044

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition
The Red Larch Adventure.

The Union consists of-
Bob (Serbia & the world) playing Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard
Christer (Sweden) playing Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus
Pedja (Serbia & Germany) playing Goren Naeris, Male Wood Elf Rogue
Simon (UK) playing Zalt, Male Half-Elf Warlock
Zoki (Serbia) playing Grimm, Male Human (Variant) Paladin of Tymora
&
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 #044 Thursday 18th August 2016
Taking the Tower- Sqwelch’s Plan.

Starring-
Zalt, Male Half-Elf Warlock (Sailor) Level 6
Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus (Hermit) Level 6
Grimm, Male Human (Variant) Paladin of Tymora (Sailor) Level 6
Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard (Folk Hero) Level 6
Goren Naeris, Male Wood Elf Rogue (Criminal) Level 6

A slow-ish session as Pedja has just moved into a new apartment and his internet connection is coming courtesy of his phone, laggy as hell and prone to dropping- very stop-start. Still he (and we) tried- and that’s all that matters.

Enjoy.

The Action-

1) Brief Recap.

Womford_to_Goblin_Tower.jpgWomford to the Goblin Tower.

The guys have travelled a little way out of Womford to take on a tower (and camp) of Goblins- a non-plot-related side quest (they think), they’re doing this mainly because they like Sqwelch the Lizardman, and he hates Goblins having been polymorphed by a Goblin Sorcerer a decade past into his present form.

Goblin_s_Camp.jpgThe Goblin’s Camp.

The attack on the tower, last session, was frightening- Ken Lee dropped a Fireball into the Goblin camp, which more-or-less took care of all of them (and a pair of Worgs). Hobgoblins (with a Captain) came rushing out of the tower and were engulfed by Zalt’s Hunger of Hadar- and made to pay. In short everything was going incredibly well for the guys when the last session came to an end.

Now read on…

2) Taking the Tower.

Zalt continues to gesticulate and wave as his Hunger of Hadar spell savages the Hobgoblins within it, eventually three of the four rough humanoids escape the oppressive (and freezing cold) black. The trio are cut down in seconds by Grimm and Zyler, with a little help from Goren, Ken Lee and Zalt with missile and spell fire.

The Hobgoblin Captain lasts a while longer than the rest, long enough to scream for his troops still in the tower (more Hobgoblins) to start up with their longbows; the guys start taking hits- and misses, they scramble for cover.

Zalt dismisses his Hunger of Hadar spell, which unleashes the fury from within the tower- an Ettin rushes out and straight into action. Zyler and Grimm reconvene and start hacking at the great beast; Ken Lee and Zalt meanwhile take pot-shots at the Hobgoblin archers in the tower, when they briefly show themselves, they manage to take one of them down.

Ettin.jpgDick & Dom, the Ettin.

Note Goren (Pedja) is struggling with his phone-laptop combo at this point, the Rogue is out of the action.

The Ettin takes a beating, and fails to land a single hit (the creature is +9 to hit and Grimm has an AC of 17- figure that out), my dice are killing me (and my beautiful and monstrous avatars). The Ettin flees before it is too late- the creature moves fast and the wooded area surrounding the camp proves to be no barrier to its escape. The missile and spell wielding folk attempt to take the fleeing giant down, miraculously it survives the barrage and gets away.

Goblin_s_Camp_Ettin_Flee.jpg

Don’t worry guys- the Ettin will be back.

Not content with causing the giant to flee the adventurers, lead by Zyler and Grimm, rush into the tower, the first floor is a rough camp- used by the hobgoblins to sleep, eat, drink and much of everything else. The fighting duo grab a large table, hoist it over their heads and tortoise-like, rush up the stairs- there are Hobgoblin archers up there remember.

Ettin_Tower.jpg

The rest of the gang race into the tower and at a much more cautious pace follow the Order of the Gauntlet pair upwards. The second floor of the tower is a wreck, in places three feet deep in piles of broken wood, stone and crumbling plaster; it looks to have been blasted sometime way in the past.

Zyler and Grimm, with their table-shield, continue up- onto the third floor of the tower, clearly the bedchamber of the Ettin, there are three Hobgoblins waiting for them- also using a large table for cover- they fire. The table-shield does its job perfectly- Grimm and Zyler dump the furniture and rush to attack the Hobgoblins- they cut two of the creatures down quickly, the third surrenders (when bloodied).

The guys also note that the spiral stairs continue up- to the battlements, Zalt checks this area is clear a short while later.

Meanwhile on the second floor of the tower, at present, are Ken Lee, Zalt and Goren (now being played by Simon- Pedja’s internet connection has finally failed), the trio however are not alone, a number of Giant Centipedes have emerged from the rubble piles. The trio are hardly fighting for their lives but the insect’s attacks are proving to be annoying- the PCs keep getting bit (although not a one of them fails their Constitution saves- the Centipedes are particularly poisonous).

centipede_by_prodigyduck-d5ch9d9.jpgGiant Centipede.

