Archive for the Campaign Category

D&D AL – Tomb of Annihilation – Paths of the Righteous

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2017 by vobeskhan

Session 4 for both my tables and both pick up at the cliffhangers we let at …..

Team Zorbo

Cautiously entering what they hoped was the final chamber they easily spot the arcane trap and using the information they had from last session are able to get two of their number up the pillar to retrieve the item. However the downward climb triggers one of the traps with “shocking” consequences.

Having taking quite a beating from the various traps in the ancient structure they decide to camp for the night in the former commanders tent. During the night they hear a strange noise and a couple of them investigate but all they find is a strange-looking totem pole, leaving it alone they return to camp only to have their rest disturbed again by a group of axebeaks looking for their missing fledgling. The fight light the flightless birds is short-lived.

Waking in the morning they discover that their canoes have been stolen, apparently by goblins if the tracks at the shoreline are to be believed. Begrudgingly they break camp and continue on foot along the shore towards Camp Vengeance.

They run into a Flaming Fist patrol, who demand to see their exploration permit. Looking to their guides who simply shrug, the dwarf cleric prepares to pay the cost and receive a permit but the barbarian pre-empts this by attacking the patrol leader. The mercenaries and their dino’s put up a fight but eventually are left dead in the jungle.

The evening before they expect to reach Camp Vengeance they hear the cries of a baby deeper in the jungle. Investigating reveals a pair of strange monkey like creatures in a tree which, having lured them close enough hit them with a blast of psychic energy wich leaves the barbarian stunned. Thankfully the rest of the group aren’t too far behind and the creatures are chased off with guided bolts (killing one).

Next day they reach Camp Vengeance and approached the gates …..

Team Chwinga

Bursting through the dark jungle came an Allosaurus, but not a living one, a zombie! The heroes had quite a brutal fight on their hands but were victorious. Next morning they continue their journey, though the triton ranger decides to take a swim in the river, and contracts throat leeches!

With the weather getting worse as they travelled along the river’s edge they came to an area where the ground had been washed away into the river uncovering several buried bodies. As the party investigated them they arose and attacked. Despite the unsure footing the heroes quickly put the undead back in the ground from which they came from.

Using the river as a navigation aid they continue through the jungle and come across a group of Chultans apparently tearing a triceratops apart with their bare hands and devouring it. The cleric is fairly sure their not undead, just very strange, and each has a blue triangle on their foreheads. The group tried to sneak past unnoticed but one of them unfortunately made just that little bit too much noise and the strange groups attention focused upon the party. After a very brief battle the heroes burnt the corpses (just in case), and asked their guide if she knew who they were. Eku told them that there were many small nomadic tribes surviving within the jungle, she did not know them all. The cleric examined the blue triangles and thought they were reminiscent of the mark of Dendar the Night Serpent, god of the Yaun-ti.

Continuing their journey they eventually reach the remains of Camp Righteous, and begin their exploration of it before heading into the large stone structure while Eku waited outside.

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D&D AL – Tomb of Annihilation – Into the Jungle

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2017 by vobeskhan

So session 3 for my two tables and both begin their journeys into the depths of the Jungle.

Team Zorbo

The team sought out Syndra and Prince Wakanga to see if they had discovered anymore about the Death Curse, and indeed they had. Though the Soulmonger remained hidden from detailed detection they had found out that it was in somewhere called Omu and to the south in the interior. They had also been able to calculate that Syndra had a little under three months before the Curse would claim her. Both Syndra and Wakanga advised the team to seek out a guide for their journey and maybe to further knowledge from a supposed seer at Oralunga.

The team visited the compound of Prince Jobal to secure the services of one of his guides, and in the process get the services of two – the albino dwarf Musharib and the human warrior Salida, both would work for free though Musharib required the teams assistance in either driving the firenewts from his home or recovering his holy relic from their grasp.

They purchased boats, after trying to negotiate a discount from Prince Ekene-Afa. This required one of them to face the prince in a sparring contest. The teams barbarian stepped up to the task, even managing to score a critical blow on the prince, but she barely felt it and quickly put the burly warrior in the dirt of the practice ring.

Setting off from Port Nyanzaru they headed across country to join the River Soshenstar and taking to their canoes. As they travelled up river for a tenday they encountered some of the colourful fauna of the land before reaching Camp Righteous.

