051

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 #051 Wednesday 5th October 2016
The Ironwrought Finale Part One.

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, as usual.

The Action-

1) Brief Recap.

The guys are in Bargewright for the Ironwrought competition- the last event, the finale, takes place later today.

Bargewright.jpgBargewright.

For the last few sessions the Union have been delving in an ancient (and secret) 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 along the way to pick up a little treasure, and disarm several 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.

The guys have also run into Kal’Zerth, a Drow they competed against in the Ironwrought competition. Kal’Zerth 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.

Comp_Kal_Zerth.jpg

Last session the guys fought a bunch of Giant Spiders, including a Huge variant- and then swiped the treasures of an ancient Bronzehammer Dwarf.

The guys have now exited the mine- leaving Kal’Zerth to guard the way down to a place called Dhol Kuldhir, a Bronzehammer Dwarven hold- the name ‘Dhol Kuldhir’ means ‘door at the end’… They will be back to investigate further- just as soon as one of them has won the Ironwrought competition.

2) Ken Lee’s Identify Spell.

First up is an extended rest, followed by breakfast and chatter- Ken Lee has spent some hours using his Identify spell on a number of items the guys found in the mines below Bargewright. In our campaign the Identify spell can be used to tell a little of the history of even mundane items, Ken Lee reveals to his colleagues the following.

The first item examined is a book entitled “Ballroom Dancing for Gentle Gnomes” by Dancing Master “Foxtrot” Oscar, this was given to Ken Lee by Kal’Zerth- the aforementioned friendly neighbourhood Drow. This is what Ken Lee’s Identify spell turns up-

The book is a semi-scholarly text, your identify spell allows brief glimpses of the time the tome was written. A Gnome court in ages past, in which gentle Gnomes learn how to dance all manner of respectful and genteel dances, including- ‘the eggnog’, ‘the hot potato shuffle’, and ‘the lazy bugbear’; all of which are classical Gnome dances, you learn.

And so item 2- the Sigil of Bronzehammer, a golden amulet found on the skeletal remains of a Bronzehammer Dwarf in the Spider’s lair. This is what Ken Lee’s Identify spell turns up-

Use of your identify spell sends you spinning back in time a thousand years, the image is hazy- as the identify spell is less powerful the further back it has to go. You catch glimpses of a stout Dwarf, heavily armoured and armed (with the battleaxe you found with the body). The creature is fighting- you cannot see what, the Dwarf seems to be in a frenzy, and then the image fades- never to return.

Lastly, item 3- another book, this one ancient and holding the final words of Oldar Bronzehammer, written during some terrifying attack, the Dwarves in the mines having sealed the entrance to Dhol Kuldhir, and also the way to the surface. The presumption is the author died, as he stated in his last diary entry- "with an axe in his hand, and his feet upon the stone". This is what Ken Lee’s Identify spell turns up-

You catch brief glimpses of a Dwarf (Oldar Bronzehammer, you presume) writing the text. A broken Dwarf, dirty and unkempt- scratching the words into this diary by the guttering light of a single candle. Every now and then there are noises far off- Oldar stops to listen, and then writes on. Until finally out of the darkness something lurches, Oldar spills the book and, you presume, goes for his weapon- too late. There’s a thump, a scream, then a thud. You see Oldar sprawled on the floor. A creature bends down into your vision- a Dwarf, only… this creature is feral, and wild-looking. The pale Dwarf begins to tear and bite at Oldar… it seems to be intent on eating the author… the vision ends.

So, as it turns up, Kal’Zerth was telling the truth- a bit of Dwarf on Dwarf action it seems…

What’s worse than a Drow telling you lies?

Easy, a Drow telling you the truth.

3) Buying & Selling at the Ironwrought Market.

The Ironwrought Market is still in full swing, and the guys have just eked out a little more treasure from the adventure- time to sell up, and see what else there is to buy- which turns out to be a lot more interesting than they first imagined.

The adventurers get fair prices for their finds, content with their lot they wander for a while- and tucked away discover “Happy Harry Henderson’s Ask-No-Questions Magic Emporium”, the large tent is run by half-a-dozen or more Gnomes, including Happy Harry himself. The place is guarded by four platemail clad Ogres.

