069

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition
The Red Larch Adventure.

The Union consists of-
Bob (Now Sweden & the world) playing Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard
Christer (Sweden) playing Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus
Pedja (Germany) playing Goren Naeris, Male Wood Elf Rogue aka (atm) Lord T.
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 Google Hangouts, usually once a week for approx. 3 hours.

And so-

Session #069 Tuesday 21st February 2017
Gorgon Begone!

Starring-
Zalt, Male Half-Elf Warlock (Sailor) Level 7
Grimm, Male Human (Variant) Paladin of Tymora (Sailor) Level 7
Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus (Hermit) Level 7
Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard (Folk Hero) Level 7
Goren Naeris, Male Wood Elf Rogue (Criminal) Level 7 who looks a lot like Lord Thaelond, the ruler of Bargewright.

The Action-

1) Recap in Brief.

Squire_Welch.jpg

Squire Welch (aka Sqwelch).

The guys are headed for the Forlorn Hills, and an ancient Dwarven ruin there (like the ubiquitous ‘Made in China’ stamp on everything plastic, this place will undoubtedly prove to be of Bronzehammer manufacture). The journey is at the behest of Squire Welch (Sqwelch) who tracked a Gargoyle messenger to the locale, and also spotted the Eye/High Lord Bugbear-guy that the PCs have been hearing about for… oh, ages.

En route however the Union save a family of farmers (bar one casualty)- the Joads, from a Hobgoblin shaped-oblivion. Grimm took a beating, it’s what he does best these days- I remember when he used to shout ‘AC 17’ like it meant something, now he mutters the same phrase, head down.

And so we’re off again.

2) Hey Joads.

Snowy_Road_with_Cart_small.jpg

The Hobgoblins (including the two tough Pale Hobgoblin leaders), and the Hell Hounds are all dead; alas so is Grandpappy Joad- cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth. For some unearthly reason a number of the Joads seek solace in the arms of Zyler, or else they ululate their sorrow (in Norfolk accents) in between shaking and screaming at the Priest of War. Zyler is having none of it- “He’s dead, put it behind you- move on. He was old- it was his time.”

Alas the counselling session proves ill-timed, the Joads are more than a little perturbed- there’s also the small matter that their cart full of fodder, only recently bought from another farmstead, has been burnt to the ground courtesy of Ken Lee. The Wizard of course blames the Hobgoblins, in the end the guys do a deal and buy the Joads off- Grimm even leads them his horse Atlas to transport the group (and the recently deceased Grandpappy Joad) back to Womford.

Prior to this the guys question the Joads and have a scout around- the Hobgoblins have a few choice items, the only oddity- other than the fact that the Hobgoblins were very militaristic (more so than usual), is that all of the Hobgoblins are tattooed- all with symbols of Tiamat worship. The pair of Pale Hobgoblin leaders sport much more elaborate body adornment, still Tiamat themed however, mostly depicting a crude lump-like object/being sporting five tentacles each ending in an eye.

Sigil_Kobolds.jpg

Most of the tattoos seem to be variations on a similar theme to the one above, crude versions of which were tattooed on a tribe of Kobolds the guys fought in another Bronzehammer ruin on the Cairn Road.

Odd, but sticking with the theme. The guys move on- back on plan, through the wilds and towards the Forlorn Hills.

3) The Hobgoblin Trail.

The journey is mostly without incident, later in the day when the Union are approaching the lowers slopes of the Forlorn Hills the adventurers wander into another pocket (magical?) of light snow.

A little later a couple of the guys start to spot tracks in the places where snow has gathered on the ground- a rest break is called and the most observant adventurers scope the tracks- best guess (Lord T) is the tracks belong to the Hobgoblins they fought back on the road, the creatures headed down from the hills possibly two days past. The only upset is that Lord T is convinced that the tracks suggest that there were far more Hobgoblins coming out of the hills- at least twice as many as the Union encountered previously.

However… onward.

Just as dusk is falling the Union arrive at their destination.

4) Gargoyles Part 1.