Investigating the abandoned camp they found the commanders notes before exploring the ancient ruin the camp surrounded.

The interior was laden with traps, some obvious, others insidiously hidden, but the heroes made their way to the innermost chamber ……….

Team Chwinga

After a restful night the team took the four pieces of the amulet to Soggy Wren who then asked them to deliver them to his Ytepka contact. Upon meeting this individual the team sensed something was a little off and a fight soon broke out, only to be further complicated when Diamsar’s puppet master made an appearance with his strange trio of scaly guards. The team was victorious thankfully and returned the now completed amulet to Soggy and the other Faction representatives.

Then they too headed to see Syndra and then on to hire a guide. The teams cleric was a member of the Order of the Gauntlet and was keen to sign Eku up but the group couldn’t afford to pay her rates. However, with the promise to help her destroy a “woman of great evil” at Mbala she agreed to defer her payment until they returned from their expedition.

Unable to afford canoes or other supplies (including insect repellant) they took to the jungle on foot, planning to follow the Soshenstar towards Camp Vengeance and then on to Mbala.

Just after setting camp for their third evening the team are awoken by Eku who was on watch as something large breaks through the dense jungle foliage and into their encampment ……

Two very fun-filled sessions, and both ending on somewhat of a cliffhanger.

D&D AL – Tomb of Annihilation – the adventures begin

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2017 by vobeskhan

Baldur’s Gate is a bustling metropolis and often a staging point for adventuring parties, several of which have received invitations/summons to a meeting from their various Faction contacts to gather at the estate of former adventurer and well-known wizardess Syndra Silvane.

Many groups of adventurers have gathered but all look to be fledgling groups with little to no mileage under their belts. A well-dressed servant calls or everyone to take a seat as a figure most had failed to notice by the fireplace slowly rises to its feet and begins to address the gathering.

And so began another season of our D&D adventures at our local gaming store (Tabletop Tyrants), thankfully this season I’m not the only DM as I’m joined by Jon, Patrick and Matt in the hot seats (though I am still running 2 tables a fortnight). We had quite an increase in people wishing to play and so all 5 of our tables have reached maximum capacity already!

My two tables are running on a Tuesday and Wednesday evening every other week. All of us had decided to begin the season with the Adventurers League adventure DDAL07-01 City on the Edge before continuing through into the actual full hardcover. We also decided to give each table a team name based on jungle animals, and so I have Team Zorbo on Tuesdays and Team Chwinga on Wednesdays.

After being teleported to Syndra’s ship as it approaches Chult the Teams made landfall in Port Nyanzaru. Syndra is going to visit and stay with her friend (one of the Merchant Princes that runs the Port) and tells them to come see her once they have conducted their business with their local faction contacts.

And so began the fun.

Team Zorbo

Team Zorbo decided to visit all of the faction contacts and see what each required before attempting any of their tasks. They took part in a dinosaur race and arena combat in the coliseum, found a misguided local making undead out of captured locals, made a short foray into the edges of the jungle and encountered angry frog people, and uncovered a smuggling route before taking several trinkets that seemed to fit together to the drunken Harper contact. This individual asked them to take it to his contact within the secretive Ytepka society but the meeting went awry and further issues arose before they were finally able to return to the assembled faction representatives. Now they decide their next move.

Team Chwinga

Team Chwinga got of to a shaky start as one o their number is a former pirate and the local harbour master dislikes pirates (reformed or not). They lost the race and the arena combat but thanks to the intervention of one of their new acquaintances they still managed to acquire the trinket they needed. They foiled the individual with the undead, tackled the frog men, and disrupted the smuggling. However they also tend to spend their evenings trawling the bars of the Port, and during one such foray encountered Zindar the harbour master again. He’d remembered why one of them was familiar and made an offer on behalf of his employers to the Team to defeat and capture a trio of pirate captains (and their ships) that were plaguing the area. The team realised that this might be beyond their current abilities but said they would look into it. The next evening while also on a pub crawl they heard a scream from the lighthouse in the harbour and looked up to see a burly figure throw someone from the top just before the light went out. Bravely the heroes storm the lighthouse, but unfortunately the tabaxi bard chose to climb the outside and just as they were about the crest the lip to the walkway one of the attackers stepped backwards onto their fingers causing them to lose their grip and fall to their death!

