027

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 #027 Wednesday 30th March 2016
Grimm’s Curvy Fruit.

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

A funny week this week, lots of little bits of things…

The Action-

1) Get the Heck out of Dodge…

Three line recap- the guys, en route to Red larch, stop off at the Rusty Gorgon Inn- very nice. Later on the Inn is attacked by Gnolls- less nice. Gordo, the Dwarven Smith is captured by the Gnolls- the guys head off in pursuit after meeting Jaume (a Druid). They rescue Gordo, although burn through all of their spells doing so.

Gnoll_Cave_Lower_a.jpgNice Route Markers- Dead Gnolls.

The adventurers are keen to get the hell out of dodge, this after having a little snoop around (thanks Goren), the Rogue spots a massive Hyena down one of the passages, maybe even more than one- and another of the pale Gnolls down the other passage. The guys don’t want to get into another fight- besides Gordo is in agony- they creep back out of the lair and skedaddle, all the way back to the Inn.

Zalt leaves his familiar- Tempest (an Owl, sorta) watching over the lair.

Gordo.jpgGordo.

The Poppers are of course delighted to see Gordo alive, the Dwarf however has suffered extensive burns. The adventurers take a well earned rest- it’s now 4.30 AM, they’ve only had two hours sleep after a long day on the road- they’re all very tired.

Decisions are made- tomorrow (later today) will be a rest day.

However today (or rather this morning- now) the guys are going to take a short rest- reload the Fireball cannon (or Ken Lee as he is sometimes known) and then head back to make boom-boom with the Gnolls. They’re also particularly keen to find out what they can about the pale Gnolls- the favourite explanation at the moment is that they’re something to do with demons.

Gnoll_Necromancer_by_velinov.jpgOdd Gnolls.

And so that’s what happens- the guys rest (& Arcane Recovery), and then trudge back to the lair.

At which point Tempest, the sorta Owl, informs Zalt that a bunch of Gnolls, most riding Giant Hyenas, exited a while back.

Bugger- the guys head in anyway, cautious just in case there are still creatures or traps within.

There aren’t.

The lair looks like this-

Gnoll_Lair_1.02_small.jpgWatch out for my upcoming Kickstarter to pay for new pencil crayons.

This is what the guys discover about it-

a) There’s a statue of a two headed Gnoll in one cavern, his name is… you know… it’s- doh!

b) There’s a large cauldron in another chamber, it contains dead stuff (bits of people- including heads).

c) In the same chamber are a pair of concentric circles (made from fist-sized pieces of stone placed on the cavern floor), the area between the circles is filled with bloody entrails and a variety of organs essential to life (hearts, livers, etc.).

The significance of any of this stuff is… well, the guys are at a loss.

They’re exhausted- every check is at Disadvantage, and the dice are not playing, frustrated (but with a much greater understanding of the Exhaustion rules) the guys trudge back out of the lair, and all the way back to the Inn.

They set a guard, with the help of the Poppers, and then sleep.

2) Reinvestigating the Goll’s Lair.

Much later the same day, after an Extended Rest, three of the guys- Zyler, Zalt & Ken Lee, head back to the Gnoll lair- it’s still deserted.

Here’s that map again.

Gnoll_Lair_1.02_small.jpgIt’s a Masterpiece.

Here’s an update on what they discover-

a) There’s a statue of a two headed Gnoll in one cavern, his name is… you know… it’s- doh!

Yeenoghu, that’s the name of the two-headed Gnoll- that’s odd, someone has taken the time gouge out the Demon Prince’s eyes. Hmmm- eyes, what was it Jaume said during his Augury-

“By the Eyes that See!
And the Stones that Move!
Comes the Hand that Reaches!
Ware the Deceiver!”

That was it.

b) There’s a large cauldron in another chamber, it contains dead stuff (bits of people- including heads).

This foul soup, the guys figure (guess) is part of some terrible ritual- best guess, something to do with the creation of the pale Gnolls.

The cauldron is tipped out- the contents are ghastly, including the much abused heads of a Human, a Horse, and a Gnoll, and plenty more unidentifiable horrors.

c) In the same chamber are a pair of concentric circles (made from fist-sized pieces of stone placed on the cavern floor), the area between the circles is filled with bloody entrails and a variety of organs essential to life (hearts, livers, etc.).

The center of the concentric circles is clear, and big enough for someone to stand within- Zalt muses, the circles are also not, well… circular- they have been placed in the shape of an eye, complete with pupil.

Definitely a ritual.

Alas there’s little money to be found, only a handful of gold and silver on the deceased Gnolls.

The guys head back to the Inn (yet again).

3) The Black Maw Bog Bridge Guards.

Atlas.jpgAtlas- Grimm’s Pride & Joy.

Goren and Grimm are not present for the lair examination because the pair head off on the back of Atlas, the Paladin’s sturdy mount- to the Black Maw Bog Bridge, only thirty minutes down the track.

Repaired_Bridge_Picture_Small.jpgThe Black Maw Bog Bridge- try saying that when you’ve had a few.

The guys meet with Sgt. Beavis-

Beavis.pngSgt. Beavis.

The fellows are distraught to hear of the attack on the Rusty Gorgon, they regularly sneak to the Inn for a pint or two when they can; they are however overjoyed to hear that the Inn still stands, and that all of the Poppers, and Gordo, are safe.

Two Guards are dispatched with the guys, to head back to the Inn; Sgt. Beavis will also send another Guard to Triboar- to ask for more men, with the next caravan heading in that direction.

