031

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 #031 Wednesday 27th April 2016
Lance Rock.

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

Another excellent session.

The Action-

1) The Crypt.

The guys are in a century old crypt, situated just outside of Red Larch, on the Larch Path into the Sumber Hills- the crypt only came to light a week or so earlier when an adventurous young girl- Pell Mhandyver discovered it while playing in the wilds, she also spotted a ghostly figure at the entrance.

The guys, in the last session, ventured in and bested two hosts of minor Undead…

Essential_Fantasy_Geography_Vol_3-_05_Crypt_Map_Small.jpgThe Crypt.

Slightly out of breath, and with many of the guys wounded (all except Zalt), the adventurers take a break for a Prayer of Healing- the crypt returns to silence, save for a solitary loud click and the noise of a door creaking open, the noise comes from the eastern crypt.

Ten minutes later, after the Prayer, the guys venture in- Zyler discovers a panel open at the rear base of another statue of a middle-aged. Within the formerly hidden compartment Goren finds a chest- smashed open and filled with junk, but with a secret compartment containing 25 platinum coins and some rather nice jewellery.

The jewellery is marked with a stylised ‘V’, the symbol is repeated on the armour of the stone-carved Knights displayed recumbent on the sarcophagi, and also displayed prominently on the breast of the man in the statue.

“Vraath?” The guys wonder, they’ve heard rumours about a family called ‘the Vraath’ that held lands and titles in the Dessarin Valley in ages past. Time for a little bit more investigating.

The crypt is given a thorough search, alas there’s nothing else to be found, the guys remind themselves that they swore to the Specter here that they would ‘share’ the money they have found here to help those in need. Their victory comes at a price…

But for now back to Red Larch.

2) Red Larch Investigations.

RedLarch_Digital_small.jpgRed Larch.

Early evening the guys arrive back in Red Larch, first up a visit to Endrith Vallivoe, a local historian (and also Ken Lee’s Harper contact). Endrith delivers a potted summary of the Vraath in the Dessarin Valley, he then takes questions, although he doesn’t know all of the answers.

Endrith.jpegEndrith Vallivoe.

The guys learn that the Vraath were-

a) A Noble family from Waterdeep that came to the Dessarin Valley around about 400 or so years ago, and helped to settle the place. They were Noble frontiersmen that over the ages transformed their fortunes to become strong and benign rulers of the area.

b) They were always however a slightly secretive bunch, their main residence was in Womford (the oldest conurbation in the Desserin Valley), but they also had hidden Keeps and fortified places that have since been lost to time.

c) The family was extremely well off- lots of money, power and influence. Hence the fact that adventurers and fortune-seekers have been searching for the remains of their Keeps and Tombs for the last one hundred or so years.

d) The family was very religious, tradition was the young men and women of the clan all saw service, lots of them became Paladins.

e) Over the centuries the influence of the family declined, as other organisations made their bases in the Valley, the last known member of the Vraath- Cadoc Vraath (a Paladin, deity unknown) was last seen in the region perhaps a century past. At this point the family had more, or less, faded from sight- possibly they had retreated to one of their hidden abodes.

The guys show Endrith the jewellery they have found, the historian is aghast- a Vraath Crypt less than five miles out of town. The decision is made to keep the location of the place secret.

Minnie_Mhandyver.jpgMinnie Mhandyver.

Next up the guys head on to visit with Minnie Mhandyver, let the old lady know that the crypt her granddaughter Pell found was, as she said, home to a ghost of sorts. The guys further explain that the spirit has been laid to rest but the crypt itself is still dangerous- terribly unstable and liable to collapse at any time.

The chicken selling Minnie is delighted with the adventurers, soon the whole town will hear of their endeavours, she proffers the guys as many chickens as they can carry, and to help them in any way that she can in the future.

Last up the guys visit with Imdarr, the Priest of Tempus (and fellow member of the Order of the Gauntlet), at the Allfaith’s Shrine, the guys initially ask about old records- births, deaths and marriages- that sort of thing, they’re trying to track down any information they can find about the Vraath family. Alas it seems the records here only extend back 80 or so years, Imdarr, while not a longtime resident of the town, knows that Red Larch has not always been the bustling metropolis it is today. In short 80 years ago Red Larch was probably not much more than a roadside Inn, a few farmsteads and a shrine.

Imdarr.JPGImdarr.

Imdarr recommends the adventurers try the authorities or temples in Womford, or else Triboar or Yartar; it’s more likely there will be more comprehensive records at any, or all, of these places.

After the interrogation Imdarr declares he has a surprise for the guys- the 20th of Nightal (it’s the 18th today) is the Winter Solstice, at midnight many of the townsfolk will gather in the shrine to pray. Imdarr has persuaded the organisers of the event that Zyler should deliver this year’s speech- the player’s laughter begins now, Christer who plays Zyler (mainly by just shouting or growling ‘Tempus’) is, of course, delighted to have been afforded such an honour, and promises to write something fitting for the occasion.