So two sessions in and we have diverging story’s already. We will be having a poster sized map of Chult put up at the store to record all of the teams progress on once they begin exploring the jungle properly and are actively encouraging the teams to share information of their discoveries too as they all attempt to discover and end the Death Curse!

 

D&D Encounters – Tales from the Yawning Portal – I must be crazy

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2017 by vobeskhan

So the new season of Adventurers League story arc is upon us, and it’s not the same as previous ones. This time the adventure consists of remastered classic dungeon crawls collected together in the one hardback.

Now when I hear the title and that it wold be a dungeoncrawl my brain automatically screamed “Undermountain!” but sadly the mega dungeon below Waterdeep doesn’t even get a look in. The only link being that the books premise is that adventurers from all over gather at the Yawning Portal to swap tales of their exploits in these “Legendary” dungeons.

That’s not to say I don’t like the book, its good and some of the adventures within are amongst my personal top 10.

Another change this season is that I am the only DM for Adventurers League this time around as our other regulars take time out for other games (or to continue their current Storm Kings game beyond the AL banner), this means that with the recent influx of new players I will be running 3 separate tables of 7 players apiece on fortnightly schedules (1 on a Tuesday evening, the other 2 on alternate Wednesday evenings), in addition to my fortnightly paid-DMing for a roll20 campaign and a monthly game with the local Hackspace group. This might sound like a lot, but I really enjoy DMing, especially if its bringing new players to the game and in the past I had even been running games 6 days out of 7 on a regular basis.

So who are my victims this season:

Tuesday (team 1) is a mixture of returning players and new players (to our AL group at least)

  • Phil (elf ranger)
  • Stuart (elf rogue)
  • John (human barbarian) new player
  • Elliot (dwarf fighter) new player
  • Jason (tiefling warlock)
  • Rose (gnome druid)
  • Melissa (half-elf ranger) new player

Wednesday (team 2) is mostly my previous Storm Kings group with a couple of returning players and a new addition

  • Jon (dwarf fighter)
  • Lee (bugbear barbarian)
  • Jack S (assimar cleric)
  • Tim (kobold ranger)
  • Morgan (assimar rogue)
  • Josh P (elf wiard)
  • Tommy (dwarf cleric) new player

Wednesday (team 3) is a mixture of newer players and some that while in our group for a while havent been on my table before.

  • Jack P (half orc barbarian)
  • Joshua P (elf ranger)
  • Sil (tiefling warlock)
  • Kieran (human fighter) new player
  • Lucie (gnome wizard) new player
  • Kara (elf ranger) new player
  • Vin (aasimar paladin)

As I prepared for the first sessions I realised the opening adventure, the Sunless Citadel, was written with a party of 4 in mind so using the AL and DMG guidelines I went through it and recalculated the encounters for my larger parties so as to maintain the challenges. I also noticed that the adventure had 3 different suggested hooks to get the players involved so decided to give each group a different one (though through interaction with npc’s etc they could uncover the other hooks in the course of the game).

As each table is progressing at a different rate I wont go into extreme detail on their sessions so far but it’s certainly been interesting to see how they have tackled the same adventure in their own ways.

Some things they have all done though so I can comment on those without fear of spoilers.

Meepo – the kobold keeper of the dragon. All three groups encountered him, and all three chose to interact with him rather than just slaughter him outright (maybe there’s hope for some of them yet). A source of little information but certainly some amusement, he was easily convinced to take the parties to his queen, Yusdrayl.

Queen Yusdrayl of the kobold clan inhabiting this part of the citadel, surrounded by her guards was willing to “recruit” the parties to recover her missing dragon in return for some of her treasures. She was able to tell the heroes that the goblins seem to be working for a man down in the grove below the ruins of the citadel and he gives the goblins the magic apples they’d heard of.

This is where the three groups begin to diverge on their progress however, some took Meepo with them as a guide, some left him behind so he didn’t get hurt. As I write this we have just wrapped up the second session for each group (around 7-8 hours gameplay each table) and interestingly enough 2 of the 3 have suffered their first pc deaths each and the ones that haven’t come close yesterday with both the barbarian and paladin being taken unconscious.

