072

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 #072 Wednesday 15th March 2017
Zyler & Grimm Skywalker.

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 just back from doing business in LA, and then more business around Europe- he’s jet-lagged and so is hitting the sack. Simon (who plays Zalt and his menagerie) therefore botted the Wizard again.

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.

The guys have beat down all the inhabitants (they have found) within the ruins, discovered a bunch more Coded Notes (which Zalt has translated- see last session), found a cache of Bronzehammer arms and armour, and discovered a dead Elf… which turns out be ‘Devek’, Goren’s brother (see last session again for full explanation).

Now read on.

2) Further Exploration.

Lord T leads the way again, further along the passage- and cautiously into all of the rooms leading from the corridor, checking for traps and making close observation of the area all the way.

Gargoyle_Tower_5.jpg

Here’s the thing- he finds nothing much at all, however the manner of his achieving his aim (professional, and like a well… Thief) renews the other Union member’s faith in Lord T, which was shaken in the last session. All is well with the world again. The chambers explored however give up a little of their history- barracks, kitchen, mess hall, and ceremonial/practice hall; the guys are more convinced than ever that the ruins are the ancient home of the Bronzehammer Dwarves.

The apologetic DM gives over a little XP as a token of his love for Pedja, who plays Lord T/Goren; more like this please.

Exploration over the guys stop to consider what to do next, there’s more exploring to be done, but the guys have taken a beating- and it’s nearly 9 PM; some of them (whisper it) are desperate for a rest (yeah, I’m looking at you Grimm- on approx. 20 HP, with no HD to spend, and nothing in the way of Healing Spells available, only the (many) Potions you have left).

It would be fair to say that the DM is enjoying this resurgence of terror in combat that the Union have been recently experiencing. I’m not saying I have the Union on the run, but I am saying that there seems to be much more threat about of late.

The Union therefore make the decision to retreat to the quarters they found earlier- the one with the new door, repaired lock and secret chamber. Time for an Extended Rest.

The fact that all of the guys will awake Level 8, may also have played a part in the Union’s thinking. We break for half-an-hour for level-up time and drinks.

3) The Night Sweats & Chatting with Dead Devek.

The Union wake and they’re, well… groggy. Or at least- sweaty, all of the adventurers feel moist and clammy, like they’re running a fever of some sort. The malaise is investigated a while, but few clues are found (after some very poor dice rolls I may add).

The condition imparts no adverse effects, therefore the decision is quickly made to carry on with business, Zalt dismisses the entire incident with, “the Door at the End”, by way of explanation. The Warlock’s latest theory is that some invisible corrupting force or foul magic is leaking out of the aforementioned “Door at the End”, the ‘whateveritis’ (force or magic) causing the infection beneath Bargewright (and accompanying fungal surge). It’s not a bad theory- smart arse, Warlock.

Anyway, back to business- which is, cast a Speak with Dead spell on Goren’s dead brother Devek; the guys get busy.

A little while later Devek’s eyes roll open, blood pours from the dead Elf’s mouth as he hisses his answers, which are all a little subject to interpretation. The following are the results of the investigation, as translated by the Union.

Goren’s first question to Devek is to confirm he is who he looks to be, i.e. Devek?

“Do you not recognise me brother?” Is Devek’s reply.

Goren’s second question to Devek concerns how he came to meet his demise?

“The Gorgon slew me, before that I was caught in the claws of a dilemma, and then in the claws of a Chimera.”

Next Goren asks how Devek came to be in the Bronzehammer ruins?

“I didn’t aim to come here, I was brought here- my purpose was much less favourable, almost distasteful. Perhaps I am lucky to have had my life taken from me- now that you are here.”

Which foxes the guys a little…

Next Goren asks about the rest of his family- his father and his sister, are they… dead?

Devek replies- “I am with them now.” So that’s a ‘yes’ then.

Which once again leads to a prolonged silence on Google Hangouts.

Goren’s last question to Devek is long and rambling (and requires around six separate answers), the DM asks him to summarise, and so the last question is- ’How can I avenge you?" Good question.

“The Lord of War has risen, find him and destroy him, before all others suffer the same fate as I.”

And with that Devek is gone, and the guys have plenty more to chew on.

4) Zalt goes Wandering.

