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Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition
Lost Mine of Phandelver with the European Union

The European Union consists of-
Bob (Serbia & the world) playing Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard (Folk Hero)
Christer (Sweden) playing Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus (Hermit)
Pedja (Serbia & Germany) playing Hellwhip, Male Human (Variant) Ranger (Pirate)
Simon (UK) playing Zalt, Male Half-Elf Warlock (Sailor)
Zoki (Serbia) playing Grimm, Male Human (Variant) Paladin of Tymora (Sailor)
&
Me- Goonalan (UK) playing everyone else (DM)

We play using Fantasy grounds and Skype, usually once per week, for 3-4 hours.

And so-

Session #010 Thursday 22nd October 2015
Dead Bad.

Starring-
Zalt, Male Half-Elf Warlock (Sailor) Level 3
Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus (Hermit) Level 3
Hellwhip, Male Human (Variant) Ranger (Pirate) Level 3
Grimm, Male Human (Variant) Paladin of Tymora (Sailor) Level 3
Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard (Folk Hero) Level 2

The session starts with only three of the guys in-game, but we know that Zoki (Grimm) will be joining us in a short while. The same, alas, cannot be said for Bob who plays Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard (Folk Hero) Level 2, Bob is in LA living the life… although Christer will be ‘botting’ the Wizard in game.

The guys are feeling a little on edge after the ambush last session, they need all the firepower they can get.

The new router worked fantastic throughout- didn’t drop once, I bet Bob’s jealous- in LA…

The Action-

1) After the Attack.

Wolves.jpgWolves.

Hellwhip takes care of the sleeping, and injured, Wolves- the Ranger ensures that the beasts are released safely back into the wild; meanwhile the other four guys are policing up the area, and checking their dead enemies for money and well, anything else of interest.

Woods_Clearing_Smalla.jpgSurrounded by corpses.

They discover something very interesting, a charcoal drawn wanted poster of sorts- a crude scroll with the words, “Reward- 25gp for head!”, and accompanied by two fairly accurate drawings- of Zyler and Grimm.

Most odd.

Zoki, who plays Grimm- a little while later, when he gets in-game is disgusted to discover his bounty is set so low. He will make it his life’s work to rectify this issue.

The guys chat a while, their images and the bounty is a little unnerving, Zyler thinks back and suggests that the only time he and Grimm were on their own together was when they visited Daran Edermath, the ex-adventurer, and again with Sister Garaele, the priestess of Tymora, both back in Phandalin.

There’s a stylized letter “G” worked into the image, Zalt discovers- the guys get their thinking caps on. They suggest a number of names… including Sister Garaele, and of course King Grol.

The adventurers are however feeling a little exposed, chatting in the Neverwinter Woods, and they’re still too close to Agatha’s abode, they get the hell out of dodge, all the way back to Conyberry (actually only a fifteen minute walk). They set up base on the hill just to the east of the village- to rest and to interrogate their Goblin prisoner- Bumflap.

Ruined_Village_small.jpgBack to Conyberry.

2) Bumflap tells all.

Goblin_Bumflap.jpgGoblin- Bumflap.

The Goblin, after a hard word from the guys, sings like a canary, he confirms much that the adventurers have discovered already. Bumflap, and his brother Catflap, were part of Klarg’s gang- the Cragmaw Goblins the guys put paid to earlier on in their adventure; they neglect to share this information with the prisoner. Since then Bumflap has been on quite a journey, this is what he tells the guys-

a) He and five of his companions was sent from Klarg’s lair, accompanying Targor Bloodseeker and a bunch of other Hobgoblins- the group were taking Gundren into Neverwinter Woods. To the lair of King Grol, he thinks, but Targor and the other Hobgoblins didn’t say where they were going.

b) They met up with another group of Goblins and Hobgoblins- Targor spoke to the second group for a while, at one point he started swearing and cursing- something about ‘the damned Drow’.

c) The other group of Hobgoblins took Gundren and headed back the way they came. Targor meantime lead Bumflap and the others on, through the Neverwinter Woods, although staying on the very edge of the forest, the journey took several days to the woods near Conyberry. The group made camp just to the east of the place they ambushed the adventurers, and waited.

That’s pretty much it.

The guys have questions, alas Bumflap has very few answers- he does however know that Targor was making the wanted posters, like the one the guys found.

There’s much chatter- what to do next.

A decision is made, head back into the Neverwinter Woods and to the Goblin camp Bumflap spoke of there- the guys wish to check the place over, to see if any other clues were left.

Although before that happens the guys get in a short rest- Grimm, Hellwhip and Zalt are still hurting after the fracas in the woods.

3) The Goblin Camp.

Later, with Bumflap on a leash and leading the way, the guys make their way to the former Goblin camp- now abandoned of course, all of its former inhabitants are dead.

Save one.

Woods_Camp_Site.jpgAll Camp Sites look the same.

Targor wasn’t in on the ambush- the Hobgoblin leader Bumflap reveals headed off into the woods, on his own, about a day before the guys arrived on the scene.