The Gnomes have a few potions for sale- Healing, Climbing and one or two of Greater Healing; they also have a few low level scrolls- prices start at ‘slightly over-priced’ and run all the way to ‘exclusive’. The guys are however intrigued, especially when they discover that Happy Harry has a Bag of Holding for sale- and best guess (Zalt and Ken Lee examine it) the thing is the genuine article. There follows some complex negotiations, the result of which is Zalt purchases the item for the knock-down price of 650gp, although as part of the deal several of the adventurers agree to wear robes for their appearance in the Ironwrought finale advertising Happy Harry’s establishment.

A little while later Grimm goes in search of further sponsors, alas his great idea is stymied by the associated dice roll- a ‘1’. Later Grimm enters the ring for the Ironwrought finale bearing the legend-

“Farmer Diggler’s Filthy Hoes”

On the backside of his overpants (like underpants only over).

And thus the advertising industry is born- renting space on a Paladin’s arse, the fantasy realm mirrors our own it seems.

4) Gambling on the Fight OFF!

The finale of the Ironwrought, as the guys suspected is a one-on-one knockout melee, with sixteen entrants (including the guys); the rules are explained- ostensibly it is a competition, and not an invitation to a murder. The idea is that all fighters should survive to fight another day- the option to concede the match once bloodied, the use of spells (only those that are confined to the fighting pit), and the ability to inflict non-fatal damage are all explained and discussed.

And then the finale gets going, although first up the guys spend a while investigating their future opponents and then placing bets on them (mostly to lose).

The standings in the Ironwrought competition after two events are as follows-

27pts. Lord Thaelond
25pts. Zyler

20pts. Kal’Zerth
18pts. Killshot
12pts. Grimm
12pts. Red Malik
10pts. Gershwin Chimbly
8pts. Captain Hargas

8pts. Carl Drogo
8pts. Lord Slather
8pts. Lord Klarg
7pts. Zalt
6pts. Baron Ballbag
6pts. Vran Diddly
4pts. Ken Lee
1pt. Staunch

0pts. Foo Yung (RIP) & alas Lady Lara.

Note only those marked in bold have entered this final part of the competition.

Therefore Lord Thaelond, Zyler, and perhaps even Grimm stand a good chance of winning the competition overall; this is particularly the case as there are plenty of points available for this final round (note points are not cumulative)-

Enter the competition 1pt.
Win one fight 3pts.
Win two fights 7pts.
Lose in final 15pts.
Win 27pts.

There are a lot of permutations, almost anything is still possible- although Lord Thaelond and Zyler, as mentioned above, certainly have the best chance of overall victory.

There are also three few new entrants to the competition (the prize money is 500gp), they’ll be introduced below, as the fights take place.

It is worth noting that four of the five PCs bet heavily on Grimm winning, the only kink in the pattern is Grimm- modest to the last he bets on himself to Place (1st to 4th). Note three of the guys also bet on Zyler to win the Fight OFF!

And so, it begins…

5) The Ironwrought Finale Part One.

HeroicMaps_SilverSword_PitFightingClub_jpg_Small.jpg

Fight #1.1

The crowd go wild for Gershwin Chimbly vs Grimm, we’re starting with a bang- rumour has it the mild-mannered Chimbly is a contract assassin.

Comp_Gershwin.png

The rumours turn out to be true, all too quickly- Chimbly is on Grimm in seconds, almost cutting the Paladin’s throat with his twin shortswords (and with two hits both critical- he’s an Assassin remember). Grimm drops from full (57 HP) to broken (1 HP), wonder-of-wonders the Paladin survives, his Lay on Hands comes to the rescue, he swears Vengeance on Chimbly. The Assassin swings hard- barely comprehending the fact that Grimm is still standing, the astounded fellow misses repeatedly- Grimm doesn’t, and the Paladin is employing his Divine Smite to great advantage.

Very quickly the odds on the pair even up- both are bloodied. Gershwin goes for the kill, a concealed crossbow fires a bolt into the Paladin’s gut, the big man soaks up the hit and saves against the Assassin’s Poison (it doesn’t help that I roll 14 damage- reduced to 7, on 7d6). Worse is to come- for Gershwin, Grimm savages him- with repeated hits employing his Great Weapon Master skill (-5 to hit, but at advantage for his Oath of Vengeance, and +10 to damage).

The end comes when Grimm hits once more (he’s only missed twice in nine attacks) this time a critical (with Great Weapon Master and Divine Smite- Grimm does 56 damage in a single hit, incidentally exactly the same as was inflicted on the Paladin in Gershwin’s opening round).