After a brief chat about all the new info the guys ready themselves for the start of a new adventuring day, all except Zalt who heads off for a ramble with his menagerie (that’s Wodger his stone servitor and Tempest the not-Owl). The Warlock almost comes a cropper, that is to say his solo wanderings lead him back into the broken corridor, he wants to take a look out of the hole there and see if anything is going on outside of the ruins. In the passage however he hears noises, and is smart enough and sneaky enough to leave the heavy brigade (Wodger) behind, Zalt spots activity ahead in the tower- the former nest of the Gargoyles.

He spots another Gargoyle come back to the roost.

The Warlock sends Tempest back to the rest of the Union, to pester them and then head off back to him at speed. It’s like a bad Lassie movie, only in this version Lassie is played by a rubbery alien entity that is presently taking the shape of an Owl.

The Union, of course, follow Tempest all the way back to Zalt, and then once in position wait for the Gargoyle to reveal itself, and then unleash hell upon the beast. Miraculously the creature, now badly wounded, manages to escape the clutches of the guys and launch itself back out of the broken passage and into the air.

Squawking in its foul tongue as it departs, Zalt translates (he speaks Terran), “It’s them…”, Zalt is amazed, clearly the Gargoyle knows who they are… things are getting even more creepy.

They get creepier still when a loud voice cries out from the courtyard outside, “We wish to talk with you”, delivered in the Common tongue.

The guys shoot the fleeing Gargoyle down and then oblige the speaker.

Just for info, a little later- when we get to see the bad guys move, we are reminded of the fine fellows flying through the bamboo forest in “The House of Flying Daggers”, a sort of half-jump half-fly approach to staying aloft.

5) Warning!

And so the guys break for a shouting match.

Over the course of the next thirty seconds, filled with ‘banter’, the guys spot at least three of these guys (or similar)-

Flying_Guy.jpg

Odder still all three seem to be perched in impossible positions- one of them balances on the slender trunk of a small tree which grows out from the side of the cliff face into which the Bronzehammer ruins is built. A second is stood on an equally slender branch high in a somewhat larger tree, while a third seems to grip onto the sheer side of the Gargoyle tower (some way above the guys who are peering out of the broken passage).

Best guess these guys are Monks, Zalt is keeping up a commentary, while Zyler and Grimm shout back answers to the fellows. The extent of the chatter goes a little like this-

The Monk fellows know who the Union are, and what they’ve been up to of late (it seems). They are keen for the guys to be on their way, initially trying to persuade them (bribe, perhaps) to move on.

When this doesn’t work the threats start- small time at first but later the bad guys recognise that Goren is a member of the Tiri Kitor, and then further add to the Rogue’s worry, when they hint that bad things have happened to his people.

Zalt’s commentary continues, the Warlock is keeping quiet and making Skill Checks, trying to figure out who these fellows are- best guess, at this point, is that they are illusions.

He’s wrong, of course, but who am I to try to dissuade him.

When the threats and slurs start to pile up the Warlock more-or-less signals the start of the conflict by casting Fly on Zyler and Grimm. The tanks have no desire to keep the chatter up… seconds later the Priest of Tempus leaps out of the passage and fly/charges the nearest bad guy…

And initiative is rolled.

6) Zyler & Grimm Skywalker.

Zyler launches himself towards his enemy, the Flying Monk conjures a Gust of Wind in order to keep the Priest of Tempus at bay- it doesn’t work. Zyler brains the fellow and then slams his newly adopted spiked shield (Masterwork and of Bronzehammer manufacture) into the poor unfortunate.

Gargoyle_Tower_6.jpg

Zalt, Lord T and Ken Lee set up a barrage of missiles- both mundane and magical, and suddenly the closest Flying Monk is very badly wounded, and another only lightly.

The badly wounded Monk lets loose a Thunderwave, in an attempt to hurt Zyler and push the flying Priest out of the way, it half works- Zyler is only lightly wounded however. Zalt keeps up his Eldritch Blast barrage and the Monk only just manages to stay alive. That is until Ken Lee finishes the fellow with another trio of Magic Missiles.

The Flying Monk reacts badly to his demise- he explodes, another Thunderwave, and again Zyler rides the shockwave, only he’s a little more beat up now.