The tension on the second floor increases- no sooner have the trio of PCs managed to despatch a Giant Centipede then another turns up to take its place, a Swarm of Centipedes adds to their woes, and now they’re really taking hits.

It gets to the point that Grimm has to scoot down the stairs and wade into action, this after Ken Lee Shatters the insects- and the stairwell, and the chamber- twice in quick succession. The result of which is that the Wizard manages to flush out all of the enemies hidden within the chamber, including another Swarm of Centipedes and a eight foot long Giant Scorpion, previously hidden under a massive pile of rubble.

Scorpion.jpgGiant Scorpion.

The Shatter spells also cause a section of the tower floor to collapse, and the area around the stairs (on which all five PCs stand) to suddenly crack and fracture- opinion is a repeat of the spell could bring the stairs down, or worse… the entire structure.

The fighting is frantic and bloody for a short while- eventually the adventurers are victorious, they celebrate their win by dragging their Hobgoblin prisoner (and themselves) out of the tower as quickly as they can. The entire structure groans and sways a little, and then settles.

The fight is over.

ENCOUNTER #68
PCs 5 x Level 6
Monsters 10 Giant Centipedes 50 XP each, 2 Swarms of Centipedes 100 XP each, 7 Hobgoblins 100 XP each, Giant Scorpion 700 XP, Hobgoblin Captain 700 XP & Ettin 450 XP- escaped alive.
XP 3250 Adjusted 13000 CR 15
Deadly

The guys rest up for a while- it’s getting dark however, a decision is quickly made to ‘get on’ with things, which starts with a little light interrogation.

3) Interrogate the Hobgoblin.

The Hobgoblin turns out to be little more than a grunt, this fact while unfortunate with regard to the adventurer’s desire for more information turns out to be fatal for the Hobgoblin.

Zalt asks the questions, these are the answers given-

a) The creatures in the camp and the tower were lead by Dick & Dom- the Ettin.

b) Messages were delivered to Dick & Dom by a Gargoyle- interesting!

c) The Hobgoblin alas has never seen any of the messages, nor does he know where they might be kept, in short he doesn’t know anything much (save for the above), and that his job was simply to guard the tower.

A little while later, after a series of bloody threats by Zalt and Grimm, the now desperate Hobgoblin wrenches himself free of his captives and runs- he doesn’t get far- it gets messy.

Just a note to state that both Grimm and Zyler’s magical weapons- Hewer and Painbringer, have proved themselves to be Goblin-Slaying weapons. The Order of the Gauntlet duo are now in direct competition- every time their magical weapons deliver the killing blow to a goblinoid, I- your kindly DM, put a tick in a box on my sheet, once there are enough ticks the additional damage done to goblinoids (factored in automatically on Fantasy Grounds) increases. So both weapon started out doing 1 extra point of damage to goblinoids, at present they both inflict an additional 1d3 damage on a hit to the creatures. Deliver the killing blow to a high level goblinoid- like a Hobgoblin Captain say, and you’ll get more than one tick.

As I say, the pair are in competition for kills, Zoki is slightly ahead at present- but doesn’t have enough ticks to increase his additional damage to 1d4 (the next step up), it doesn’t help that Zyler’s damage die- a d8, has eight ’1’s on it- seemingly. The Priest of Tempus (Battle) rolled his second critical hit in only 44 sessions…

Any questions Zoki or Christer?

4) Searching the Tower- the Note.

After a short rest, hidden in the trees, the guys- at Sqwelch’s behest, head back in to the tower- taking care as they go. Zalt notes that Sqwelch is acting a little odd…

Squire_Welch.jpgSquire Welch = Sqwelch.

The chambers within are searched, no new enemies are discovered, however a few minor treasures are located, including two much more interesting items- a feather that detects as magical, the guys are at a loss at present as to what this may be.

And…

Another mysterious(-ish) note-

Ettin_s_Note.jpgAnother note.

As with other notes in-game I do not allow the players to employ Comprehend Languages spells or rituals (save when I say they can), this note requires translation. Zalt spots that it is written using the Dwarven alphabet, however when translated the words make no sense. Zalt suspects the note is written in the Giant tongue, he’s a very clever fellow- he’s correct.

And so to simulate the Giant language I have translated the words into Dwarven and then jumbled up the letters for each word. Translation of the note will serve as the PCs homework.

The guys however quickly translate the first line of the missive, it says “Dick and Dom”, clearly it was written to the Ettin. More on this next session.

Soon after the guys have completed their search of the tower, there’s nothing more to find- and yet Sqwelch is still keen that they stay in the building, a discussion breaks out- with a few forceful statements thrown in for good measure.