Looking ahead, I am planning on running the corresponding “expedition” adventures interspersed with the hardcover to allow us access to the additional content and Faction rewards.

D&D Encounters – Storm Kings Thunder – Cold Cold on the Range

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2017 by vobeskhan

14064236_10209789776363134_3461628604885620888_nSo I’ve let these recaps slide a little so this one will catch us up to where the heroes are.

Having arrived in Bryn Shander they awoke to find the town besieged by a dozen frost giants. Heading to the main gates with the crowds they heard the giants leader demanding the town turn over someone named Artus Cimber. No-one appeared to know who that was but the giants were adamant that they had magically tracked his blood to the town. It was then that one of the acolytes from the temple revealed that Artus was his father, but had no idea why the giants would be looking for him as he hadn’t seen his father in years.

After some persuasion by the heroes the acolyte agreed that for the good of the town he would submit to the giants and surrendered to them. As they giants dragged him into the wilderness Jack commanded Gobby to turn invisible and follow them.

Sorting supplies while the giants got a head start they set out after them. With their invisible spy feeding them directions and Lee’s goliath tracking the giants the heroes marched into the wilds of Icewind Dale.

Every so often Jack would check with Gobby as to what he could see, though the responses were “snow, giants” and occasionally “trees” so not overly helpful.

The heroes were attacked by a young remorhaz and after a shaky start were able to pull it together and defeat the beast. As they caught their breath Gobby contacted Jack to tell him that the acolyte had broken free of the giants and was making a run for it. Though he didn’t get far as the giants were carrying heavy nets.

By this time they realised that they were no where close to their quarry but did spy off in the distance a pair of frost giants heading westward and began following them. They also noticed that a bulge in the snow was also following the giants but couldn’t tell what it was – that is, until it decided to turn back and leap out of the snow at the party!

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A massive yeti burst from the snow and caught Liam’s paladin off guard with its icy glare, leaving the dragonborn stunned. The beasts claws tore into the party, shredding clothing and flesh. The heroes bravely fought back but then the beast unleashed its icy breath at the stricken paladin and also caught Morgan’s halfling bar in the blast. The paladin was frozen into unconsciousness but the plucky bard was doomed!

Thankfully through judicious use of his pixie dust Jack had made himself and Jon fly and were strafing the beast with their eldritch blasts. Eventually wounding it enough for it to decide to seek prey elsewhere (that didn’t put up as much of a fight). Regrouping they took Morgan’s remains back to Bryn Shander in the hopes of getting her raised.

Arriving back in town they realised they were severely lacking in funds but Jon used his disguise abilities to pretend to be the acolyte, blagging the priests to lower the cost as thanks for the heroic rescue. Following some truly epic persuasion rolls (and equally atrocious wisdom saves from the priest) the bargain was struck, but the party was still a little short. Once again Jon used his deceitful shenanigans to visit the harper-beggar in the market who gave him some money on condition that the party deliver a letter to a colleague in Hundlestone for her.

So with Morgan back in the land of the living and having a good reason to get out of town sooner rather than later (before their ruse was discovered, as well as to deliver the letter), that was where we left it.

D&D Encounters – Storm Kings Thunder – Goblins & Gods, and Up, Up, Away!

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2016 by vobeskhan

14064236_10209789776363134_3461628604885620888_nApologies first of all, as I’m so late writing the previous session up its here with the latest one.

 

It was looking grim for the heroes, a rampaging ogre and several goblins still active while just about the only person on their side still standing was Gobby the quasit/bear. Thankfully reinforcements arrived in the form of a pair of extra players, one of which was the cleric.

A goblin from the back of the cave gave some sort of signal and the archers lowered their bows, waiting to see what the party would do, the ogre however waded in. Thankfully though the cleric was able to bring a couple of the others back into play and the heavily wounded brute was dealt with. Reviving the rest of the party they were intrigued as to why the goblin had halted the attack. Turns out she wasnt happy with being made to hunt excessively to feed the ogres which kept the goblin boss in power. She offered the party a deal, kill the boss (so she could take his place) and they could take the prisoners and the goblins would go home too.

