Archive for the Campaign Category

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.

D&D online campaign – Domains of Dread episode 1

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D with tags , , , , , on July 24, 2016 by vobeskhan

RavenloftLogoWith the release of the current D&D hardback adventure “Curse of Strahd” conversations within our group turned inevitably towards the history of Ravenloft. With it being one of my favourites I was able to supply much information including the fact that there were so many more dark domains than just Barovia, each with its own Darklord, some of which were possibly even worse than Strahd!

I offered to run a campaign for several of my friends using the latest version of the rules (5e) but running converted versions of my collection of 2e Ravenloft materials. We knew if would be difficult to get everyone together at our local store (where we play Encounters and Expeditions) with our various schedules and I also wanted to make sure that the guys that usually have to man the shop had the opportunity to play too. So we decided to run it over the brilliant Roll20 virtual tabletop and then to live stream it from one of the players points of view.

It took me about a month of preparation due to other projects but once I had things in place we were able to sort a date out to run and we were set. Despite the preparations we still had a few teething problems getting to grips with the technology (one of the players being unable to access the tabletop and audio from his tablet, resulting in his character not really taking part in the first session). Hopefully we’ll be able to sort these out in time for the next session.

We also agreed that we would run an open game rather than the Adventurers League rules version that we play for Encounters and Expeditions, this meant that not only were all player options available, but players had the option to roll their stats (roll 4d6 drop the lowest, 6 times and assign as you wish, roll three sets and pick the one you need). The only restriction being exercising my DM option to deny multi-classing. All begin at 1st level but I’m reasonably certain they’ll reach a level up quickly.

So who do we have in our ragtag bunch of misfits and miscreants?

  • Aran Swiftshout, human Ranger – Liam
  • Goragal, half-orc Barbarian – Jon
  • Odin Ironbeard, mountain dwarf Tempest Cleric – Lee (once he gets his technology sorted)
  • Odion, human Monk – Alastair
  • Solun Ryka, aasimar Bard – Tim
  • Talios Eversong, high elf Mage – Jack
  • Sun ‘o’ War, half-orc Druid – Emily

 

I would pre-warn you that the video/live stream will contain adult language etc so may not be suitable for everyone or for viewing in public.

 

We have been discussing dates for the next installment and currently have it pencilled in for Saturday 13th August 7pm (UK time), when it will once again be streamed live at www.twitch.tv/everoth so feel free to watch our continuing shenanigans.

D&D Encounters – Curse of Strahd – the story so far

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2016 by vobeskhan

Curse of Strahd CoverI have been very lax in my posts recently, especially with regards to my adventures in the latest season of D&D Encounters, which is a shame as for the first time in ages I’ve got the chance to play rather than DM.

The adventure this season is Curse fo Strahd, a 5e expanded and updated version of one of my all time favourite adventures, the 1e classic I6 Ravenloft.

My character for this season is Kahdish, a black dragonborn swashbuckler rogue, who is kitted out with my collection of DM reward items (bag of holding, gray bag of tricks, goggles of night and a brooch of shielding from running the Death House adventure for the DM’s pre-season). I also used some of my DM xp to advance up the ranks a little quicker too.

I began play on our newest DM’s table, Matt, but after a few sessions with inconsistent numbers Matt and Patrick’s tables are usually combining on a regular basis so to even numbers out a little I’ve moved over on to Jon’s table and join his party as they leave the town of Barovia to escort Ireena to the church at Vallaki.

The party is to wary to take any form of shortcut through the ominous looking Svalich woods so agree to travel on the open and obvious road. We encountered a few “hiccups” along the way, including a fight with group of horrifying wolfmen.

Battered, bruised and bitten (nothing to worry about surely), we come across an old windmill which we recognise from the painting in the Durst house and approach to see if it could offer any shelter. Myself and the monk sneak up and hear the sound of 3 elderly women’s voices, as I head back to alert the rest of the party the warlock strides up and knocks loudly on the door. An old women answered and ushered him inside closing the door behind him.

The rest of us began heading up to the windmill to make sure our companion was ok, telling Ireena to wait in the bushes. Inside the warlock is given a pastry to eat and collapses unconscious. The burly fighter shield charges the door, busting through and leaving a fighter shaped hole in it as he engages the women. Myself and the monk climb up on to the broken walkway and I smash a window and drop through on to the stairs behind one of them – but they look nothing like women. Tall dark-skinned with gangly arms, warty skin and long wicked clawlike finger nails.