The adventurers search high and low, Hellwhip finds another ‘wanted poster’ this one used for a Goblin’s toilet, and some used charcoal; other than that only signs that the place has been used as a temporary camp, nothing out of the ordinary.

No other clues- and none of the trails from the camp seem to lead anywhere, save to further latrines.

Bumflap becomes surplus to requirements, and out in the wilds a liability.

The guys slay the Goblin, although in truth this proves to be much harder than they think- Hellwhip slashes at the prone and restrained humanoid, Bumflap dodges instinctively, Zyler strides up- “For Tempus-sake, kill it already”, and then swings heartily and contrives to miss the still startled looking creature completely.

A second later Bumflap is on his feet and running, trying to escape the rope that binds his hands, at which point Zalt’s Eldritch Blast slams the escaping Goblin into a nearby tree, impaling the creature on its lower branches.

Bumflap RIP.

“Let us never speak of this.” Zyler states shamefaced.
Hellwhip nods conspiratorially.
Zalt only grins.

4) Into the Hills.

The guys chat for a while longer, there are two suggestions- follow their original plan and check out the sites to the south, Old Owl Well and Wyvern Tor; or else scour Neverwinter Woods for Goblin trails. The vote is 3-0 (still only three of them in game), they’re heading south on with their original plan.

And so it goes, to Old Owl Well.

East_map_a.jpgTo the South

It takes the rest of the day, and some of the next to make their way through the hills to Old Owl Well, what’s particularly pleasing about this journey is that with only three players in Fantasy Grounds (Zoki = Grimm, arrives at the end of this section) it becomes a delight to GM. My point is this, with only three other voices competing to be heard then everyone seems to get a go- and so the journey was expertly done, the guys got into their roles; doing what they do best to make it seem real.

This section of play, the mundane tasks- travelling from A to B, seem more often with five players in-game to get hand-waved; and yet every now and then it’s a joy to do it in slow stages, to have each of the guys acting out the commonplace in order to create a much more immersive game.

Good play.

If I had remembered I would have given all three of them an Inspiration point.

But I didn’t remember.

Oh well.

5) Old Owl Well.

The guys creep in closer to the derelict tower, within a stone courtyard- the walls breached in a variety of places, are a half-dozen members of the staggering undead- Zombies.

Old_Owl_Well_smalla.jpgOld Owl Well

The guys continue to hang back while Hellwhip shins up a tree to take a good look, the Zombies are wandering in and out of both buildings in the courtyard, a crumbling barracks to the east, and the tower to the north.

Zombie.jpgZombie.

After a brief discussion a plan of action is decided upon- basically, kill the Zombies, although if possible then do it from a distance. Hellwhip gets settled in his tree, Zalt and Ken Lee find cover with line-of-sight, while Zyler and Grimm stand guard at the nearest breach, this is where they’re going to bottleneck ’em.

And so it proves.

Alas, for the guys, 5th edition Zombies have stickability- their opening salvo are all hits, three of the shambling undead are struck, none of them are bloodied, it doesn’t help that Zyler’s Sacred Flame (or as Hellwhip comments- ‘Sacred Spark’) delivers only two points of radiant damage.

The Zombies take note of their attackers, and shamble forth…

The guys take down the closest Zombie, a culmination of hits- including another one point of radiant damage from Zyler. The Priest of Tempus is disgusted with himself and takes to shouting at the undead to come closer, so that he can join with them in ‘honourable combat’.

Zyler gets his wish, although Grimm at this point has worked out that the undead have an AC of 8, maximum- the Paladin takes to using his Great Weapon Master attacks (-5 to hit & +10 damage), another Zombie falls.

The fighters bottleneck the Zombies- although the undead are now close enough to paw and slam at them, although no hits as of yet.

By the third round of combat there are only two Zombies left standing, just a note to say and none of the undead have managed to make their Constitution save to prevent their demise.

At this point another six members of the shambling undead exit the buildings, worse still a pair of the rotters have circled around to the adventurers- the fight is now in the open, with Grimm and Zyler working hard to keep the undead at bay, and away from the artillery.

At which point Hamun Kost exits the tower, he orders his servants to cease attacking, and begins shouting at our guys, he’s clearly irate-

“What the hell are you doing? This is an archaeological dig- these are my servitors, leave them alone and be off with you.”

Phaia.jpgHamun Kost

Grimm cuts another Zombie down, mainly because he can and he likes doing it, but also to piss Hamun Kost off a little more.

“Sorry.” The Paladin waves, “I didn’t hear you…”, Grimm points at his right ear and grins at his companions.

A debate ensues, the outpouring comes in stages.

The guys ascertain that Hamun Kost, he introduces himself, is indeed engaged in some form of archaeological activity, or else he’s very good at lying (lots of Intuition checks, some high). The adventurers explain that they have been tasked to destroy the undead in this area- Kost attests that his servants have orders not to attack folk unless they themselves are attacked.

The guys don’t even try to bluff their way out of that one. They are however resolute- the undead must die, and Kost is leaving- particularly as he is obviously a Red Wizard of Thay; Zalt and Hellwhip recognise Kost’s garments immediately. Zalt even provides a little commentary on the merits of the Red Wizards- there are none.