The heroes had taken a pretty bad beating so were ready to agree to this (hopefully) simpler solution. They headed into the cave the boss used and found him with his two burly guards. The guards were easily dispatched and the boss beaten to within an inch of his life when he surrendered, offering the party the location of a glowy sword if they let him live. They agreed, and he told them it was at the bottom of a pool in a nearby cave. When they asked why he hadn’t retrieved it he looked embarrassed and admitted “can’t swim”. The cleric then decided to use his magic to brand his holy symbol into the boss’s forehead and “anoint” him as an acolyte.

Leading the creature back into the main cave the female goblin wasnt happy to see the boss, the party said that she was now in charge, she replied “not quite” and promptly shot the boss with her bow. “Now I am!”. She gathered the rest of the goblins and they set off down one of the deeper tunnels further into the darkness.

The heroes went to investigate this glowy sword. Following the tunnel they came to a chamber with a stalagmite with lots of holes in it. The goliath thrust his axe handle down a couple but nothing happened. Continuing on they came to the end of the tunnel and a chamber with a small waterfall emptying into a pool. Clearly visible in the pool was a sword, untarnished by being submerged. The tiefling warlock went into the water to retrieve it, but while he did so a large black oozing creature attacked from the tunnel they had come through.

The Goliath threw handaxes at it with no apparent effect, but eventually through their combined assaults they drove it back towards the chamber with the stalagmite and conquered it.

Realising that they were in no shape to tackle much else they recovered the remaining villagers and began leading them back to Nightstone.

En route they spied a trio of large grey skinned humanoids dismantling an abandoned cottage and wisely made an extensive detour so as not to attract their attention.

Arriving back at Nightstone they found it a hive of activity with guards patrolling the walls and workmen busily rebuilding the damaged sections. As they cautiously entered they were greeted by the leader of the Seven Snakes once more.  Despite the heroes previous misgivings he announced that all he wanted to do was help, and the villagers “elected” the Innkeeper as their new spokesperson with Lady Nandar being dead.

The heroes were given a room for the night and retired to recover and plan their next move. While they rested the Innkeeper approached them and asked for a favour. He had the belongings of some of those who had fallen and wanted them delivering to the next of kin in each case. Would the heroes kindly take one such task as he had volunteers that could do the others. After hearing the choices of destination, the heroes agreed to travel to Bryn Shander (way up in Icewind Dale) and deliver the package to Markham Southwell there.

While resting the tiefling gave the sword to the goliath, who discovered it was a magical sword that would glow if goblins or orcs were near.

That was the end of that session, we then missed a session as many of us had prior commitments, but we resumed this week….

The heroes were awoken by a commotion outside, the tiefling sent Gobby out to see what was happening, apparently a stone tower on a cloud had descended over the town and steps made of cloud were forming to lead up to it. Gobby flew up and around the tower but could see no-one. Eventually the heroes roused themselves from bed and investigated, though a few found the stairs hard going.

Entering the tower they found a single large chamber, well-lit, with an oversized tabel and chair, a pair of statues and hole in the ceiling some hundred feet above them. Descending form the hole came a cloud giant who introduced himself as Zephyros. He had been communing with other-worldly beings about the current situation and they had instructed him to seek heroes here in Nightstone and assist them.

He readily agreed to transport them to Bryn Shander in his flying tower, cutting their expected journey down to less than three ten days. The party gathered any provisions they thought they would need and they were off.

Zephyros explained that the god of the giants had broken the Ordnung, the caste system that organised giant society and thus many giants were amok. He wasnt sure why their king, King Hekaton, wasnt trying to maintain order. He lived alone in his tower aside from a group of griffons that nested in the aerie at the top of the tower.

The goliath, halfling and sorcerer asked if they could see the griffons so he took them up to see them. The goliath was satisfied so quickly returned to the “ground” but the sorcerer and halfling decided to remain and watch the creatures. The halfling even tried to feed one some of her rations, which led the creature to allow her to pet it.

The first couple of days passed uneventfully, but on the morning of the third day before the tower began travelling onwards a group of birds were seen approaching, as they got nearer they could be seen to have riders.

Four giant vultures carrying riders in pale blue/white attire landed on the cloud outside the tower. Zephyros was busy preparing to move the tower so asked the heroes to see what they wanted.

