Archive for DnD

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 – Diplomacy and Delivery

Posted in D & D 5e, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2016 by vobeskhan

14064236_10209789776363134_3461628604885620888_nAs Zephyros continued to guide his flying tower northward the heroes settled into a routine. The halfling rogue happily sharing her food with the griffon she had befriended. It was while visiting the griffon that she spotted a figure flying towards the tower at speed and raised a warning to her companions (though chose to remain in the aerie – just in case).

As it neared, the remaining heroes could see it was a silver dragon carrying half a dozen armed and armoured dwarves in its claws. The heroes moved out of the tower to the cloud to intercept the incoming visitors.

While the dragon dropped the dwarves off, it continued to circle the tower (Zephyros having brough it to a halt in the meantime). The dwarves stated they were sent by Queen Dagnabbit of Mithril Hall under the auspices of the Lords Alliance to commandeer the tower.

Thankfully the heroes were able to talk the dwarves down and convince them that Zephyros posed no threat to the people’s of the Sword Coast. Satisifed, the dragon picked the dwarves back up and they were on their way once again.

Aside from a fly by from a small group of aaracockra the rest of the journey northward passed uneventfully. Zephyros lowered the tower outside of Bryn Shander and once again made a stairway of cloud matter wishing the heroes good luck before taking his leave.

It was now that the heroes realised they hadn’t brought any cold weather gear, so entering the city they made their way to the market to procure some. On the way they spoke to the Sherrif’s right-hand dwarf and got a brief run down on the lay of the land and directions to a few of the relevant places. After securing warming clothing they went and visited Sherrif Southwell, delivering the belongings and news of his now deceased kin.

The Sherrif told them if they were likely to remain in the area for a while they could earn coin hunting some of the marauding giants that had been attacking caravans and some of the other towns of the Dale. The heroes decided to go and find lodgings and ask around about the caravan raids.

They secured rooms at the Northlook, and after asking around got themselves places with a caravan of scrimshaw traders heading back to Lonelywood next day.

With the heroes spending the rest of the day and night at the Northlook that was where we left it.

bryn-shander

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 – Storm Kings Thunder – Arrival in Nightstone

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2016 by vobeskhan

14064236_10209789776363134_3461628604885620888_nFinally escaping the mists of Barovia I find myself not only transported back the Forgotten Realms but also back into the DM’s chair as we start the new story arc “Storm King’s Thunder” this week.

Down at Tabletop Tyrants we were planning on having 3 tables (2 for SKT while Jon’s table continued their adventures in Barovia), however after running a DM session 0 last week and a couple of players having to drop out due to work and other commitments we just have the 2 tables of SKT.

My table consists of:-

  • Jon – “dragonborn” warlock (his race is in question as he’s a master of disguise).
  • Liam – dragonborn paladin
  • Daniel – human fighter/cleric
  • Sarah – tiefling rogue
  • Jack – tiefling warlock
  • Lee – goliath fighter

Jon, Liam and Daniel all had DM rewards that meant their pc’s began higher than 1st level, while Jack brought an Adventurers League pc that was already level 2, the rest were level 1’s so a reasonable mix.

The heroes began a journey south from Waterdeep to Nightstone where they were looking to find work as guides/guards for the noble hunting parties that frequented the town. Travelling down the high road they reached the junction that would lead off to Nightstone they found the signpost damaged, even though they attempted to repair it they didn’t stop to investigate how it had been done and continued on to Nightstone.

Shortly after turning inland from the coast road they spotted a lone figure loping along on what seemed to be on a path that would intercept their own. Eventually they meet the individual who looks like some sort of woodsman, he introduces himself as Dendar, a ranger, and asks a favour of the party. He has an urgent meeting to get too but needs a package delivering to his friend Darthag who ran the Lionshield Trading Coster in Nightstone. The party is willing dependant upon what the package is so he opens it to show its a simple loaf of elven bread, so they agree and they each go on their way once more.

As they approach the town the church bell is ringing and the town appears abandoned. Entering over the drawbridge they find a pair of worgs in the town square and quickly despatch them. Daniel is eager to see why the bell is ringing but the majority want to deliver the package and hopefully get some answers at the Trading Coster. The place has been ransacked but they find a goblin within ramming things into a sack. Startled he attacks but stands little chance. With no sign of Darthag they head to the church with the fighter/cleric.

Most of the party simply relax on the wooden pews while the cleric, paladin and rogue advance into the rear of the church finding a pair of goblins playing on the bell rope. The first dies quickly but the second cowers in fear. When questioned he reveals that the goblins came to town to find it empty so were just helping themselves, when asked how many of them there were he said lots. The paladin thought they wouldn’t get anything more from the goblin so ran him through – but it didn’t kill the little beast and it gave out a wail, thankfully silenced by a blow by the cleric.