Kost tries to buy his freedom, and continues with his story, although things start to slip when Zyler surreptitiously targets the Red Wizard with his Zone of Truth. Kost finds himself giving a little too much information away- like the fact that he has discovered a magical ring in the tower, and that he is digging for other treasures.

The guys are not backing down- the Zombies die and Kost moves on, that’s all they have to offer- the only choice is the hard way or the easy way.

“Damn!” Kost snarls, followed by “ATTACK!” The Red Wizard hotfoots it back into the tower, the Zombies renew their acquaintance with the guys.

The adventurers take a few hits but start really pilling on the damage, particularly Grimm who manages to cut down at least one Zombie every turn. The Paladin eventually gets free of the undead and makes a dash for the touchdown- straight into the tower.

Hamun Kost misses the Paladin with his Ray of Sickness, however Grimm is somewhat dismayed to discover four identical versions of the Red Wizard within the crumbling structure (Mirror Image).

Back in the courtyard Zyler turns the last of the undead and sends all but one of the Zombies shambling off into the wilds- the last Zombie is quickly cut down.

In the same moment Kost exits the tower, in a rush to be elsewhere- the Red Wizard has been cut badly, and shambling after him comes a Blinded Paladin-

“Don’t let him get away!” Grimm screams, having no idea what’s going on.

A moment later Ken Lee steps up and settles his Sleep spell on the Red Wizard- Kost sinks into the land of slumber.

The encounter is over.

It took a long time to play out this one on Fantasy Grounds, over an hour- reminded me a little of our 4e sessions, only in 4e every fight took over an hour. Zombies when reduced to 0 hit points and below get to make a constitution saving throw (DC 5 + damage done) to avoid destruction, save and they’re reduced to 1 hit point instead. The guys cut ten Zombies down (two fled), the undead only managed to make one saving throw in all that time, to be honest Grimm was mostly delivering the killing blow and he was hitting for 16+ points of damage every time. The shambling undead had little or no chance- my point, it could have taken much longer, I’ll bear that in mind for the future.

The five adventurers stroll over to take a good luck at the snoozing Red Wizard, Grimm is helped over by Zyler- Zalt reassures the Paladin that his sight will return in a short while. A small chest and a thick book lie alongside Kost, obviously he was carrying the items beneath his robes.

“Does he have a spellbook?” Grimm asks, remembering the price the guys need to pay to Agatha the Banshee for the location of Wave Echo Cave.

The other adventurers don’t bother to answer, Zyler is grinning and capering with delight- for all to see, or hear.
“Painbringer will be mine.” The Priest of Tempus drawls.

And so endeth the session.

ENCOUNTER #17
PCs 4 x Level 3 & 1 x Level 2
Monsters Hamun Kost, Red Wizard 200 XP & 12 Zombies 50 XP each
XP 800 Adjusted 2400 CR 6
Deadly

Hardly a deadly encounter- the guys took maybe three hits from the Zombies and Kost proved to be of little use in a fire fight.

9) Experiential.

Ken Lee has more than enough XP for level 3, and has already had a long rest, when Bob comes back he can level up the fellow.

Session #010 Ends.

Ongoing Quests- Quest #6 Destroy the Orcs at Wyvern Tor & Quest #8 Check out Old Owl Well- NEARLY COMPLETE. Not a Quest but also- go and see the woodcarver’s wife (Mirna).

NPCs of note- Gundren Rockseeker (Patron)- MISSING- TAKEN TO KING GROL, Sildar Hallwinter (Lord’s Alliance), Elmar Barthen (Barthen’s Provisions), Toblen Stonehill (Stonehill Inn), Tilena Stonehill (Toblen’s wife), Pip Stonehill (Toblen & Trilena’s young son), Linene Graywind (Lionshield Coster), Sister Garaele (Shrine of Tymora), Harbin Wester (Townmaster), Daran Edermath (ex-Adventurer), Halia Thornton (Phandalin Miner’s Exchange), Qelline & Pip Alderleaf (Halfling female Farmer and her son), Iarno Aldbrek aka Glasstaff (the leader of the Redbrands)- DECEASED. Mirna and her kids (the dead woodcarver’s family) & Agatha the Banshee.

Enemies of note- Klarg (Bugbear Chief)- captured; Hobgoblins lead by Targor Bloodseeker (took Gundren); King Grol? (Cragmaw Goblin leader) & the Black Spider? Glasstaff (Iarno Aldbrek) & the Redbrands- DECEASED. Orcs in the hills- Wyvern Tor. Hamun Khost (Red Wizard) at the Old Owl Well- SLEEPING.

New Info- Lots going on- Grimm and Zyler have a bounty on their heads- Targor Bloodseeker, and King Grol (maybe), are after them. There are drow (singular or plural?) in this somewhere. The guys have a Red Wizard, and a spellbook, and maybe some treasure- Agatha wanted a spellbook.

XP Awarded-
75 Section 2) & 3) Interrogating Bumflap.
30 Section 4) Through the Hills to Old Owl Well.
800 Section 5) Dealing with Old Owl Well and its inhabitants
905 XP Total

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