050

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)

And starring this weeks special guest-
Pedja playing Lord Thaelond of Bargewright.

We play using Fantasy Grounds and Skype, usually once a week for approx. 3 hours.

And so-

Session #050 Wednesday 28th September 2016
The Big Bloody Spider!

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

Goren Naeris, Male Wood Elf Rogue (Criminal) Level 6 is missing- Pedja is playing Lord Thaelond, the ruler of Bargewright, who is also taking part in the competition.

All present and correct tonight, although we have finally given up on Skype, we’ve moved into Google Hangouts, and it’s remarkably clearer although it took a little while to set it up (I’m not very computer literate), thus we started the session late. We also ended the session early, or at least on time for a change- my beautiful Mrs. was not well so I had to go play nursemaid.

The Action-

1) Brief Recap & Questions for Kal’Zerth.

Pedja (Lord Thaelond, and Goren) was not here for the last hour of the previous session, his internet finally died, as it had been threatening to do all evening last session. Therefore we played through the end of the last session again- with Kal’Zerth and the Drow reintroduced. The guys also got a chance to ask a few more questions, see below.

Bargewright.jpgBargewright.

The guys are delving in an ancient Dwarven mine beneath Bargewright, Lord Thaelond (the owner of the Inn and town) has no knowledge of this place. They have fought sickly Kobolds and managed to collapse several mine tunnels on their heads (the Kobolds and themselves)- Ken Lee loves a Fireball. Along the way they have picked up a little treasure, and disarmed a few ancient traps. They have also made a new friend, or at least Zalt has- the Warlock has got himself a Stone Guardian- an elemental of sorts that obeys Zalt because he is the ‘Wing Bearer’-Torg.

Bargewright_Kal.jpg

The guys have also run into Kal’Zerth, a Drow they competed against at the Ironwrought competition- the guy that they thought previously was responsible for the movement of humanoid tribes (mostly Kobolds & Goblins) in the Dessarin Valley- big bad ‘K’. Kal’Zerth however tells the guys that he is the good guy- the Bronzehammer Dwarves, who lived in the ancient mines beneath Bargewright, were responsible for unleashing a pestilence into the depths that killed many of his people. Kal’Zerth himself (being 1483 years old) was present for the destruction of the foul (and changed) Dwarves. The guys are on the horns of a dilemma; they would rather Kal’Zerth were the enemy, having to sympathise with a Drow is… difficult. Particularly for Zyler, the Priest of Battle, whose mother was killed by the dark-skinned elven bastards.

Comp_Kal_Zerth.jpg

Lord Thaelond is brought up to date, the guys question Kal’Zerth further- about the disease that the Dwarves sent into the depths (and its virulence), about the timings of various events, and about other activities in the Dessarin Valley at present. They learn a few things- mostly that the disease that the Bronzehammer’s unleashed (known as Bronzehammer’s Bain) is slow acting and needs to enter the water and food supply to have an effect. They however learn little else of use from Kal’Zerth, as it turns out the Drow has only visited the surface world perhaps twenty times in all of his years, he knows little or nothing about the situation in the Valley topside. Kal’Zerth’s concerns, as he has explained previously at length, are entirely focused on finding out what is stirring down in the Bronzehammer’s hold, a place called Dhol Kuldhir, translated from Davek as ‘the door at the end’.

There are break out discussions as the guys try to figure out how to play this… there’s a lot of suspicion (naturally), the end result is that they agree that they will help Kal’Zerth- they will complete the Ironwrought (and win it), and then head back down into the mine, and then descend into Dhol Kuldhir. Kal’Zerth for his part will give up his place in the Ironwrought competition and will guard the way down to the Bronzehammer hold- make sure nothing comes up, until the guys return.

The deal is done, although the guys are still not happy about their situation- they’re still trying to figure out the Drow’s angle.

2) The Big Bloody Spider!

The guys next stop is the passage they discovered earlier that had been blocked off with a wall of barrels and crates stacked almost to the ceiling- Zalt investigates the area while his new found friend- Wodger, clears a way through for the adventurers, best guess the Kobolds constructed the barricade. The question is what lies beyond- Lord Thaelond is eventually unleashed, the ex-adventurer sneaks silently forward, accompanied by a clanking Zyler who has now decided that he is built for Stealth (in platemail).

The chamber revealed is a massive cavern, strewn with the dead bones and desiccated remains of… well, what look to be small sized humanoids, all of them shrouded (make that cocooned) in webs. The walls and ceiling are likewise strewn with webs and great curtains of spider’s silk.