The Assassin is dying, although seconds later he is revived by a Potion of Healing, Gershwin Chimbly is dragged from the arena, screaming that he will have his revenge- “You’re a DEAD MAN! A DEAD MAN!”

Grimm basks in the adulation of the crowd, he’s through to the quarter final.

Fight #1.2

Comp_Captain_Hargas.jpg

Captain Hargas, a stout (but older) Hobgoblin commander is drawn against Red Malik (a street smart tough)

Comp_Red_Malik.jpg

The fight is as bloody as the first, although Hargas can’t stand the pace for too long, Red Malik is a threshing machine with a combination of scimitar and dagger, while the Hobgoblin flings his greatsword about energetically, but lacking in accuracy.

Eventually, badly bloodied, Hargas signals his surrender.

Red Malik is also into the quarter finals.

Fight #1.3

Lord_Thaelond.jpg

Lord Thaelond is called into the ring, to face off against Vran Diddly- the approachable Duergar.

Comp_Vran_Diddly.jpg

The fight proves to be a slow starter- particularly as Vran begins by turning Invisible- the crowd start booing soon after, the melee is however reignited when an Enlarged Vran suddenly reappears and starts battering Lord Thaelond with his enormous war pick.

Alas for the jolly Duergar Lord T, although a little passed his prime, has still got plenty of fight left in him. The owner of Bargewright weathers the storm and gets in some cuts and thrusts of his own, very soon after Vran has had enough.

Lord Thaelond is also through to the quarter finals.

Fight #1.4

Comp_Bloodletter.jpg

Bloodletter is new to the competition, a seven foot tall slice of Orc life, a ferocious beast that is second favourite to win the competition, alas- he’s up against Ken Lee. The Wizard looks small and lonely in the ring.

The fight is short and sweet- Ken Lee’s Shield spell and repeated spamming of Magic Missile cannot save him- the Orc smushes him, a Potion of Healing has to be rushed in to save the dying High Elf.

Bloodletter is through to the quarter finals.

Fight #1.5

Comp_Lord_Slather.jpg

Lord Slather, the terrifying Gnoll Chieftain, is up against Staunch- a fat bloke with a club.

Comp_Staunch.jpg

What appears to be a very one-sided affair turns out to be very evenly matched, and bloody- Lord Slather works himself into a frenzy and slashes heartily with his glaive, all the while biting chunks out of the stripped-to-the-waist fat bloke. Staunch is no slouch however, the big man just keeps beating on the Gnoll, until at last… Lord Slather- only just conscious, is dived on by his Gnoll retinue and dragged off to safety.

Chaos follows as Slather calls on all of the dark gods- Staunch remains silent throughout the tirade, he is- after all, through to the quarter finals.

Fight #1.6

Comp_Mr_Bananas.jpg

Mr. Bananas, who is a new competitor to the Ironwrought, and as depicted- a rather large simian. He enters the ring against Zalt- the Warlock.

The fight is remarkably short and sweet (for Zalt), the Ape gets to the Warlock only to discover that there are suddenly four of him (courtesy of his Mirror Image), the great beast spends the next twenty or so seconds managing not to connect once with the ‘actual’ Zalt. The Warlock in the meantime scurries around the fighting pit launching Eldritch Blasts, Mr. Bananas- shortly after flees screaming and throwing bananas, up into the rafters.

Zalt is through to the quarter finals.

Fight #1.7

Comp_Baron_Ballbag.jpg

Next up is Baron Ballbag, an unfancied and alcoholic Goblin who is desperate to make some money. The Goblin is up against another new competitor- Reg Pork, a Half-Ogre of terrifying proportions.

Comp_Reg_Pork.jpg

It’s David vs. Goliath, and remarkably the outcome is very similar. Pork turns out to be a ponderous attacker, with the turning circle of a small continent, Ballbag turns out to be nippy.

The Half-Ogre fails to land a single hit, Ballbag wins the contest nearly a minute later- death by paper cuts almost, the Goblin’s scimitar barely marks the giant’s skin but the cumulative effect of his attacks is enough to make Pork surrender, the Baron lands nine hits.

Ballbag is through to the quarter finals, he celebrates with a big drink.

Which just leaves us with the last fight of the first round- a grudge match.

Fight #1.8

Comp_Lord_Klarg.png

Lord Klarg, the Bugbear Chieftain- previously captured and imprisoned by the guys in their adventure in Phandelin, versus Zyler- the Priest of Tempus with the magic arm, the favourite of the crowd- and the bookies.

