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Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition
The Red Larch Adventure.

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 Goren Naeris, Male Wood Elf Rogue (Criminal)
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 a week for approx. 3 hours.

And so-

Session #025 Wednesday 16th March 2016
Gnolls in the Rusty Gorgon.

Starring-
Zalt, Male Half-Elf Warlock (Sailor) Level 5
Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus (Hermit) Level 5
Grimm, Male Human (Variant) Paladin of Tymora (Sailor) Level 5
Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard (Folk Hero) Level 5
Goren Naeris, Male Wood Elf Rogue (Criminal) Level 5

The Action-

1) The Exploration Phase.

Triboar.jpgTriboar- and not Winterhaven, honest.

The guys have made it to Triboar, through the snow (and the Ghouls) from Phandalin- they’re mostly situated in the Long Road Inn, cadging a warm from the fire and the booze.

However between seasons there has been a flurry of e-mails, several players have things- secret things, they wish to do.

Fifteen minutes later and Zalt is the only one left in the Inn- the Warlock leans back to enjoy himself by attempting to read the minds of random folk in the bar, he employs a little of his dark magic to help with the task.

Goren doesn’t stay out long- he gets back to the Inn only an hour or so later, the Rogue has heard some worrying news, it seems that an early night is in order.

Zyler & Grimm both head to the same place, and then are duly surprised to see each other there- there being Oggnog’s Smithy, the Dwarven proprietor is just locking up the premises when the martial pair tip up.

Five minutes later, after a lot of prevaricating the episode turns into a love-in, at least between Grimm & Zyler, the Dwarf smith stays out of it. As it turns out Zyler is heading to the smithy to get his faction symbol- a Gauntlet, emblazoned upon his shield. As it turns out so is Grimm- same symbol, same faction (obviously), only the Paladin requires it on his belt buckle.

At which point the players discover they’re both in the same faction- for info they both joined the Order of the Gauntlet on or around Session #8, they’ve been brothers in arms for the last 17 sessions and not known it.

Much joy is had.

Their faction badges will be ready early tomorrow.

Last but by no-means least Ken Lee goes for a wander, the Elf scours the town before heading for a dip in the Public Baths to unwind, followed by a drink in the Home of the Boars Tavern- there he meets a friend who shares his inquiring nature (another Harper).

The guys are replete for info, a few clues about their future path into the Dessarin Valley, and a bit better informed or else acquainted, the guys have made some contacts- even if only with other party members.

Except for Zalt of course who retires to his room in the Inn to listen and converse with the voices in his head.

2) Morning Glory!

The adventurers are up early- Grimm and Zyler are first out into a fresh and blustery day, the market is in full swing- nearly 60 stalls, winter is mild and trade is good. The Gauntlet followers rush to Oggnog’s excited to see their new attire- the Dwarf smith has excelled himself, and with good reason.

Oggnog tells a tale, from his youth, about fighting as a mercenary in the Dales 50 years past and being saved from certain death by a knight bearing the same badge that Grimm and Zyler asked him to produce. Oggnog has been up all night, both items are flawless.

The love-in goes three way, a little later the martial duo say farewell to Oggnog and depart.

While this is going on a pair of street urchins attempt to lift Zalt’s purse, the Warlock has headed out into the market, one of the two young ruffians is left screaming when the Warlock turns his head and hair bright pink.

Goren retains the balance by lifting a purse from a fat merchant on his way through the market- the Rogue leaves Triboar an hour or so later with his comrades on the cart, having made money on the overnight stop.

Tymora favours adventurers in general it seems.

3) The Black Maw Bog & Bridge.

Dessarin-_Triboar.jpgInto the Valley.

The roads are good, that is until they get to the Black Maw Bog- the road becomes a causeway- either side a stinking morass mottled with pools of fetid water, in other words- unpleasant. The guys, very quickly, are on edge- stopping the cart at least once to listen to the muffled sounds coming from the swamp.

Eventually the adventurers wend their way to Black Maw Bog Bridge.

Repaired_Bridge_Picture_Small.jpgThe Black Maw Bog Bridge (Sponsored by Sellotape).

