071

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 #071 Wednesday 8th March 2017
Death in the Family.

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

Note Bob, who plays Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard (Folk Hero) Level 7 is doing business in LA, he was however nice enough to log in at the start of the session to show us the sunny streets of LA on his phone- of course we all felt terribly sorry for him having to miss the game (and be in LA). He must have been gutted! Simon (who plays Zalt and his menagerie) therefore botted the Wizard.

The Action-

1) Recap in Brief.

The guys are in an ancient Dwarven ruin (Bronzehammer, wouldn’t you know it), in the lower slopes of the Forlorn Hills, they are with Squire Welch (Sqwelch) who tracked a Gargoyle messenger to this locale, and also spotted the Eye/High Lord Bugbear-guy that the PCs have been hearing about for… oh, ages and ages, like 4eva.

Last session the guys beat down a Gorgon, and the remainder of a gang of Gargoyles that had ambushed them previously- found a bunch more Coded Notes (see later), and then headed into the ruins proper. There they were attacked by a horde of Skeletons (mostly Dwarves but also a few Ogres), and then discovered a dead Elf…

Now read on.

2) Goren & Devek.

Pedja, who plays Goren- who looks a lot like Lord Thaelond at the moment, was alas not with us for the end of the last session, he has to rise and shine at 30 of the 5 in the AM, and it’s usually gone midnight CET when we finish playing. Therefore he sometimes says his farewell early, such was the case last time.

Pedja who is Goren (Lord T) did not get to examine the dead Elf the guys found at the end of the last session and so this session he did. The following was played out with a modicum of style by the laconic Goren (Lord T), or as he is sometimes known Lord T (Goren).

“He is Tiri Kitor.” Goren states.
“He’s what?” Zalt gargles.
“Tiri Kitor, an Elf of the Westwood, the clan have a special affinity with birds- he was a wing-rider, his mount was the dead Giant Owl we found in the Gorgon’s lair.”

At which point the air waves go dead for a short while, until eventually…

“How the fu…” Zyler asks.
“I am Tiri Kitor.” Goren simply states.
“…oh. I mean… oh. That’d do it.” Zyler finishes.

The silence returns.

“His name is Devek.” Goren states and nudges the corpse with his boot.
All of the guys are about to ask.

Goren beats them to the punch.
“I knew him, before I left… I have not seen him for… A very long time.” The Rogue sighs.

The silence returns.

Eventually Zalt rallies, “Oh, that’s… sad.”
“Very.” Zyler adds.
“Yes. Very.” Grimm rounds off the chorus.

Back to silence, I kid you not- I was there on Google Hangouts. Then…

“He was my brother.” Goren mentions.

The silence just wrapped itself in a very thick duvet, it’s muffled.

Then lots of questions all at once, an abrupt cacophony. Swiftly swallowed by silence again.

“Was your brother?” Zyler seeks an explanation.
“Yes. He ‘was’ my brother. Now he is not my brother. He is dead.” Goren helpfully puts the Priest of Tempus straight.

Goren is not sharing any more of the story however.

The chorus reprise their ‘Sad/Very Sad’ routine.

Then someone remembers about the magical short sword they found on the dead Elf, now known to be Devek.

“We’ll examine the magical blade when we next take a rest.” Zalt states.
“No, we wont. It is mine- hand it over. It is an heirloom, a treasure of my family.”

The silence puts on its very thick (and sound absorbing) overcoat.

Zalt hands the magical sword over.

“The blade was your brother’s?” Zyler asks, still trying to make sense of things. He’s wise, but not that bright.
“No, the sword was my father’s.” Goren states.

The silence ticks by for a short while…

“Then why did your brother have the blade?” Zyler continues to dig his hole.
Goren (Lord T) snorts and then simply states, “My father must be dead also.” Then stalks off, out of the chamber- examining his new found blade as he departs.
“Oh.” Zyler helpfully concludes the narrative.

Not a dry eye in the house.

3) Lord T Goes Sneaking.

A little while later, a ‘while’ mostly filled with awkward silence, the guys are back on the trail- with Lord T (that’s still Goren) leading them forward through the ancient ruins. The decision is to check out the southern passage before proceeding further in their present direction (to the West).

And so Lord T is sent ahead- the Rogue is as silent as the grave, or so he thinks.

That’s a ‘1’ then.

Gargoyle_Tower_5.jpg

LT heads all the way down the eastern passage, bypassing a number of doors en route (without checking all of them out- go figure), and then spots a creature ahead in the furthest chamber- a Dwarf-shaped humanoid, only skinnier- and gnawing and crunching on some old bones. That’s not good.

At which point the Dwarven Ghoul stops gnawing on the old bones, and turns to face Lord T.