The good Sgt. also asks the guys to spread word of the Gnoll attack to the constables in Westbridge and Red Larch, as and when they continue on their southern travels.

Grimm and Goren return with the two Guards to the Rusty Gorgon, and then rest some more- Oxley, the Oxen, has had a day off- the guys are back on the road tomorrow.

4) Curvy Fruit.

The next day, back on the Long Road heading south now to Westbridge, the guys encounter a group of Pilgrims of Chauntea, the group are lead by the young (and fruity) Sister Gallafrey.

Priestess.jpgSister Gallafrey.

The guys, initially, are a little suspicious- but are easily won over with fresh produce, the Pilgrims of Chauntea are traveling to Phandalin to bring provisions to the town- they have heard that it has suffered much of late.

Sister Gallafrey is particularly fruity- there follows ten or so minutes of risque banter, at Grimm’s expense, as the young Priestess makes clear her desire to get her hands (et al) on Grimm’s curvy fruit (in campaign name for a ‘banana’). Awfully fecund the followers of Mother Nature.

What is it about Grimm that makes Priestesses go weak at the knees.

The guys eventually excuse themselves and move on, after helping themselves to plenty of fresh fruit and veg.

5) The Owl Man.

Westbridge_1_Small.jpgWestbridge.

Two days later, after pushing Oxley and the wagon, the guys make it to Westbridge, a large village- or perhaps, a small town, either way the place is mostly asleep when the guys arrive (after 9 PM)- they have to bribe a Guardsman to wake the stable owner up.

The guys get Oxley settled and then head to the Harvest Inn, and then a strange thing happens.

Zalt puts on a magic show of sorts, the Warlock entertains the locals with displays of magic and mystery in partner with his (sorta) Owl- Tempest. He plays cards with the (sorta) Owl, gets the creature to fetch things and, well… the Inn is in uproar- it’s the funniest thing they’ve seen in Westbridge for generations.

So marvelous is the performance that the Warlock has to repeat it for the children of the village in the morning, thirty farmers’ sons and daughter sit rapt as Zalt and Tempest do their thing.

The pair have the X Factor.

Zalt also has a new nickname- ‘the Owlman’, or else ‘the Magic Owlman’.

The guys hit the road again, heading south and leaving Westbridge behind.

Having forgotten, of course, to pass on the warnings about the Gnoll attack on the Rusty Gorgon Inn- oh well.

6) Is it a Bird?

The route south-

Bog_to_Red_Larch_a.jpgTo Red Larch.

Several hours outside of Westbridge the guys spot a number of birds circling high overhead- nothing odd there.

Except for the fact that two hours later the birds are still there- they seem to be keeping pace with the adventurers, that’s odd- the guys speculate, but are mostly at a loss to explain the activity.

They do however find a copse of trees to hide themselves, and the wagon, from onlookers (or over-lookers)- a campsite to keep them out of sight for the night.

Just to be safe.

The other item of note is the weather- en route to Triboar the Trail was snow covered, the weather freezing and their pace slow- icy paths, snowstorms etc. For the last four or five days the weather has been fine- unseasonably so. It’s the twelfth month of the year- Nightal, or to give its common name- the Drawing Down; it should be much colder than this.

Odd.

7) No Wolves.

The adventurers continue south, the going gets tougher as they enter the Sumber Hills, the guys grow wary- and rightly so.

That evening there are sounds of Wolves abroad, Goren wakes the whole camp when the sounds grow louder- the attack however doesn’t come.

The night passes without incident.

8) Meet the Prospectors.

Early the next day the guys stumble into a gang of dirty Humans- the men turn out to be prospectors, lost in the Sumber Hills their camp taken out in a landslide two days past, their mule killed and their provisions and equipment buried. The quintet are desperate for food, and beg to travel on the guy’s wagon back to town- Red Larch, one of the five was hurt in the accident, he’s taken a bump to the head.

The guys distribute food and take the opportunity to check the prospector’s out- they’re not convinced, they’re fairly certain that there’s nothing wrong with the injured fellow, and Goren is certain that the group are lying, Grimm (after a little light magic) is also beginning to think that these guys are not on the straight and narrow- they Detect as Evil.

It gets a little tense.

Just as the session comes to an end.

I did say it was lots of little bits this week.

Session #027 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. Sister Gallafrey (& the Pilgrims of Chauntea). The Village of Westbridge= More Owlman!

Enemies of note- Gnolls, including (odd-looking) hard-to-kill pale Gnolls.

New Info- The Popper family and Gordo, the smith, are safe- the Inn is now guarded. The Gnoll’s lair has been checked out, the creatures have fled- within the caverns signs of terrible sacrifice and (evil) ritual magic. Onwards to Red Larch- meet Pilgrims of Chauntea (see Curvy Fruit), Zalt ‘the Owlman’ entertains in Westbridge, birds high above following the guys, and finally a quintet of prospectors in need of help. Nearly there- maybe two days to go to Red Larch.

XP Awarded-
200 Section 1) Escape the Gnoll Lair- Return to Investigate
200 Section 2) The Second Investigation
100 Section 3) Get the Guards to the Inn
100 Section 4) Curvy Fruit
100 Section 5) Zalt Entertains Westbridge
50 Section 6) Strange Birds Above
50 Section 7) No Wolves
100 Section 8) Meet the Prospectors
900 XP Total

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Goonalan's D&D 5th Edition Campaigns goonalan