The party decide to head through the town to the keep in search of answers but as they walk down they divert to the windmill, curious as to why it’s still in apparent operation. As the cleric enters he sees the mill stone is still working, powered by  the vanes, but suddenly an arrow strikes from the darkened rafters above. Jon’s warlock makes himself look like the goblin from the church and convinces the pair of goblins within that the heroes will let them go if they just leave now (and since only their first lucky shot actually hit they are eager to agree). Once the goblins have descended to ground level they also convince them to go and tell the rest of their band to leave also, which they seem happy to do.

With the goblins trotting off the heroes turn once more toward the keep but the rogue spots something amiss in the pumpkin field. They investigate and find a pair of goblins wearing pumpkins on their heads (without cutting vision holes) playing hide and seek. However they both seem to have decided to hide with no-one seeking. The heroes again manage to convince them that it’s in their best interest to leave after gaining a little more information about where the goblins were from (caves to the north).

Reaching the bridge that leads to the keep they find it broken, a gap their reluctant to try leaping, but they recall seeing a couple of grappling hooks in the Trading Coster so head back there. As they come back out of the Coster all the remaining goblins seem to have found a little back bone and are waiting outside for them. However, Jon creates an illusion of a third dragonborn warrior rippling with muscles, which seems to tip the balance and the goblins scurry off. The heroes decide that it’s probably best to close the drawbridge once they’ve gone, just in case.

Returning to the bridge they use their ropes and grappling hooks to make a crude crossing and despite the tiefling warlock falling into the water below eventually all make it in to the keep. More signs of boulder damage await them as well as a quartet of town guards protecting the mortal remains of Lady Nandar. After talking to the guards they discover the town was attacked by giants in a floating castle that bombarded the town with the boulders before some of them descended and tore the Nightstone from the town square, taking back to their cloud castle and then going back to the east. The guards tell them that many of the villagers fled, probably to a series  of caves to the north, and that Lady Nandar was killed during the bombardment. The heroes agree to help the guards lay her remains to rest in the family crypt near the church.

While the guards try and mount some semblance of a watch the heroes retire to whats left of the inn, finding it damaged and a goblin with a bolt in its back. Investigating the rest of the inn they find a human woman named Kella that claims she was knocked out during the giant attack and woke to see the goblin so shot it then hid. The party seems to believe her.

Their rest is short-lived though as a guard rushes in to tell them a group of riders had approached the drawbridge. As the party investigate they see 7 riders, and their leader seems to have a winged snake on his shoulder. Many of the heroes recognise this as a symbol of the Zhentarim. They ask to be let in as they have come to offer the town their services in its defence and rebuilding. The paladin and cleric seem set against it but then decide to let them in (telling their companions they intend to lead them to the keep bridge if Jon’s warlock will use illusion to make it appear solid).

The Zhents come in and stable their horses, then head south with the party. But before they get to the bridge their leader calls a halt, tipped off by some sixth sense perhaps. The cleric in the meantime has stayed behind and has taken their horses from the stable and tried to hide them behind the small graveyard. the Zhent leader receives another of the flying snakes, which appears to have a note attached to it, telling him of the horse theft. And they begin heading back north.

The cleric meanwhile is struck by a crossbow bolt from the direction of the inn but can’t see who fired it. As the Zhents and the rest of the party arrive, he spots Kella running along the side of the inn and tries to rugby tackle her only to find as he dives at her that she was a mere illusion as the real Kella nimbly leaps down from the damaged upper floor of the inn.

The Zhents calmly agree that if the party don’t want them here then they’ll leave without further incident and are escorted back out of town and ride into the dark night.

The guards resume their watch and the heroes return to the inn.

Next morning the heroes awake. As they begin to move around they realise they can’t see any of the guards and begin to search for them in earnest. They finally find one laying on the north palisade, a broken arrow shaft sticking out of their neck. First thoughts are the Zhents but they remember that they were armed with crossbows, not bows, though the goblins did have bows…..

They don’t have the opportunity to ponder further as they notice 2 groups of figures approaching from the north at a running pace. Both groups appear to be almost a dozen orcs, while one is heading straight at the towns northern wall (where the heroes currently stand), the other is veering off and heading down the side of the town, perhaps towards the drawbridge area.

And that was where we left it for this week. Some excellent roleplaying from all involved and innovative ways to avoid combat situations so far. Though I wonder how effective those will remain to be once facing less weak-minded foes.

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 Encounters – Curse of Strahd – Abbey normal?

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , on August 14, 2016 by vobeskhan

Curse of Strahd CoverHaving secured the wine shipment for the town of Krezk and escorted it back to them we are finally admitted and are pleasantly surprised to see that the majority of the town consists of woodland though much less oppressive than the Svalich woods we’d been travelling through.