Remarkably Lord Thaelond spots none of the myriad web’s myriad inhabitants- it’s Zyler (the clanking Priest of Tempus) that spots the first Giant Wolf Spider which abseils down to sink its fangs into the owner of Bargewright.

Bargewright_Spiders.jpg

Like in Aliens the movie the Spiders come out of the walls- moments later there are half-a-dozen Giant Wolf Spiders in action- descending from above onto the guys, while three Giant Spiders stand station high on the walls- shooting webs down at the guys. It doesn’t take long before Lord Thaelond and then Zyler are webbed, Restrained, and then hauled in. The rest of the guys have, of course, arrived on the scene- and some of the Spider’s are taking a blasting, although Ken Lee is very restrained- he Hastes Grimm and then mostly settles for using his crossbow (he’s also mostly out of spells). I think Ken Lee is trying for a session in which he doesn’t collapse a ceiling (or two) on his colleagues- just to prove that he can do it.

Some of the guys are swinging and missing however, the Spiders are falling (slowly), but they are also getting their hits in- Grimm is bitten repeatedly- soon after he’s close to unconscious, Zyler is still swathed in webs (he has failed to make a DC 12 Strength maybe 3 or 4 times in a row so far, his dice are back to being broke). Lord Thaelond is also suffering- beyond bloodied, even Zalt is wounded.

A little while later Grimm Misty Steps up the cavern wall and onto the back of one of the Giant Spiders- he slashes it horribly and then, alas, falls thirty feet down onto the cavern floor- moments later the Spiders get to him, only a judicious use of a Potion of Greater Healing saves him from unconsciousness.

A little while later the big Spider arrives, it is in fact a Huge Spider…

FrostbiteSpider.jpg

The Huge Spider, an ancient looking creature, is enormous- its leg-span is easily twenty feet across- Zalt takes a hit- the beast smashes the Warlock with its pedipalps and bloodies him in an instant, he gets the hell out of dodge. Lord Thaelond follows suit- he’s not fighting it, which just leaves Zyler who has at last killed the Giant Spider threatening him but is at present still wrapped in the creature’s web- moments late the Priest is having to cast maximised healing spells just to maintain consciousness- there’s no time for him to fight back, he’s rushing through his spells just to stay standing.

Grimm, eventually, gets back to his feet and smashes his way through the variety of smaller (although still Large) Spiders menacing him- while Lord Thaelond, Zalt and Ken Lee continue with the artillery- clearing out the few remaining Spiders on the walls, and also targeting the latest (Huge) arrival.

Grimm finally gets into action against the huge beast- the Paladin unleashes everything he has got (it also helps that he is Hasted), he takes a beating for his efforts but the guys are now able to concentrate fire- except for Zyler who is… yep, you guessed it- still stuck in the web.

Zyler’s Dice- a short discussion.

Zyler, as described in many previous sessions, can’t hit a barn door from two paces, or else he can’t escape from a DC 12 Strength (or Athletics) check web. This would be more amusing but for the fact that he does this every week (more-or-less)… although having said that all of the players still took the time to make him feel especially wanted each and every time he failed a check- by laughing at him uproariously. He’s +4 on his Strength or Athletics check, he therefore needs an ‘8’ to escape- he has so far failed to do so for six turns in a row, even with advantage he failed… he spent a luck point and… failed again (that’s seven checks- one with advantage and his highest roll is a ‘6’ so far). And remember he’s a Priest of Tempus- the god of Battle, in the entire fight he hit once with Painbringer his magical warhammer- and rolled a ‘1’ on his damage. Earlier in the fight he attempted to hit one of the Giant Spiders with his Guiding Bolt- he missed twice in a row, the second roll courtesy of another (bad) Luck point.

Zyler’s dice are, in short, broken.

That said it is Zyler that makes the smart move- with almost the last of his spells the Priest calls forth his Spirit Guardians, the Huge Spider is caught within the compass of the spell- and loathe to give up on the tasty morsel that is Grimm- a fatal mistake by the enormous arachnid.

The Huge Spider beats Grimm some more (the Paladin is down to 8 HP) and then bites and poisons Zyler, moments later Grimm manages to help out the Priest with a Lesser Restoration- the reprieve is short lived, the Huge Spider bites the Priest and poisons him again- Zyler failing both saving throws spectacularly.

Grimm goes Spider-slashing crazy with some big hits, Zalt blasts the beast with a ‘20’ Eldritch Blast (having already Hexed it), Lord Thaelond hits (and with plenty of Sneak Attack damage) and Zyler’s Spirit Guardians savage the thing- the Huge Spider totters on its eight legs.