The close confines of the interior make it difficult for many of our allies to assist in the brawl but my attention is taken by the creature before me as it slashes out with its claws. Thankfully my silver short sword bites deeply into its hide and it appears to recoil almost in fear. As the fight progresses the one that still looks like an old woman (and is standing over the warlocks prone form) begins rapping on a barrel of goo causing a horrible figure to begin emerging. I wasnt sure what it was but I knew it would be bad news so I spray my acid breath across the room, hitting the horror, the old woman and unfortunately the warlock. The weird creature howls in agony and dissolves, the barrel it was in begins to leak from several acid-burnt holes and the old woman hisses a curse at me as she cast a magic missile spell at me. The energy darts streak at my chest which I clutch as she grins in pleasure. Then its my turn to grin as I stand up straight, showing no sign of injury as my brooch glows gently from the absorption of the missiles and her grin changes to a scowl of anger.

My allies continue to assault the trio with spell and blades and I turn my attention again to the one in front of me, I spot an opening and my silver blade strikes deep, severing one of her arms. With a cry of “Mother, we can’t defeat them!” she suddenly disappears with a pop, quickly followed by the other two. Whilst the fighter and cleric rush outside to see if they’re there I head upstairs in case they have gone there.

As I make my way up through the mill my companions see that the creatures have found Ireena and are threatening to harm her but the fighter doesn’t even slow, barreling into them as once more they pop out of sight, this time seeming to have gone for good.

A search of the mill yields little more than some trinkets, so we make a temporary repair to the broken door and settle in for the remainder of the night. However our sleep is not totally undisturbed as we each seem to have dreams of a visit to a fortune-teller (very strange for me as I don’t recall being there!). When we awake and prepare to move on we discuss the dreams and are able to piece together  what they showed us.

tarokka reading

MyrmidonThe first card she revealed was the 5 of swords “This card tells of history. Knowledge of the ancient will help you better understand your enemy. Look for a den of wolves in the hills overlooking a mountain lake. The treasure belongs to Mother Night.”

 

 

SoldierThe second card she revealed was the 3 of swords “This card tells of a powerful force for good and protection, a holy symbol of great hope. Go to the mountains. Climb the white tower guarded by golden knights”.

 

 

PaladinShe revealed the third card, the 2 of swords “This is a card of power and strength. It tells of a weapon of vengeance: a sword of sunlight. I see a sleeping prince, a servant of light and the brother of darkness. The treasure lies with him”.

 

TempterAs she turned the fourth card she revealed the Tempter “This card sheds light on one who will help you greatly in the battle against darkness. I see a child-a Vistana. You must hurry, for her fate
hangs in the balance. Find her at the lake!”.

 

 

Broken OneThe final card she turned revealed the Broken One “Your enemy is a creature of darkness, whose powers are beyond mortality. This card will lead you to him! He haunts the tomb of the man he envied above all”.

 

Conferring with Ireena we hoped her local knowledge might give some insight to the cryptic locations but it was inconclusive. We agreed our best course of action was to continue to the church at Vallaki with all haste.

The road led down into the valley of Lake Zarovich and we saw what appeared to be a widely travelled pathway through the woods, hoping it was a short cut we followed it but found that other than a crude pit trap which was designed to draw attention away from the more cleverly concealed poison darts traps either side of it before looping back onto the road.

Continuing onwards our way was blocked by a cloaked figure with a staff telling us we couldn’t pass. This turned out to be a druid with some twig-men allies that swarmed out of the woods beside us. The fighter and a giant elk I had summoned from my bag of tricks charged the druid while the rest of us tackled the twig-men. Unfortunately I had commanded the elk to destroy the druid so when the fighter tried to subdue him the elk dealt a death-blow. Angered, the fighter struck out at the elk. As we had already dealt with the twig-men I just watched the fight, content to let the fighter duke it out with the elk. It was close but the fighter was finally able to land a finishing blow and the elk dissipated into smoke.

As we prepared to continue onwards I used the bag once again to summon a creature, the furball forming into a large black panther than padded along beside us. We eventually came in sight of the gates of Vallaki, its guarded wooden palisade and the many pikes planted before it adorned with wolf heads – this seemed to be disconcerting to another of my companions the ranger, Luna.

And that’s where we left it. I must say I’m really enjoying the season not only as a player but as most of this is new expanded content not in the original module.

D&D Encounters – Out of the Abyss – session 5-6

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2015 by vobeskhan

out-of-the-abyss-coverWe had another great evening at Tabletop Tyrants. My table once again consisted of:-

  • Stuart, playing Exom, a level 4 Human Wizard (Zhentarim)
  • Jason, playing Io, a level 3 Human Monk (Zhentarim)
  • Sil, playing Raggia, a level 3 Elf Druid (Zhentarim)
  • Phil, playing Captain Astrid Alexis Astor, a level 3 Human Paladin (Order of the Gauntlet)

Our resident rogue, Rose, couldn’t make it due to other commitments but will hopefully be back with us next time.

The heroes continue their journey to Sloopbludop, but the paladin begins hearing a faint female voice calling for help. No-one else can hear it but they trust the paladin and send the wizards owl ahead to investigate.