After a brief look around we decide to camp out at a poolside shrine, albeit under the watchful glare of a handful of town guards. Next morning we decide to investigate the abbey above and travel up the long switchback pathway. As we approach we can see the low wall and gated entrance. With no-one about I push the gate open, deliberately making it squeal as much as possible. My efforts are rewarded as a strange pair of figures approach to bar our entrance.

The first is a squatting humanoid, though I look more human than this strange creature. “His” face is a mix of human, wolf and donkey and his legs look to be from a large cat. His companion is mostly covered in a hooded robe but we get glimpses of both furred and scaled flesh when it moves and it speaks with a feminine voice.

They tell us we’re not welcome the Abbott sees no-one. We tell them we have brought the wine shipment but will not release it until we see the Abbott. The squat one becomes very agitated and growls at us, I reply with a throaty growl of my own. Eventually it heads inside the nearby building and returns shortly with a middle-aged man in monk’s attire.

As he talks to my companions there’s something about him I just don’t like, can’t put my finger on it but he’s just too nice. Eventually my companions agree to bring the wine up and we begin heading back down the path. Once out of sight of the Abbey I slip away and make my way back up and over the wall and into the Abbey grounds, heading towards the building the Abbott had come from (and returned too). Looking through a window I see him stood in what looks like a church type room with what seems to be a young red-haired woman (her back was to the window but I assume she’s young by her height, figure and the elegant dress she’s wearing). They disappear up stairs and I begin heading back around towards the gate using the available cover of the few trees as I hear my companions dragging the barrels upwards.

As they near the gates I see the pair of figures are awaiting them and decide to sneak up behind, however the squat one has the senses of a wolf also and turns with a snarl and moves as if to charge at me. I’m quicker. I throw one of my furballs, it transforms into a bristling boar and I command it to attack.  The fight is brutal and brief, my boar manages to knock the squat figure prone as I rush up to engage, blades drawn. I split my attacks between the pair of them and before my companions even clear the gateway I am victorious and stand cleaning my blades.

The paladin isn’t happy with me, but I assure it was self-defence and this seems to placate him. I quickly tell them about the Abbott and the woman, emphasising the fact that he’d told us it was only himself and the poor creatures like these in his charge. We agree to explore further as we catch a glimpse of guards further down the building.

As we approach we realise that they are actually mannequins of a sort, made to look like guardsmen. We open the large gate into an open courtyard between the two building of the Abbey. There are some shed/stable buildings with locked doors, a well, doors leading into the buildings on either side and a strange bat-winged creature chained to a post.

I take my boar and approach the bat-thing as our cleric investigates the well. That’s when a spider-frog monstrosity jumped out of the well at the dwarf, I take the distraction to command the boar to charge the bat-thing but the creature manages to fly up out of the pigs reach.

While my companions attack the spider-frog, the bat-thing swoops and picks up my boar, hoisting it aloft before dropping it. The boar hits the ground hard and bursts with cloud of purple mist. As my companions gain the upper hand with spider-frog, I stand on the chain restraining the bat-thing as it struggles to get away, and begin walking along the chain, slowly pulling it further and further down to the ground. Before it can land its struggles cause it pass out and it flops to the ground. The paladin doesn’t want me to hurt it while it’s no threat, ok, for now.

The battlerager goes off to check out the side of the abbey where I’d seen the Abbott and woman, while the rest of the party goes to the opposite side and the door from behind which the jumbled howls and yowls. They enter the building and I quickly hear the shouts of combat, but before I join them I thrust my rapier through the skull of the unconscious bat-thing. It gives out a shriek which causes the paladin at the doorway to look back “It was faking it and attacked me” I say, “had to defend myself”.  He looks at me a moment as if trying to decide whether to belive me or not, but his attention is quickly drawn inside.

The noises are louder, and coming from what appear to be cells at the far end of this building filled with more of these strange mixed breed creatures. However a tall muscular figure has engaged my companions, its skin a patchwork of different tones, stitched together with a surgeons precision. Golem!

I try and assist but my weapons have no effect on the beast and I wisely decide to keep out of its reach while those able to damage it do so. Eventually  it drops lifeless and I pick up a set of keys from its body. Starting with the nearest cell I begin opening the door, telling those imprisoned they are free and to leave. Most of them seem reluctant to do so, but the fourth door I open I’ve barely begun to speak when the occupants (more wolf-dog men) rush hungrily at me, jaws snapping.

I manage to back across the corridor allowing my companions to engage them also but I still have to resort to taking one of my stash of healing potions before deciding to unlock what I hope is the back door and escape out. Thankfully it does lead back outside and with other foes to face the dog men don’t follow. Pertinax manages to cow the few survivors back into their cell and I return in time to relock it securely.

We still haven’t seen our battlerager, I genuinely hope he hasn’t come to harm, he’s a good scrapper and less worried about morality than most of the party.

freeks

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.