If you are Christer (who plays Zyler) look away now…

What follows is madness- even by Zyler’s low standards, the dice hate Zyler/Christer, I’ve expounded on this fact before. Things get worse for the Cleric of Battle.

Klarg is first into action and hits hard- this in itself is a surprise, Zyler has an AC of 23 (thanks to judicious buffing), less than ten seconds into the contest and the Priest is bloodied (after Klarg’s first critical hit). Zyler fights back… oh sorry, I’m going to have to break away for a while- I can’t type straight, the laughter is making my hands shake.

Christer/Zyler expends all three of his Luck points for rerolls, and his Inspiration Point, and his War Priest Bonus Attacks, he also makes several attacks with Advantage. He hits once with a Guiding Bolt (for 4d6 Radiant damage = 7) as for the rest of his rolls the highest is an ‘8’, he manages to roll a ‘4’ six times with eleven attack rolls. His initial attack roll for his Guiding Bolt was a ‘4’, until he Lucked it into a hit.

Lord Klarg on the other hand is on fire, even when Zyler is making the Bugbear reroll his attacks he keeps hitting- Lord Klarg needs to roll a ‘17’ to hit Zyler. Zyler needs to roll a ‘9’ to hit Lord Klarg. Klarg hits six times with nine attacks, three of them are criticals- although Zyler Lucks one of these away.

Zyler hits the dirt just less than forty seconds after the fight started, Klarg is not even sweating, although he is by the time he is persuaded to leave the ring- such is his joy at having beaten the competition favourite, and also he’s got the better of one of the bastards that threw him in prison a while back.

Christer is not very happy.

Which is a shame because his friends have been laughing like drains for the last ten or so minutes.

Lord Klarg is through to the quarter finals, and on the hit list of all of the guys left in the competition- that’s Grimm, Lord Thaelond and Zalt.

INTERMISSION

There’s an hour between bouts- the guys still in the comp- and particularly Grimm who has taken a beating, beg for healing and buffs for the coming quarter finals. Fortunately the Priest of Battle has plenty of spells to spare- and nothing much else to do with them, the same goes for Ken Lee who is also watching from the side-lines now.

And we have just enough time to squeeze in one more fight, the first of the quarter finals.

Fight #2.1

First up is Red Malik, the tough that has been around the block- he’s facing off against… Zalt, the Warlock is going to be put to the test.

Alas the test, ultimately, proves to be too tough- or else Red Malik proves to be too tough for the Warlock. Zalt starts off by conjuring a clutch of Mirror Images, alas Red Malik proves more than adept at making them disappear. Zalt, while this is happening, is once again scarpering around the edges of the fighting pit trying to Eldritch Blast Malik as he goes. The tactic works for a while, but the hits keep on coming, Malik is quick and relatively accurate, and Zalt is not a tank.

The Warlock is eventually knocked out by a blow to the head using the flat of Malik’s blade.

The fight is won, Red Malik is in the semi-final.

And that’s all the action we had time for this session- next week it’s the final.

Just to note after all of the fights above the final Ironwrought Champion points table looks a little like this-

30pts. Lord Thaelond
26pts. Zyler
20pts. Kal’Zerth
19pts. Red Malik
18pts. Killshot
15pts. Grimm
11pts. Gershwin Chimbly
11pts. Lord Klarg
10pts. Zalt
9pts. Baron Ballbag
9pts. Captain Hargas
9pts. Lord Slather
8pts. Carl Drogo
7pts. Vran Diddly
5pts. Ken Lee
4pts. Staunch
3pts. Bloodletter
1pt. Mr. Bananas
1pt. Reg Pork
0pts. Foo Yung (RIP) & alas Lady Lara.

The guys in bold are still in the competition, all others have reached their maximum points total, and remember Red Malik has already fought and won his quarter final fight- that’s why he’s jumped up the table.


Session #051 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 are into the last event of the Ironwrought- Zyler is out, as is Ken Lee and Zalt; still to fight in the quarter finals are Lord Thaelond and Grimm. There are however some pretty tough opponents still in the competition.

XP Awarded-
100 Section 2) Ken Lee’s Identify Spell.
450 Section 3) Buying & Selling at the Ironwrought Market.
200 Section 4) Gambling on the Fight OFF!
450 Section 5) The Ironwrought Finale Part One.
1200 XP Total

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051

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