The remains of an old trail leads into an opening in a cliff wall, the opening is partially blocked by a pair of massive stone gates, the way into an old mountain pass- Sqwelch informs the guys. Either side of the stone gate are a pair of towers, both built into the stone of the cliff wall, the tower on the right has collapsed in upon itself- the one to the left looks to be in better shape; the guys spy arrow slits (but no movement). The short trail to the gates is obscured either side by the broken remains of buildings, and by scrub and vegetation.

Gargoyle_Tower_1.jpg

The guys decide take a look around and then move forward, towards the great gates, staying under cover- Zalt sends Tempest (his not Owl) out to scout; the strange Owl has not gone far when a Gargoyle swoops down and begins chasing the bird; Zyler spots the event, and now that he knows what he’s looking for spies another pair of Gargoyles in hidden niches on the cliff face.

DGgargoyle.jpg

He shouts a warning as the two Gargoyles take to the air and swoop down towards the guys.

It gets hectic, particularly when the Gargoyle chasing Tempest finally gives up and comes over to tear at the guys, and then a little later another pair of previously hidden Gargoyles also join the fray.

Bad things also happen because the two big hitters insist on using their Great Weapon Attacks (-5 to hit & +10 damage); after 11 misses in a row from the PCs (that’s right all of the PCs missed with every attack roll they made for nearly two rounds). The Gargoyles get busy- Grimm is quickly bloodied (when is he not), Zyler suffers cuts and bruises, as does (shock horror) Zalt and Ken Lee. It also doesn’t help the guys that their enemies are in the air, and not concentrated in any one area particularly, Ken Lee therefore has to hold off on the flaming death.

Eventually three of the stone beasts are smashed and destroyed- two of the three are exploded mid air while fleeing back beyond the gate. The last two creatures escape in the same direction.

Then the arguing begins, although there’s not much in the way of argument, more an ’I’m doing this…’ followed by a concentrated silence. The guys need healing- Zyler (Priest of War, remember) is keen to get going- through the gates and after the Gargoyles; before the alarm the flying creatures can raise the alarm (he has a very good point).

It doesn’t help, of course, that Zyler’s average dice roll for his attacks is an unadjusted ‘3’, let’s just say his blood is up and so far he’s not been given a chance to make something pay.

I’ll leave the XP distribution for a second, mainly because Zyler does indeed get his way- Grimm applies a little Lay on Hands (on himself- no-one else), and the Union move up to the great stone gates- each is easily twenty feet tall, made of stone at least three feet thick; however neither has moved for centuries- or so it seems, there’s a cleared path to the area beyond.

Lord T (reluctantly- he has to be told) goes for a creep.

5) Sneaking Beyond the Gate.

Lord T is incredibly good at this kind of thing (it’s a wonder then that he doesn’t do it more often).

The ennobled Rogue disappears into the shadows of dusk and enters the area beyond the gate, every now and then returning to the guys to lead them in, and forward, as he methodically scouts out the courtyard beyond.

Gargoyle_Tower_2.jpg

The area ahead (further to the west) is collapsed, that is to say the mountain pass that once existed here has (centuries earlier) been subject to seismic event (or other). What is left is a large courtyard containing more broken remains of buildings, plenty of vegetation and the signs of an ancient calamity- the place is a mess of stones and weeds.

Lord T finds a blood trail, following on he is certain that the trail leads ahead to a stone door into the mountain, the door- he observes is slightly ajar. The Rogue also spots an opening, thirty feet up in the cliff wall, in the dark opening he can see a corridor- this must lead to the tower here, and perhaps also into whatever complex of chambers are within the cliff.

Zalt backtracks and then sends Tempest up to take a look through one of the arrow slits in the tower, one of the injured Gargoyles attempts to grab the strange Owl- too slow, Tempest escapes and rushes back to his master’s side. Zalt informs the guys that the two injured Gargoyles are in the tower, which is good to know.

Lord T continues his patrol and spots something else strange, there seems to be some sort of nest of stone and junk in one of the broken buildings, and squatting the mess is what seems to be a stone bull, a massive stone bull.

LT creeps back to update his friends.