Sgt. Beavis of the Black Maw Bog Bridge Guard (the BMBBG for short) eventually convinces the guys that the central span is safe, Grimm riding Atlas leads the way- soon after the adventurers congregate around the rickety watch house, pay their toll and have a friendly chat with the men of the BMBBG.

There’s not much to learn, the Long Road south to Westbridge is safe, or as safe as it can be in winter, there’s not much traffic and finally- and most importantly can the BMBBG cadge any booze, fresh meat or food… only they’re waiting on a re-supply and have been sober for nearly a ten day.

Friends are made, the guys share produce bought earlier today at Triboar market, and then press on to the Rusty Gorgon, a renowned roadside Inn only a few miles south of the swamp, and from which the BMBBG are barred.

The guys set the pace and arrive just in time to strike the bargain of the day.

4) The Rusty Gorgon.

Country_Inn.jpgThe Rusty Gorgon.

The adventurers are instantly made to feel welcome by the Popper family that own and run the Inn, they are after all the only guests in the place- and thus, after a brief chat, are offered the sale of the century- one gold coin each buys them a bath, a luxurious room with four-poster bed, good food and a flagon or two of fine ale.

The guys are happy to accept- the Popper family set to their task; three hours later- and with Oxley, the Ox, and the cart settled in the stables; the guys are replete. The more inquisitive members of the adventuring party even manage to press the Popper family for a few details regarding events in the valley, the guys feel like they’re making progress, and that the journey to Red Larch is proving to be far more pleasant than they could have imagined.

Sated, the guys retire to fresh sheets (again) and big beds, knowing that in five or six more days they’ll be in Red Larch, they’re over halfway there.

Ah perchance to dream…

5) Nightmare.

The adventurers awake to screams, or rather a scream- Ken Lee is first up and to the window in his room- there are Gnolls and Hyenas in the rear courtyard of the Inn, and… “HeeeeeLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLpppp!”… one of the Popper’s screaming from the taproom.

The Wizard swings into action, a moment later a second squad of Gnolls and Hyenas (in the taproom) get to see how Ken Lee’s Lightning Bolt works up close, and then all hell breaks loose.

I’m going to end the narrative here, the fight is still not finished as by this point one of the players was having debilitating problems with his PC.

Just a few hints and reminders for my players, some of the Gnolls attacking look a little odd.

Gnoll_Necromancer_by_velinov.jpgOdd Gnolls.

There are a trio of the odd-looking Gnolls- the creatures’ fur has fallen away in chunks, the trio are all somewhat glassy eyed- and for Gnolls remarkably restrained, and quiet, they’re also armed with glaives and terrifically difficult to kill.

And so we’ll finish the fight, and this part of the narrative, next session.

At which point the guys will realise that while all of the Popper family are safe- Gordo, the Rusty Gorgon’s resident Dwarven smith, is missing…

Session #025 Ends.

Ongoing Quests- Quest #1 Get the Pitchblende (maybe) safely & secretly to Red Larch, then meet up with Strom Halifax- get it authenticated, sell it and then return home- easy job.

NPCs of note- Gundren & Nundro Rockseeker (Patron, again), Sildar Hallwinter (Lord’s Alliance), Sister Garaele (Shrine of Tymora)- GRIMM’S SQUEEZE, Halia Thornton (Town Master & Phandalin Miner’s Exchange). Mags O’Mara (Triboar), Oggnog the Smith (Triboar) & Gable, of Gable’s Stables (Triboar). Sgt. Beavis & his men at Black Maw Bog Bridge. The Popper family & Gordo at the Rusty Gorgon.

Enemies of note- Gnolls?

New Info- Wave Echo Cave is a bust, all the good work in Phandalin will go to naught if the Forge of Spells isn’t made to work again, that is unless the stuff in the cart turns out to be Pitchblende. Find out if it is Picthblende, see Strom Halifax in Red Larch. The guys are en route to Red Larch… only the Inn they’re staying in just got attacked.

XP Awarded-
500 Section 1) Good Times in Triboar
200 Section 4) Black Maw Bog Bridge
100 Section 5) The Rusty Gorgon
800 XP Total

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