Grimm is laughing particularly hard at Zyler’s misfortune- none of the guys particularly like giving speeches, although the Paladin’s guffawing quickly fades to silence when Imdarr informs the him that he will be delivering a prayer to the congregation. Grimm is less than impressed, although he tries hard not to show.

3) Rumours in the Inn.

Next up the guys head back to the Swinging Sword for food, drink, a bit of light gambling and gossiping, and then to rest after a hard day spent adventuring.

They discover the following things-

a) Kayleesa, owner of the Inn, tells a tale about her arrival in Red Larch 23 years ago, and her visit to a place called Lance Rock- the Inn-owner is convinced that the creepy place is somehow responsible for the variety of ills that have beset Red Larch over the years. She has, of course, no proof at all of this- only a feeling that has bstayed with her over the decades that Lance Rock is somehow cursed or blighted. The following day the guys ask Endrith if he has any information about the place- the Harper historian tells the guys that the rock is truly ancient, and was probably used as a place of sacrifice in ages past, other than that it’s just an odd-shaped rock which people mostly avoid.

The guys, who are still waiting on the arrival of Strom Halifax (which could be anything up to twelve days hence), promise Kayleesa they will check out Lance Rock for her.

b) Ken Lee also makes the acquaintance of a stonemason from Mellikho’s Quarry, the fellow- after losing 5sp to the Wizard, tells a tall tale about masked men hassling a bunch of stone cutters on the nightshift in Dornen’s Quarry (Mellikho’s only competition in Red Larch), this all happened about a week or so ago. Ken Lee files this information away for later use.

The guys, eventually, rest up for the night.

4) Dornen’s Quarry.

First thing the next morning, after breakfast- of course, the guys head to Dornen’s Quarry, Ken Lee it seems is keen to find out what exactly went on there with the masked men. They’re met by Elak Dornen, the owner of the establishment, who smirks and tell the guys about a joke gone wrong- the masked men turned out to be a gang of fellow stone cutters out to play a prank on their compatriots. He, however, didn’t find the escapade quite so funny- he lost a night’s production because of their stupid clowning.

Elak_Dornen.jpgElak Dornen.

The guys are easily assuaged, they thank Elak for his time- the quarry owner however wonders if the adventurers would be interested in a ‘task’. As it turns out the adventurer’s are very interested in further employment.

Elak gives the guys five gold coins as an opening gambit, explaining that the payment is a token of his regard- he’s heard stories from Constable Harburk that the advanturers have already put paid to a gang of Bandits. Elak then tells a tale about a drunken Dwarf prospector who came to Red Larch seven years past hefting a quartz crystal as big as his forearm, he further explains that the Dwarf confided in him the location of the quartz-bearing cavern.

In summary, the cave- known as Tricklerock Cavern is a good way up the Larch Path, in the lower reaches of the Sumber Hills, and a way off the beaten track- in the hills proper, a dangerous location- particularly in winter. Elak would like to hire the guys to check the place out. The deal is the guys can keep as much quartz, if present, as they can carry in their arms, he however would like to own the mine- what do the guy’s say to that?

As it turns out the guys say ‘yes’ to that, although the task will have to wait for a few more days, they have prior business to attend to first.

A little while later, when the guys have headed off from the quarry, Zalt reveals that Elak Durnen was, he is certain, lying about the prank and the masked men in the quarry- he’s hiding something. This comes as quite a shock to the other guys as they failed to pick up on the fact that Elak was spinning them a tale. They’ll have to think about this situation- maybe have a chat about it later, and figure out what they should do for the best.

5) To Lance Rock.

The guys, after some more chatter, however decide that the next step on their journey is to check out Lance Rock. The going proves to be remarkably easy- it’s mainly farming land, almost all of the way, only the last mile or so of the trek is through the wilderness.

The aforementioned, Lance Rock, proves to be an odd sight- a great lance-shaped stone thrusting out of the ground.

Lance_Rock.jpgLance Rock.

The edifice is investigated, climbed (with a little help from Zalt’s Spider Climb spell), and generally subjected to lots of scrutiny- both magical and mundane. There’s not much to be said however at the end of their investigations- the Rock is ancient- millennia old, it shows crude markings from ancient times- mostly squiggles and lines; in short except for its odd size, position, and shape it is completely without mystery- not magical or evil, or… anything extraordinary.

Goren however finds an old trail leading from it, heading towards some rugged looking hills to the south west, the guys- with nothing better to do, decide to follow the path for a while.

An hour or so later and they’re glad that they did, Goren- again, spots a cavern at the base of the hills, and a little later all of the adventurers catch the scent of rot, and death wafting from the dark opening.

They’re going in.

“Tempus” shouts Zyler, trying hard to remain in stereotype.