Note Zyler’s first damage roll with his Spirit Guardians- 3d8 Radiant damage, was… ‘1’, ‘1’, & ‘3’ for a total of ‘5’, thank heavens the Huge Spider managed to save for half damage…

Ken Lee steps in and fires a crossbow bolt right between the creature’s many eyes (another Crit) and ends it.

There is much rejoicing, although it’s at this point that the guys spot that Zyler is gibbering and drooling like a loon- the Huge Spider’s poison has addled the Priest’s brain (actually caused Confusion), the guys alas have no poison curing abilities (Grimm is out of spells and Lay on Hands)- the guys therefore decide against getting Zyler out of his webs (yep, he’s still caught in the web), Zalt fears that the poison may cause the Priest to lash out at his friends.

The problem quickly becomes moot when Zyler (at random- my dice roll) regains his senses, the guys quickly explain what’s going on and Zyler cures himself with a Lesser Restoration.

At which point the guys eventually get him out of the webs- he’s spent ten or so rounds in a DC 12 web, the Priest of Battle- I wouldn’t put that on my CV.

The fight is over…

ENCOUNTER #74
PCs 5 x Level 6
Monsters 6 Giant Wolf Spiders 50 XP each, 3 Giant Spiders 200 XP each & Huge Spider 1800 XP
XP 2700 Adjusted 6750 CR 10
Hard

The guys have nothing left in the way of healing, or indeed any spells at all- save Cantrips, that was a toughie.

The chamber however deserves to be searched; the skeletal and web-shrouded remains turn out to be mostly very dead Kobolds, all except one- a Dwarf, the body of an ancient Bronzehammer- the guys discover a golden etched amulet baring the Sigil of the Bronzehammer’s, and a few other bits of treasure… they’re happy with their haul.

The guys head out- back to the Bargewright Inn, for a chat, a glass of wine, and to think about the things they have learned.

3) Lord Thaelond’s Orders.

Back topside, and it’s 2 AM on the night/morning of the 30th of Nightal, the last day of the year is to follow- and the final event of the Ironwrought. The guys are desperate for a long rest, they just have time before the competition starts, they are however also keen to have a chat about all that they have discovered so far below Bargewright.

First off however Lord Thaelond orders his men to close off the tunnel the Spiders entered the cellars through, and to stack plenty of crates and boxes in front of the place. He also orders rooms and food for his new found friends, then the discussion.

Consensus is the Drow (Kal’Zerth) is lying (maybe)- the guys have read a diary belonging to one of the Bronzehammer Dwarves trapped in the mines- it all sounded very heroic. They’re not as certain as Kal’Zerth that the Bronzehammers are the bad guys, and yet while they speculate about events in Dhol Kuldhir they understand that the only way to resolve this mystery is to head below.

It seems they will not ditch the Drow, they want to find out what’s going on down there- they’re also particularly interested in the fact that both of the creatures that spread the pestilence- both now and a millennia past were Gargoyles. The guys have been hearing all manner of reports about Gargoyles delivering messages for a cult (or something like a cult) in the Dessarin Valley, at present. Is there a connection?

Ken Lee will use a magic ritual or two to examine some of the artefacts the guys found down in the mine.

However after the short discussion the 50th session comes to an end.


Session #050 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. WIN THE IRONWROUGHT. Quest #2 Explore Dhol Kuldhir- find the ‘door at the end’.

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!

NPCs of note in Bargewright- Lord Thaelond (Ruler), Lady Lara (nice Horse- looking for her sister, Lady Savra), Foo Yung (with stone mask)- RIP, Staunch (fat bloke), Lord Slather (furious Gnoll), Captain Hargas (older Hobgoblin), Carl Drogo (thick-set Barbarian), Baron Ballbag (drunk Goblin), Killshot (dextrous Halfling), Kal’Zerth (mysterious Drow- with a history, see session #49), Lord Klarg (Familiar Bugbear- see previous adventure in Phandalin), Gershwin Chimbly (contract Assassin?), Red Malik (tough guy), Vran Diddly (jokey & drunk Duergar).

COOL Sidekicks- Wodger, the Stone Dwarf.

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 mines beneath Bargewright are clear, Kal’Zerth and his Drow guard the way down to Dhol Kuldhir (‘the door at the end’). The guys just need to win the Ironwrought and then head back down and discover more of the mystery.

XP Awarded-
200 Section 1) Questions for Kal’Zerth.
2700 Section 2) The Big Bloody Spider!
100 Section 3) Lord Thaelond’s Orders.
3000 XP Total

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050

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