CAM04082Some way ahead there is a narrow side passage  with leads into a dark, small chamber with a marble wall and large metallic door. The voice continues to plead to be rescued from the darkness but sounds closer. It takes a little effort (what a time to be missing the rogue he he) but they manage to open the door and it leads in to a marble chamber.

The walls are lined with frescoes depicting vistas with floating cities in the sky, and a couple of shelves show broken jars etc. One shelf holds a small diorama of a noble looking woman being attended by her servants. Our well-read wizard remembers reading in his studies of ancient Netheril and its magical floating cities, a civilisation of powerful magic users that almost destroyed the world centuries ago.

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The wizard also begins to feel a prickling sensation on the back of his neck while in here. The heroes follow the marble stairs down to a small landing which is decorated with an inlaid stone, Exom the wizard again uses his knowledge of history to determine that it is a Netherese calendar stone, depicting the date this building was built. the stairs continue to lead down some hundred or so feet to end in another metallic door.

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The door opened into another marble chamber with two more doors leading from it. In the room was a grey stone altar and more of the broken jars/containers. The friezes decorating the walls were defaced with several deep gouges as clawed by some beast.

The heroes chose a door, opening it to find a short corridor ending in another door. This then led into a chamber dominated by a large stone sarcophagus resting on a black stone plinth. The lid of the sarcophagus depicted more scenes of the floating cities, and two niches in the walls held unbroken jars.

Investigating the jars the heroes discover them to be some sort of canopic jars, holding the long deceased remains of some unknown humanoid.

Io opens the sarcophagus and is surprised when the lid lifts easily, though even more surprised when a voice booms out of nowhere “You have disturbed the tomb of Brysis of Khaem! Accursed are you, most miserable of creatures!”. Inside the now open sarcophagus lay a motionless woman who looked remarkably like the one depicted in the diorama above. After several minutes investigation they realised that it was actually a stone replica of the woman and that they was nothing else of note in the room.

Moving back to the other door, it led into another short corridor which opened up into a chamber with four smaller sarcophagi, each lid carved to show a well dressed servant. Io stepped forward once more but as he touched the lid of the first one four spectral figures rose through the lids and attacked!

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Battling the spectres proved harder than anticipated as the party realised that they had been cursed when opening the previous tomb, and to make matters worse when Exom began casting spells strange side effects also occurred (not all of which were helpful). Eventually the heroes despatched the spectres but after the undead had taken a heavy toll on them. While they recovered they investigated the sarcophagi, finding some treasure but importantly finding that one of them was on small rollers and covering a trap door.

Rolling the sarcophagus back over the trap door (just in case) they decided to bring their companions in with them and take a rest and recover. Nothing disturbed their rest, but upon waking Exom conjured his magical armour and in doing so created a burst of necrotic energy which hit all of his associates and killed JimJar the deep gnome.

The trap door led down a tunnel to another marble chamber. Its wall decorated with coloured pigments un-dulled by age and a gilded sarcophagus on a dias. As the heroes approached a black shadowy figure (vaguely resembling the statue of the woman) rose up and attacked them.

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Exom was loath to attack lest his magic cause more harm than help to his allies while Io and Raggia (in dire wolf form) found that their attacks weren’t as decisive against the incorporeal form. Captain Astrid however was able to bring the power of her god to bear. The voice she had been hearing called out more insistently now, telling her she was in the coffin and could help if they got her out. Raggia and Io switch tactics and between them heaved the lid, revealing a sword hilt (but no blade). Io tried to pick it up but felt a compunction to drop it straight away. Astrid grabbed it and the blade instantly sprung to life, glowing like a sun and causing the wraith to recoil momentarily.

The wraith seemed to realise that the paladin was her greatest threat and so concentrated her attacks on the holy warrior, both combatants taking a heavy toll on the other.

Astrid knew that one more strike from the undead would spell her end and begged Exom to risk his magic. With trepidation the mage cast  magic missile at the wraith instantly realising that additional magic was being generated but was streaking towards Raggia’s animal form – which then levitated to the rooms roof!

Everyone’s attention though was snapped back to the wraith as the magical darts of energy struck, the creatures form burst scattering shadow stuff which the light of Astrid’s blade instantly banished into nothingness.

As the dire wolf (Raggia) continues to float around the other heroes searched the room but it wasnt until they spotted Stool standing apparently on thin air that they realised there was an invisible chest in the room. Well aware that their rogue would have made short work of any traps they cautiously opened it to find a veritable hoard.

Not wanting to travel further until they had recovered from the beating the wraith had given them the heroes settled down to examine their newly acquired goodies and rest for the remainder of the day.

That was where we left it for the session, not any closer to Sloopbludop but certainly richer for the experience.