Sqwelch is looking increasingly nervous, finally he breaks, and tells all…

5) Scare the Gargoyle- Sqwelch’s plan.

The Lizardman works with Avarthel, and like the Druid he has sworn to ‘protect the Land’. Avarthel (and others) are of the opinion that present events- increased Kobold & Goblin activity, the sudden appearance of groups of Gargoyles flying overhead etc. all of these things are somehow bound together- and the Land suffers.

The guys are interested- they offer a few suggestions of their own based upon their encounters and experiences within the the Dessarin Valley.

Sqwelch continues- he has been watching this Goblin tower off and on for the last two tendays, he believes that a Gargoyle will visit the place this evening, he’d like to be there when that happens.

The guys interest increases.

However, and here’s the kicker- Sqwelch needs to shoot the Gargoyle with a magical arrow which will allow the flying creature to be tracked, he does not want the Gargoyle to be killed- he needs to find where it (or they) are coming from.

The guys are in.

An hour later and Tempest (Zalt’s familiar- a very odd Owl) alerts the guys- a Gargoyle approaches.

The plan goes like clockwork- Zalt creates an illusionary trapdoor on the roof of the tower- through which Sqwelch watches as the Gargoyle lands on the crenelated battlements, a second later the Lizardman bobs up and thunks the magical arrow into the beast. The remainder of the guys rush up with things to throw or fire and take a few pot shots, just for the look of the thing. The Gargoyle flees, screeching furiously as it departs.

A moment later, and with barely an explanation, Sqwelch departs also- in snatched chunks the guys learn that the tracking ability of the arrow is real-time, he has to start following the creature now. Sqwelch will be back in Womford as soon as he can, and the guys should save him a share of their spoils from the tower.

Which brings action at the tower to an end rather swiftly, although…

Womford_Small.jpgWomford.

The guys are in a rush to be back to their comfortable beds in the Green Apple Inn in Womford (they’ve also paid through the nose for them), a short while later they’re back on their horses and heading back to town. The journey, under a three-quarter-moon, is a little chilly but happily uninterrupted. At four in the morning they awake Tharrma, the owner of the Inn, much to her annoyance, and demand access to the aforementioned comfortable beds.

At which point the session ends.

The Ironwrought competition, at Bargewright, starts tomorrow…

Session #044 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.

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! Avarthel- Druid of the Land, southern Dessarin.

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 & Ghilee (Owner, and Serving Wench, at the Swinging Sword), Gaelkur (Fence- buys gems etc.), Minnie & Pell Mhandyver (Poultry & Ghost Stories)- kindly old lady and her granddaughter. Elak Dornen (Quarry owner). Ilmeth Waevlur & Albaeri Mellikho (Rich men in Red Larch), also Baragustas (mad Old Guy), Braelen (Ilmeth’s son) & Grund (Pickle selling Thug). Larmon (Shepherd- saved his life).

NPCs of note in Womford- Tharrma (Proprietor of the Green Apple Inn), Morlin Coalhewer (of Morlin’s Smithy), Brother Derny (Shrine of Lathander), Sertiernen the Wise (Harper & Wizard), Captain Soranna Anitah (leader Womford Watch), Kellin Shadowbanks (proprietor of The Old Bridge Inn), Jarett North (of Jarett’s Sundries), Drathgur (Ferryman), Sterrel (of Sterrel’s Provisioners), Avarthel the Druid & Squire Welch aka Sqwelch- Protectors of the Land!

Enemies of note- Gnolls, including (odd-looking) hard-to-kill pale Gnolls. Goren has enemies- the Greymen. Oreioth the Necromancer & his undead- DEAD. The Necromancer of Lance Rock’s “Great Eye”? Goblins? Ilmeth Waevlur & Albaeri Mellikho (Rich men in Red Larch), also Baragustas (mad Old Guy), Braelen (Ilmeth’s son) & Grund (Pickle-selling Thug), and the bad men in the Temple of the Moving Stones, including Larrakh- mostly all dead. VERY BAD Tiamat worshipping Kobolds- strange Hobgoblins, a Bugbear Lord (Wizard?). Gargoyles? Ankhegs- BASTARDS! More Goblins.

COOL enemies of note- Trimat, the Chimera & Dick and Dom, the Ettin.

New Info- The Goblins, lead by the Ettin- Dick & Dom, were getting orders via a Gargoyle messenger service (as stated by Sqwelch and witnessed by all). Sqwelch is off tracking the Gargoyle, he’ll be back in Womford as soon as he can, he’ll see you then. All of the bad stuff is affecting the Land- so says Sqwelch and Avarthel.

XP Awarded-
3250 Section 2) Taking the Tower.
100 Section 3) Interrogate the Hobgoblin.
200 Section 4) Searching the Tower- the Note.
200 Section 5) Scare the Gargoyle- Sqwelch’s plan.
3750 XP Total

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