The visitors turned out to be emissaries of Yan-C Bin, and had a gift for Zephyros in return for him considering to join their efforts to “return the world to its primordial order”. Zephyros asked the heroes their opinion before using his communion to decide not to accept their offer. Disappointed they left the bag they were carrying the gift in, mounted their vultures and flew away.

The pair of warlocks both used mage hand to hold and open the bag, retrieving a pouch of sparkly dust from within. One sprinkled a pinch of it over Gobby, finding it increased his flying speed somewhat.

They couldn’t investigate further though as the tiefling and goliath were suddenly attacked by thin air!

The ensuing combat was chaotic as the other warlock used his mage hand to “feel” for the foe which they assumed was using invisibility of some sort. The goliath was taking the brunt of its attacks and was quite relieved when they were finally able to overcome it as a group. Whatever it was still remained invisible, so they pushed its corpse over the edge of the cloud.

Returning into the tower they examined both the bag and the pouch, discovering that the bag was a Bag of Holding and that he pouch contained Pixie Dust. Zephyros had no wish to keep them but was happy for the heroes to do so if they wished.

And that was where we left it for this session, the fight with the Invisible Stalker had taken rather longer than I anticipated. I honestly thought one of them would have tried puling the curtain in the foyer down over it to reveal its location but alas no. We’ll find out how the continuing journey to Bryn Shander goes next session (in a fortnight’s time).

We also had a new member take part this week, so a hello to Morgan our halfling bard, we look forward further adventures with you.

D&D Encounters – Curse of Strahd – Vallaki in flames

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2016 by vobeskhan

Curse of Strahd CoverAfter my companions concluded that we may be under equipped to tackle a whole den of werewolves we decided to return to Vallaki, and we begin the couple of days march that will get us there. The journey was mostly uneventful until the night before we reached our destination.

We had reached the stone bridge that crossed the Luna river and were preparing to make camp when we heard wolf howls not too distant. We couldn’t be too sure how far away they were and so kept a vigilant watch as we camped.

It was just before what passes for dawn in these grey dismal lands when the only one of us without a natural ability to see in the dark, Eldon, noticed the wolves creeping up out of the ravine beside the bridge, he nudged me awake just as more of the filthy beasts burst out of the nearby treeline.

Wolves rushed in at us, showing a cunning beyond normal animals they went after our sleeping companions and myself , but thankfully their attack did rouse the others from their slumber. Eldon’s bow sang as it sent arrow upon arrow into the wolves, and as dawn had not yet arrived I still had my summoned boar to assist me as my blades struck at the ones nearest me. Having been caught unarmoured Pertinax and Rorik were feeling the bites severely and it actually looked like the fight would go against us when a swarm of crows swept in and began haranguing the wolves from behind, turning the tide and then chasing the last of the wolves away. One of the birds remained and began to morph into a bird man. It spoke with a thick Barovian accent and told us that they (the were ravens) had been watching us since we visited the Winery and had decided that they shared our goal in defeating Strahd and his minions.

Since we were now all awake we began our preparations and broke camp, heading onwards to Vallaki. Expecting to find the gates closed and to have to barter our way back in we were surprised to find the gate open and unattended. A large column of smoke rising from within. Heading swiftly in we discovered that a fire had been started at the church and several guards were organising a bucket chain and moving civilians out of the way. We talked to one that despite recognising us was willing to accept our help. He said that most people were being directed to the Inn. We asked if the priest was still inside but he wasnt sure.

We rushed into the church to see the priest laying limply at the altar, a familiar robed figure standing beside him – the Abbott. Pertinax and Rorik stride up the central aisle while Eldon and I shadow up the outer sides.  Eldon takes a bowshot at the Abbot, striking true but the man seems barely injured by it. It does anger him however and he throws of his simple robe as a pair of large wings spread from his form – he’s some sort of angel, and carry him across the room to strike poor Eldon down into unconsciousness with a single blow.

Pertinax and Rorik rush intercept the Abbot and I head over to the priest, quickly administering a healing potion to the unconscious clergyman. Helping him to his unsteady feet I whisper “Where’s Ireena?” but the Abbott must have excellent hearing, and ignoring my companions wings his way back over to where I’m standing. I decide to take a risk and in Draconic I tell him “Leave here, I’m bringing the girl to the master” but he see’s through my deception and laughs at me. So I quickly stab my blade into the priest beside me, right into his gut, as my silver shortsword makes a stab toward the Abbot and I sprint back away from the altar towards the exit. I expected the Abbott to follow but he picks up the lifeless body of the priest and with a thrust of his wings flies up out of the ruined roof of the church with his prize.

