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 #077 Wednesday 19th April 2017
Attack of the Water Cultists.

Zalt, Male Half-Elf Warlock (Sailor) Level 8
Grimm, Male Human (Variant) Paladin of Tymora (Sailor) Level 8
Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus (Hermit) Level 8,
Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard (Folk Hero) Level 8

Alas Pedja who plays Goren Naeris, Male Wood Elf Rogue (Criminal) Level 8 who looks a lot like Lord Thaelond, the ruler of Bargewright, cannot be with us this evening as he is on his hols. Bob, who plays the fiery Wizard- Ken Lee, took charge of the Rogue.

This was a very short session for two reasons- all of the guys needed to update Fantasy Grounds, I had already done so during the week… It took over forty-five minutes to run the update and get back in to the campaign.

So we started late.

The session was cut short because Bob, who plays Ken Lee (and in this session Goren/Lord Thaelond) fell asleep, or at least he was practising his snoring… Obviously I’m DMing a rip-snorting campaign here, it’s an excitement fuelled fury of a game…

I’m a lecturer by trade, so the sound of someone snoring (usually in class) is the soundtrack to my working life.

The funny side was seen, and much commented upon by all at the time (save Bob, of course).

The Action-

1) Recap in Brief.

The Union have switched tack, that is to say they have decided that the time is right to attempt to rescue Lord Thaelond from the clutches of some nasty river Pirates/Bandits- some of whom are said to have magical powers. The Pirates/Bandits (Cultists?) are laired in an old fortified Vraath manor house called Rivergard, maybe a tenday up the Dessarin River.

The Union have journeyed up the Dessarin River, courtesy of Shoalar and his crew on the Rivermaid- the guys have been passing the time by working (or impressing) the boatmen, and completing a number of sailing-related tasks for Captain Shoalar. In short they have been making friends, and passing time.

Just to remind you the Union’s motivation for their present rescue mission is simply this- Lord Thaelond, when kidnapped by the Pirates/Bandits had exchanged appearances with Goren, i.e. the bad guys thought they were kidnapping Goren. The spell that has swapped Lord Thaelond and Goren’s outward appearance will fade before the end of the month. At which point Goren will have to go back to being Goren… and will therefore no longer be the Lord of Bargewright, as he will when (or if) he rescues Lord Thaelond. It’s lose/lose for the Rogue.

Last we left the guys the Rivermaid was under attack by a gang of River Pirates, the guys are however cutting a swathe through their attackers.

2) The Water Cultists Attack.

Sorry there’s not going to be any pictures of the action from this session because I am so far behind with the write ups.

The River Pirates are in disarray, for the most part fleeing back to their ship- which has already been Fireballed and Shattered by Ken Lee, the bad guys don’t look to be having a good day. Zalt blasts another Bandit and sends the poor fool over the edge of the boat and into the water. Ken Lee and Grimm Dimension Door over to the Pirates ship, they’re intent on finishing them off quickly.

The pair depart just in time.

Tempest, Zalt’s strange Owl-like familiar sqwarks furiously, alerting its master. Zalt screams a warning and then turns to look away from the Pirate’s ship- clambering over the rail, behind the Union, are at least four Cult Reavers, female Pirates armed with serrated (tooth-edged) longswords and wielding shields made from the vacated carapices of great crabs.



“Get back!” Zalt screams at Ken Lee and Grimm, “the real enemy has shown its face!” The Warlock glares at the new arrivals.

“Damn fool Wizard!” Grimm barks and then decapitates another Pirate Thug, the ferocious warrior hustles forward- meets a fleeing Bandit swinging back aboard the ship, he skewers the unfortunate fellow and grabs its rope, and then heaves the body over the side of the ship and clears his sword. “Hold Them, Brother!” Grimm screams at Zyler and deftly swings back across to the Rivermaid.

Zyler barks back “Jah!” and then smashes the Pirate Captain in the side of his head with Painbringer, his magical Warhammer, the Captain folds like a pack of cards, and sprawls unconscious on the deck. “We will talk later”, Zyler yells in the Captain’s face, spittle flying, and then strides forward to meet the new attackers.

TEMPUS is ending YOU!” The excitable Priest shouts at the charging Reaver, and then dodges her would-be savage blow, Zyler crashes his spiked shield into his attacker’s face, leaving his attacker screaming and backing away.

Amidst the chaos aboard both ships, a shadow stretches and assumes, perhaps, a slim humanoid shape- a second later and arrow sings and then thuds into the back of another Bandit, also fleeing back to its ship, the man doesn’t make it… the shadow curves and seems to fade, as Lord Thaelond (Goren) silently recedes out of sight.

Zyler’s ghostly Spirit Guardians terrorise the Cult Reavers as they clamber on to the deck of the Rivermaid. Still on the River Pirate’s boat Ken Lee Firebolts another Bandit and then tries to figure the safest way back to their boat- the Wizard is reluctant to swing across… bugger! Things get worse for the newly arrived Reavers as Zalt conjures Evard’s Black Tentacles which begin to grab at the foe (a little later however the DM manages to roll all successes for the bad guy’s saving throws).

Zyler all but destroys the Reaver fighting him, the Priest of War is a flailing fury (and rolling high for all attacks and damage, so far). Lord T takes shape, briefly, and then plugs (and leaves critically wounded) another of the Reavers- the newly arrived bad guys are taking a beating.