Remember that ‘1’, yeah- that’s it. It feels good doesn’t it… Now relax, sit back, let’s watch the little monkey run…

A second later and the Ghoul, and all of its friends- who come rushing from all but one of the chambers situated off the passage, come running- after Lord T. All of the enemies screeching with delight, as is Lord T only his ‘screech’ is a little less delightful, he only just manages to keep ahead of the pack. LT leads the undead directly to the guys…

4) Dwarven Ghoulies Part 1 & 2.

Initial contact with the enemy is short, and painful- for the bad guys.

LT turns and fires, Zalt and Ken Lee also get involved with the missile (spell-slinging) action, and then Grimm and Zyler arrive on point- a wall of steel. Two Ghouls are quickly taken down with no wounds to the adventurers to report, and yet there are many more coming- at least another half-dozen, including two that look to be Ghasts.

Zalt drops his Hunger of Hadar, filling the corridor with a gurgling cold black mass, the Ghouls and Ghasts scream in terror and thenretreat at speed (subject to the fact they are Blinded and engulfed within a freezing watery-fog).

The guys hold station, and wait out (for a while) Zalt’s spell.

When they’re ready to advance Zalt drops the wall of horrid black, and the Union head forward- second contact is made in a pair of abandoned connected chambers- one a kitchen, the other a dining area. Contact is made the hard way- LT gets rushed by a Ghoul and a Ghast, the Rogue flounders and is wounded and left Poisoned by the Ghast’s stench.

What’s worse the screams of the undead draw forth (again) the remainder of the pack- including a second Ghast. Wodger, Zalts stone man servitor, was deliberately positioned in the long eastern corridor in order to prevent this sort of thing from happening, alas the cumbersome stone man proves totally ineffective, the Ghouls and Ghasts rush by the inedible monster who flails and misses repeatedly.

Moments later and the Ghasts (and Ghouls) are in the midst of the adventurers; all of the guys are taking hits, and at one point three of the five are Poisoned. The Union go into fighting retreat mode, or at least the squishier members of the entourage do, this is becoming a common development (the DM puffs out his pigeon-chest).

The Dwarven Ghouls and Ghasts prove to much tougher than the more mundane variety- with better armour, increased Con and therefore HP, and a few extra Dwarven Weapons and Traits. The fight gets bloody- mostly for Grimm again, but before it is over Zalt and Lord T have also taken a beating, miraculously none of the guys succumb to the undead creature’s Paralyzing Poison.

Damn them.

The battle is won.

ENCOUNTER #101
PCs 5 x Level 7
Monsters 7 Dwarven Ghouls 200 XP each & 2 Dwarven Ghasts 450 XP each.
XP 2300 Adjusted 5750 CR 9
Hard

The guys take a breather, in the combi-kitchen and dining room chambers. Lord T manages to uncover a partially burnt metal chest of ancient design, the repository is unlocked, and proves to hold a clutch of minor treasures.

After a little light healing the Union is ready to move on.

5) Discover the Secret Chamber.

Back into the central eastern passage, the next door to be investigated proves to be locked- the door itself looks to have been recently repaired, the lock has also be serviced. LT is of course very suspicious- and so is mightily disappointed to discover that the chamber within, the bedroom of a high ranking individual perhaps (sometime in the ancient past), is unremarkable, which for the Rogue means he cannot find anything of any value- even in the unlocked chest stuffed with clothes.

Suspicious.

Lord T eventually locates a secret door, a stub of a stone lever situated at floor level, the device causes a large section of stone to sink into the floor- a passage north, into another similarly sized chamber, this one home to a statue of a very martial looking Dwarf, and on the far side a quartet of sturdy tables on the top of which are a dozen or more, well made (Dwarven manufacture, naturally) arms or pieces of armour.

Lord T, and Grimm’s, eyes light up- the Paladin has at last caught up with the action (Zoki who plays Grimm is combining D&D with baby-sitting this evening). The pair stride into the chamber…

6) It’s a Trap!

And if you are wondering at what point Lord T examined the chamber for traps before heading in, then… keep wondering, Lord T has not used the ‘T-word’ once this evening. A little while later his fellow party members will scream at him about this, but for now…

Crossbow bolts explode from hidey holes situated on the body of the Dwarf statue ahead, both invaders are hit, and hurt, and moments later left lurching from the Poison on the quarrels.

There’s a lot of shouting, particularly as four battleaxes rise up from the benches on the opposite side of the chamber and then whizz forward to hack at the Union.

It’s a mess.

Although I can see the funny side of it.

It’s about this point (or very soon after) that the guys start laying into Lord T.

And I can see the funny side of that too.

The guys get the hell out of dodge, they retreat at pace back out of the chamber, at which point of course the Animated Battleaxes scoot back to their resting places on the tables, while the crossbow firing statue stops… well, firing.

Lord T makes an appraisal of the situation- the Rogue is all in favour of somebody else taking the risk of investigating the chamber, maybe someone Flying or else Spider Climbing, and then pointedly looks at Zalt.