A quick look confirms that Ireena isn’t in whats left of the church so we head back out and towards the Inn. As we approach we can hear signs of combat further towards the western gate. At the Inn we spot the altar boy we met previously, and discreetly question him. He tells us that Ireena left town with the man with the tiger in the caravan and the lady with the wooden leg. Pertinax wants to help with whatever is attacking the town from the east so we head that way, but as we move he suddenly runs off to the west saying he’s remembered something we might need.

As we approach the eastern gate we can see about a half-dozen guards with Izek, the burgomasters henchman, battling a pair of creatures we recognise as the Abbot’s handiwork – flesh golems! I whisper something to Eldon as we approach, he nods and takes up a position to the side, bow ready. Rorik stands ready to use his spells before closing into melee. I dash up beside Izek and shout “We’re here to help”.

Izek

While the guardsmen’s weapons are having minimal effect on the golems, Izek is using his strange arm to throw small balls of fire at them and causing more injury. I spot an opening and stab my blades forward – into Izek! “I told you this wasn’t over” I growl as I nimbly step away, just as Eldon’s arrow whirls past my head to strike Izek squarely.

He’s unwilling to turn his attention to us as the golems continue to attack, but with another pair of blade wounds from myself, an arrow from Eldon and Rorik’s conjured spiritual weapon he does turn to us and swipes at me with his battleaxe. His deformity certainly hasn’t diminished his strength and I stagger under his attack, but thankfully our combined attacks drop him. The guards are still trying to hold off the golems, I toss Eldon the coins I promised him for attacking Izek and I give Izek’s axe to Rorik and begin heading back to the Inn. Honestly I expected my companions to want to remain and help the guards but they both follow me. Before we reach the Inn we meet Pertinax, he’d run back to the church and recovered the saint’s bones. We tell him Izek is dead and that we intend to leave. He agrees and we go back to the Inn and ask the altar boy which way the tiger caravan went, apparently it headed out fo the west gate and so we set off that way.

I tell my companions that I wish to visit the Vistani camp that we helped nearby, and suggest we head there as they may have further news of our quarry. Lubash is surprised but happy to see us. He tells us that Rictavio, Ireena and Ezmarelda did indeed come to see him, leaving the tiger caravan with him as a decoy while they took another one off to the west. While my companions talk to his sons about this I have a quiet word with Lubash.

The Vistani graciously extend their hospitality overnight to us and we happily accept, next morning they are all preparing to move out. Pertinax and Rorik gather their gear and get ready to follow after Rictavio but before they notice I’m not doing the same. “Our roads part ways here my friends” I say, “my path lies not within this dreary land, Lubash has agreed to take me elsewhere and Eldon has agreed to accompany me. I have acquaintances that would value his skills. Farewell my brothers-in-arms, I hope you find those you seek.” with a clasp of arms we bade each other fair travels and I watched as they set off.

Eldon and myself found seats amongst the Vistani caravans and were soon rolling along at a sedate pace through the Svalich Woods. The ever-present mists began to enclose us and both myself and the halfling reached for weapons, but Lubash assured us we would not need them. Continuing to travel onwards the mists became so thick we could barely see the wagons in front and behind us, but after almost an hour of constant travelling the mists recede once again but we’re no longer in the woods. Indeed, we’re no longer in Barovia as I begin to recognise local landmarks, we’re on the road no more than a days march south of Waterdeep.

Lubash halts his caravans and tells us that he has to go back now, but thanks us once again on behalf of his daughter and wishes us safe journeys. Eldon and I gather our gear and begin walking northwards, when we turn to look back the caravans have again disappeared, only a wisp of misty fog drifting across the road where they should have been.

I don’t know if I shall ever see my other comrades again, honestly, I’m not sure it would be of benefit for either of us. The Black Network has nothing to gain in Barovia, whilst the Realms are much better suited to our goals. But first a warm bath and a hot meal are in order, then I’ll introduce Eldon to my “friends”. But that’s another story.