Several Monster Knowledge checks later and the guys have deduced that the creature ahead is most likely a Gorgon, alas their checks are not great so that’s all they now about the beast- it’s called a Gorgon, and it charges about like a bull.

Hmmm.

Gorgon.jpg

The guys however have got a plan- it’s a familiar plan to those that have been following the Union story- it involves Zalt’s Banishment spell.

And so…

6) Gorgon Begone! & Gargoyles Part 2.

The plan hinges on Lord T sneaking past the Gorgon’s lair and then climbing into the corridor he spotted thirty feet up- quietly, so as not to disturb either the Gorgon or the injured Gargoyles within the tower. LT, it seems, gets all the good jobs.

Everything goes to plan for the first say… three seconds. En route to his climb Lord T kicks over a large stone, making a hell of a racket (that’s a ‘1’)- the Gorgon instantly bellows and comes thundering out of its lair. We role initiative and Tempus (Luck Domain) is smiling down on the guys- Zalt gets initiative and fires his Banishment spell at the Gorgon (which dutifully fails its save with a ‘5’), the creature blinks out of existence.

There follows a scene reminiscent of an under 8’s football match- a cup final possibly, the Gorgon disappears and all of the adventurers without exception rush, stumble and trip over each other (like the aforementioned 8 year olds all chasing after the ball) to get to the wall and climb up it.

Lord T leads the charge, although Zalt and Grimm are pretty quick to get away. It’s a chaotic event, and noisy enough to wake the neighbours; which are in this instance the pair of injured Gargoyles in the tower. The two creatures charge down the corridor to protect their lair, alas Lord T is in the way- and clutching at a rope when the bad guys arrive. The Rogue is slashed repeatedly (including a critical hit), he’s bloodied and beyond in an instant, and screaming for help.

Alas (for the DM) the rest of the guys climb up the wall and into the corridor (with a little help from Wodger who has been passed the rope and told to haul the guys up). Ten seconds later the first Gargoyle is smashed down while the second somehow manages to shove his way out of the corridor and into the air. Ken Lee, Lord T and Zalt contrive to shoot the beast down.

And the fight is over, as is the session.

ENCOUNTER #98
PCs 5 x Level 7
Monsters 5 Gargoyles 450 XP each.
XP 2250 Adjusted 4500 CR 8
Medium

Note I gave the guys a little XP for Banishing the Gorgon and getting themselves in position for when it returns, more XP to come when (if) they take the beast down.

Another cracking session.


Session #069 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 Explore Dhol Kuldhir- find the ‘door at the end’ (COMPLETE). Quest #3 Find Savra, Lady Lara’s Sister- with the Flying Knights. Quest #4 Find Goren (who is Lord Thaelond really) Quest #5 Follow Sqwelch to the Gargoyle’s Lair, Quest #6 Investigate Castle Overlook- What happened to Cadoc Vraath?

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! Speaker Westron- Mayor, of sorts, of Womford. High True Trader Denaris, of the Church of Waukeen (Patron for Quest #5 find Sir Gustav). Sir Gustav (Paladin of Waukeen), Squire Conrad, and his groupies- Galder (RIP), Ren (RIP), Bryn (RIP) & Cora (RIP), Kessa Landau, Eshala (RIP), Ulf (RIP), and Rowan..

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). Bloodletter (Orc Chieftain), Telos (crap Wizard- with face exchanging ritual).

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? High Priestess Sha-Ron blessed of Tiamat!

COOL Enemies of Note- Trimat, the Chimera & Dick and Dom, the Ettin.

New Info- Into the Forlorn Hills, another Bronzehammer ruin (probably) and a bunch of Gargoyles (RIP) and a Gorgon (MIA aka Banished).

XP Awarded-
200 Section 2) Joad Rescue Complete.
200 Section 3) The Hobgoblin Trail.
2250 Section 4) & 6) Gargoyles! Part 1 & 2.
200 Section 5) Sneaking Beyond the Gate.
200 Section 6) Gorgon Begone!
3050 XP Total

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Goonalan's D&D 5th Edition Campaigns goonalan