At which point a much taller and more imposing (and four-armed) Gargoyle, actually a Margoyle, flies down from above and directly into the corridor which is temporary home to the Union artillery. Zalt is slashed horribly, and not happy. The trio (LT, Zalt & Ken Lee) are screaming for help, and readjusting fire to the newly arrived enemy.

Meanwhile the Skywalker (Zyler & Grimm) brothers are being set upon by more of the Flying Monks (the guys spot five of them in total- although one deigns not to join in the fight). Grimm takes a beating- it’s what he does now, although he dishes out some hurt of his own (when he hits).

Yet another of the Flying Monks leaps past the front line and into the corridor with the artillery- now they’re in trouble, alas the bad guy’s Thunderwave is spectacularly poor. Wodger is ordered by Zalt to defend the guys, the stone man repeatedly swings and misses, he even tries repeatedly to grab hold of the Monk- which also fails badly.

At which point Ken Lee drops the bomb- a Fireball targeted at five or so feet before him; the fiery Mage shapes the spell’s flaming effect to exclude his comrades in arms. One of the Flying Monks, the Margoyle and a newly arriving Gargoyle are all caught in the blast.

And then the rest of the corridor collapses…

That’s what happens if you cast a Fireball on an already shattered (and ancient) structure- Wodger is sent sprawling down in a wave of rubble, as is Ken Lee- the Wizard fares worst- he’s buried by the newly formed scree and badly bloodied, and running out of air. Lord T, the Flying Monk and Zalt manage to avoid the terror, just.

All is going well, remember earlier I said I didn’t have them on the run, well… not yet.

Grimm quickly gets into action, drawing the Margoyle (who has to leap into the air to avoid the collapse) to him- the Paladin regrets this instantly, the great four-armed Gargoyle claws, bites and gores him.

Lord T meanwhile gets his blades out and starts chopping at the Flying Monk.

Ten seconds later and Grimm is bloodied and beyond, as another Gargoyle joins the attack (the Fireballed Gargoyle flees the scene), however the Skywalkers are united, as Zyler flies over to help out his brother in arms. Grimm goes crazy-ass-bonkers with Vow of Enmity, Great Weapon & Hunter’s Mark- he hits hard (when he manages to connect). Soon after however the Margoyle is heavily wounded.

Zalt meanwhile orders Wodger to get back on his feet and dig Ken Lee out of the rockslide/collapse- the stone servitor seems at home with this request (he digs digging) and manages to rescue the Wizard in just a few rounds.

The Warlock also keeps blasting, while ordering Tempest in to harry the Flying Monk in close proximity, which Lord T keeps cutting with his twin magical short swords.

The guys are holding their own- although Grimm is very close to the wire (on approx. 10 hit points).

That is until Zyler lofts his holy symbol and calls upon the Spirit Guardians of battle to defend him and Grimm- all of my bad guys take a beating on their turn with some high damage rolls versus my crappy saving throws.

Then Grimm hits three times in a row and takes down the Margoyle and follows up by slashing horribly one of the Flying Monks, to make matters worse Zyler sets about healing the Paladin.

Seconds later the Flying Monk in the corridor is blasted out of the corridor by Zalt’s twin Eldritch Blasts, the beaten enemy attempts to flee the scene, it doesn’t get far and is shot by Lord T- it explodes. The Flying Monks have seen enough, those still living turn tail and begin to bound/fly as fast they can away from the Union.

The last remaining Gargoyle is the last to catch on- the flying stone monstrosity is suddenly very alone, all of the guys left standing unleash anything and everything they have left. The Gargoyle doesn’t get away.

The guys have taken a beating, and it’s approx. 8.30 AM of a new adventuring day.

It sucks to be them.

ENCOUNTER #103
PCs 5 x Level 8
Monsters Gargoyle 450 XP, 3 Flying Monks 575 XP each & Margoyle 1800 XP.
XP 3975 Adjusted 7950 CR 11
Hard

That however is also the end of the session.


Session #072 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.

XP Awarded-
200 Section 2) Further Exploration.
450 Section 3) The Night Sweats & Chatting with Dead Devek.
200 Section 4) Zalt goes Wandering.
450 Section 5) Warning!
3975 Section 6) Zyler & Grimm Skywalker.
5275 XP Total

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