6) Zombies!

Necro_Cave_1.jpgThe Cave.

Goren scouts ahead again, he spots two bodies lying in the center of the cave- face up, a pair of much abused humans. Zalt is called forward, the Warlock- born with a suspicious mind, lets rip with a pair of Eldritch Blasts. The first Zombie rises sans its left leg, and has to hop into the attack; the second Zombie get up and shambles forward.

A giggling Grim cuts the pair of undead down (the first with a horrendous Critical Hit combined with his Great Weapon Master attack that does +10 on damage).

Zombie.jpgZombies.

That was a very short fight.

ENCOUNTER #48
PCs 5 x Level 5
Monsters 2 Zombies 50 XP each
XP 100 Adjusted 150 CR 1/2
Trivial

The humans, it appears, were once miners- or at least the pair wear the remains of clothing favoured by miners. The guys are however overjoyed to discover that they have located the dungeon, Goren is dispatched again to scout ahead.

7) The Big Zombie.

Necro_Cave_2.jpgFurther in…

The Rogue leads the guys ahead to a much larger cavern, with a high ceiling, and what looks to be a crude, blood-stained, sacrificial altar at its center. The cavern has two possible exits, narrow passages both to the east and west. Of greater concern however is the Ogre Zombie, and another pair of Zombie humans. Goren is spotted, quickly closed down, and slammed- the Rogue does however manage to escape the Ogre Zombie’s huge morningstar.

ogre_zombie.jpgOgre Zombie.

The fight is a very one-sided affair, Goren gets the hell out of dodge and Zyler steps into the mix, with Grimm following up to crowd the front line. Zalt launches Eldritch Blasts, while Ken Lee wades in with a Lightning Bolt and a Shatter. The trio of undead are efficiently beaten down, although a couple of the guys take hits.

ENCOUNTER #49
PCs 5 x Level 5
Monsters 2 Zombies 50 XP each & Ogre Zombie 450 XP
XP 550 Adjusted 1100 CR 4
Trivial

8) The Skeletons.

The guys head forward, into the chamber proper- they quickly confirm that the stump of rock at the center of the cavern has indeed been used for sacrifices, and possibly not very long ago- days, perhaps.

At which point yet another human Zombie comes staggering out of the west passage, the guys turn to face it- another easy fight, just as a bunch of Skeletons arrive from the east- five in total, although the last to arrive is a little special.

Skeleton.jpgSkeleton.

The first two Skeletons charge into the rear of the party and stab Goren repeatedly in the back- nice switch up there.

The next two Skeletons come to a halt either side of the passage and fire arrows from their shortbows- Ken Lee’s Shield spell saves him.

The last to arrive is a charging Minotaur Skeleton, the great beast Gores Grimm, the Paladin of Tymora is bloodied in an instant. Grimm is sent flying through the air, he lands ten feet or more back sprawled on the still slick sacrificial altar.

Minotaur_Skeleton.jpgMinotaur Skeleton.

At which point the session comes to an end.

Session #031 Ends.

Ongoing Quests- Quest #1 Get the Pitchblende safely & secretly to Red Larch (COMPLETE), then meet up with Strom Halifax- get it authenticated, sell it and then return home- easy job. Quest #2 Take care of the Bandits- COMPLETE. Quest #3- Investigate Minnie’s Ghost Story- COMPLETE. Quest #4- Investigate Lance Rock- Ongoing. Quest #5 Investigate Tricklerock Cave.

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- ZHENT?). 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!

NPCs of note in Red Larch- Phaendra Chansyrl (Curvy in leather), Imdarr (Priest of Tempus & Gauntlet), Endrith Vallivoe (Junk shop owner & Harper), Mangobarl Lorren (Baker), Ghilee (Serving wench at the Swinging Sword), Constable Harburk (the Butcher, and the law), Ironhead (Ironhead Arms), Kayleesa (Owner of the Swinging Sword), Gaelkur (Fence- buys gems etc.), Minne & Pell Mhandyver (Poultry & Ghost Stories)- kindly old lady and her granddaughter. Elak Dornen (Quarry owner).

Enemies of note- Gnolls, including (odd-looking) hard-to-kill pale Gnolls. Goren has enemies- the Greymen. Undead?

New Info- Minnie (& Pell) Mhandyver’s Ghost Story has been investigated, the spirit laid to rest and the guys rewarded. Lots of chatter about the Vraath family, and also an incident in Dornen Quarry. Then to Lance Rock, and a track to a cave- UNDEAD!

XP Awarded-
125 Section 1) The Crypt Treasure
250 Section 2) Investigate the Vraath in Red Larch
100 Section 3) Rumours in the Inn
100 Section 4) Dornen’s Quarry
50 Section 5) To Lance Rock
100 Section 6) Zombies in the Cave
550 Section 7) A Big Zombie
1275 XP Total

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