If I was Zalt at this point I would have cast Spider Climb on Lord T. That way the guy that can actually disarm traps would be the one to enter the chamber. Pedja, if you’re reading, your guy has the best bonuses (by miles) of all the Union to deal with these situations- you built your guy to deal specifically with these type of situations…

A few moments later Grimm grabs a big rock and throws it into the chamber- there are pressure plates on the floor, is the thinking.

The rock hits the floor and the crossbow bolt firing statue in the chamber… well, fires a volley of bolts- wounding Grimm (again), and slicing into Zalt, the Poison on the bolts also leaves the Warlock unable to see, he’s Blinded.

I’m not sure what Grimm was trying to prove but… spot in, he nailed it.

There’s a lot of shouting, and a little gentle laughter.

The former from the players, the latter from my directional microphone.

I think at this point I fell off my chair.

And so, over the course of the next twenty or so minutes, Lord T (with help from his friends) comes up with a plan- a way is cleared through the chamber (disarming pressure plates as he goes) to the statue, which is thoroughly searched- a mechanism is located which must also be disarmed, and thirty seconds later the statue trap is made safe.

Eventually the guys file in and grab the gear- a bunch of beautifully crafted arms and armour, all of it manufactured (obviously) by the Bronzehammer Dwarves, and all of it Masterwork or better.

Also, another bunch of Coded Notes (we’re getting to these… keep reading).

Although for now the encounter is over.

ENCOUNTER #102
PCs 5 x Level 7
Monsters 4 Flying Battleaxes 50 XP each & Crossbow Statue Trap 450 XP each.
XP 650 Adjusted 1300 CR 4
Trivial

Just to say the ‘Trivial’ encounter could have been overcome with one good ‘check for traps’ Perception to either spot the pressure plates on the floor or the fact that the statue looks suspicious- depending on which you were looking for, or at. Followed by a fairly easy Sleight of Hand to disarm the nearest pressure plates, then a Perception or Investigation again on the statue to find the trap there and its disarming mechanism, then a hard Sleight of Hand check (the only Hard roll needed) to disarm the statue.

That would have been an easy 650 XP.

Or you could have just found the lever in the previous chamber which disarms the whole floor, the battleaxes and the entire trapped statue routine, admittedly this was the Hardest one to find (DC 20). One of you guys said there must be a lever to deactivate the traps- whoever it was that said this was spot on- the problem being only one guy looked, and in the wrong place (and without Advantage- as in no-one helped him) and then rolled low- so not really his fault.

If every time a guy said I’m making a skill check someone else said I’ll help him with that… ADVANTAGE!

Just a thought.

Just for kicks the guys decide that they want to take the Dwarven statue to pieces- to get at the poisoned crossbow bolts that are fired from it, a couple of the guys have crossbows tucked away- some cool ammo would be great.

And so Lord T finds a way to remove the statue (it unscrews and lifts off) to get at the workings within, then Zyler and Grimm get to grips with statue and eventually hoist it up and off it base. Finally Lord T is called in to remove the magazine safely from the mechanism. All checks are accomplished with aplomb, and a slew of fine skill checks.

High fives all round.

Alas the magazine is empty, it seems the last bolt fired by the Trap- which Blinded Zalt, was the last bolt.

The DM is indeed a bastard.

And so to the Coded Messages, the Union take a break (but not yet a Short Rest) to translate them, now that Zyler has worked out the key. And so, in no particular order they read-

The stones move.
The secrets of the dead Dwarves will soon be ours.
Signed L.

And…

Gnoll mission complete.
Signed Lord of War.

And…

Koth,
W. is ripe for the taking.
We should attack now.
Signed L.

And…

Lord W, we need more time.
Support D and D.
Create more terrors.
We are not ready yet to attack.
Signed K.

And…

The Kobold scum below BW have not reported again.
Something has gone wrong there.
Orders?
Signed X.

And…

They are in W.
Grinn
Tyler
Salt
And the dead man walking.
Kill?
Signed X.

And…

Koth, the fools think I have come to help them.
I can’t wait to watch them die.
Signed L.

I’ll get the guys to annotate these in the next session, to provide explanations for their contents (as they see it).

But that’s next time.

And despite my tirade above yet another cracking session, made me laugh anyway.


Session #071 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 #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 ONGOING, 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- More enemies in the Bronzehammer ruins, including more Dwarven undead, and a secret chamber containg ancient Bronzehammer arms and armour and yet more of the Coded Notes (the place is also trapped). Oh, and it seems Goren’s brother- Devek is dead, and so (probably) is his dad. Toodles…

XP Awarded-
200 Section 2) Goren & Devek.
200 Section 3) Lord T Goes Sneaking.
2300 Section 4) Dwarven Ghoulies Part 1 & 2.
200 Section 5) Discover the Secret Chamber.
200 Section 6) It’s a Trap!
200 Section 6) Deactivated!
3750 XP Total

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