Suddenly a snake-like water creature suddenly rears up and attempts to grab at Zyler, the Cleric has to retreat suddenly, although he escapes the clutches of his attacker.


More suddenly an enormous Gargantuan Turtle surges up out of the water on the far side of the Pirate’s vessel, the creature smashes and claws its way onto the Bandit’s ship- sending all but one of the retreating River Pirates fleeing or falling into the water, Ken Lee manages to grab on to the ship’s handrail. The boat is all but destroyed, almost broken in two.


The Gargantuan Turtle has room for riders on its shell- another half-dozen Cult Reavers, a fat fellow in pantaloons- seemingly guiding the great beast, and at the back of the creature a very watery looking fellow, quickly identified as some kind of Priest.


Cult Warrior

Zalt muses that an Animal Friendship potion may not be enough to calm the massive aquatic beast, and then fires a pair of Eldritch Blasts into Elemental Water Snake.

And so it goes… I’m afraid I don’t have time for the purple prose, so let’s skip quickly towards the end.

Zyler’s Spirit Guardians continue to tear at the Union’s foes, who conspire to make matters worse for themselves by failing to roll much over a ‘5’, curse my dice. The Priest of War teams up with his brother in arms- the Paladin Grimm, the pair cut a swathe through the attackers. The great elemental Water Snake continues to lash out at the War Priest- and continues to roll low.

Zalt makes things harder for the Cultist Reavers by Webbing many of the ferocious Pirates, and preventing them from closing into melee. The Warlock has in effect gathered up a bunch of the Union’s enemies, for Ken Lee the temptation is much too great- FIREBALL. One more Reaver falls, another pair are so badly burned they leap into the water…

The Cultist attack is all but beaten.


Water Cultist Priest

Back on the Giant Turtle the Cultist Priest fails to weave his magic, or else Zalt just shrugs off the Hold Person attempt, and Grimm and Zyler keep on smashing Reavers, Lord T emerging from the shadows every now and then to pin another, targeting the badly wounded the Rogue kills with almost every shot.

And so it rumbles on until the Giant Turtle finally splits in two the River Pirate’s ship, the Cultist Priest and the remaining Turtle-riders have seen enough, the gargantuan beast submerges quickly beneath the waves. The few Reavers left on the Rivermaid- all badly wounded either leap over the side and into the water, or else die in their attempt to do so.

Note- at the point of death the Cultist Reavers burst like balloons filled with filthy stinking water, most unbecoming.

The fight, eventually, is won- remarkably the Union have sustained few wounds, only Grimm (as usual) had to find a break in proceedings during the fight to glug down a Potion of Greater Healing.

The River Pirates, source of the original attack are either dead or long-gone taken by the fast flowing water of the Dessarin River, all save the Pirate Captain who still lies sprawled on the floor of the Rivermaid unconscious.

PCs 5 x Level 8
Monsters 10 Bandits 25 XP each, 5 Thugs 100 XP each, Bandit Captain 450 XP, 12 Cult Reavers 150 XP each & Cult Warrior 575 XP.
XP 3575 Adjusted 14300 CR 15

3) Interrogate the Bandit Captain.

After the fracas, and after a short rest and a touch of healing the guys get back to reality- and the next matter in hand is the fact that they have taken the River Pirate Captain prisoner, time to wake him up for a chat.

The Union take it in turns to question the waterbourne brigand, however (and once again) the guys are unimpressed with the Pirate’s answers to their questions, they learn that-

a) The Pirates were ‘hired’ by a big man who hailed them near Beliard (a town further up the Dessarin River), or else not exactly ‘hired’ rather they were told that the Rivermaid was heading upriver with a precious cargo ripe for the taking. The Pirate Captain provides a description of the guy that ‘hired’ them, alas the Union have no idea who this is.

b) The Pirates were given 300gp to pay for the attack, with a promise of more (much more) to be delivered after the task was complete. The big man doing the hiring said that he would ‘find them’ after the attack. The Pirate Captain figured that 300gp constituted a King’s ransom.

And so in short, the Pirate’s got conned, they were set up to attack the Rivermaid- they had no knowledge of the adventurer’s location on the boat, their task in the affair seems to be to serve as a smoke screen or distraction, while the Cultists got in position to launch their own surprise attack.

Many (most) of the Pirates lost their lives, they also lost their vessel and all of their possessions.

The Pirate Captain lays the last point on thick, he’s looking to keep his life. Initially the Union are reluctant to commit to such generous terms. Eventually, after an intervention from Shoalar (Captain of the Rivermaid) the Union are convinced to keep the Pirate alive, rather than just throw him back into the water.

The Pirate Captain is put to task, after the conversation is eventually curtailed- save the description of the big guy there’s little he can tell the Union, he is made to do a variety of ship-board activities- scrubbing the decks etc.

Next up…

Last up- the guys have an extended chat with Shoalar, the Captain of the Rivermaid. Shoalar is keen to impress upon the guys how much he hates the foul miscreants that attacked his ship, basically Shoalar wants the guys to know that he is on their side. He goes on to explain that he has a little ‘river magic’ which may help with getting the Rivermaid in and out of Rivergard- should the need arise.

Shoalar is onside, although the guys are perhaps less keen to go for the full-frontal attack, but that decision is for next week.

Session #077 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 #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-
3575 Section 2) The Cultists Attack.
200 Section 3) Interrogate the Bandit Captain.
3775 XP Total

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