had been dug out of the middle of a mass grave site. The heroes were eager to get through the chamber but their way was blocked as some of the skeletons rose up from the floor and blocked their way. While the barbarians and monk engaged their foes another trio of skeletons dropped from the ceiling behind the bard and Cassyt! Thankfully the brutal mauls of the barbarians and flying fists of the monk soon smashed the skeletons.

Down another set of stairs  and they found a chamber with a partially obscured sign, which they cleared off to reveal “A question speak you, and answer will these departed”. They quickly realised that the spirits interred here would answer their questions, unfortunately Daniel wasted two of the allowed questions by asking (twice) what he had had for breakfast. The heroes then turned their attention to the ornate double doors. Opening them they saw a figure on a throne, holding a dagger in one hand and a set of scales in the other, with a crown floating above its head.

Daniel examined the scales, using some of his own coins to try moving the balance. When he heard a loud click after making it tip severely to one side he panicked a little but when nothing else happened he gave up and left the room – only for Rhys to rush in and rashly grab the dagger, scales (with Daniel’s coins) and the crown. This triggered an ancient magical trap and Rhys was struck by the lightning from a Glyph of Warding – but he proudly exited the room wearing his new crown – much to Cassyt’s disgust and annoyance.

The next chamber held several macabre scenes which Cassyt surmised had held perpetrators of crimes, posed suffering the same fate at the hands of their own victims.

Following the corridor south they chose not to explore the underground necropolis and headed down the westward side passage, coming to a chamber with a kobold dozing on a chair, well, dozing until Daniel shouted “Oi!” startling the little creature. It tried to flee and alert whoever was in the chamber beyond but was brought down with ranged attacks before it could get far enough – not that it needed to after Daniels shout though.

As they stepped over the small reptilian form a handful of zombies blocked their progress any further while they could see a knight, wizard and cultist beyond. Sarah targeted the wizard with Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, causing him to drop to the floor in fits. The knight wasn’t happy at that and shot his crossbow at Cassyt, killing her instantly.

The barbarians and monk steadily beat the zombies down and by the time the undead were dealt with the cultist had snapped the wizard out of it so that he could complete his ritual and teleport away. The cultist fared little better than the undead but the knight proved highly capable and proceeded to thrash the party. Matt’s monk had to resort to using his remaining Goodberry’s to revive the repeatedly dropped barbarians.

The heroes finally decided to flee, unfortunately Rhys wasnt quite fast enough and the knight took him down with a well placed crossbow shot (scored a crit and killed him outright). Sarah ran until she reached the surface and intended to request further aid from the clerics of Kelemvor, while Daniel and Matt planned to ambush the knight in the room with the macabre scenes. However after several minutes the knight hadn’t turned up so they returned to see where he was, but he’d gone (presumably down the rough passageway leading westward).

The heroes returned to the surface to regroup and informed Doomguide Glandon of Cassyt’s death and their findings, albeit saddened he paid them as agreed before leaving to discuss the troubling revelations with his fellow clergy, the Lord Regent and Lord Sage.

Well, another Expedition completed, mostly successfully. Ours was the first group to finish and once my players had departed I settled to watch some of the action at the other two tables, which seemed to be having a blast too.

Jon has already expressed an interest in DMing at our next Expedition in December, and if we get another one or two volunteers I might actually get to play – I calculated the xp I’d gained from DM rewards so far, 2900 xp and 95 downtime days, plus the DM reward item from the Hoard of the Dragon Queen pack to use too. So I have allocated them between a pair of characters – a 5e incarnation of my usual pc, Horgar the dwarven cleric of Moradin, and a 5e version of my playtest character, Vo Besh the tiefling warlock with an infernal pact of the blade.

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2 Responses to “D&D Exp DDEX1-4 Dues for the Dead”

  1. Shared this to my Keep Rollin’ Sixes Facebook page. Thanks for sharing your experiences at the table!

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