A number of posts from different adventure campaigns.

Finding the Shadow

Finding the Shadow:
The party (Ophelia; Filbert; Aria; Rhogar; Kelwin (Erin)) was anxious for activity after spending a (virtual) long Winter in High Reach so decided to accompany Rhogar to Edinborough to assist in his two bounties: one the mysterious burning of a house on the main road the Fall before and the mysterious disappearances of townsfolk from the village of Edinborough. The Party wanted to arrive in time to talk to some of the townsfolk so they set out toward Edinborough before first light and traveled through the day to reach Edinborough about an hour before sunset.

Upon arriving at the village the townsfolk seems somewhat dismayed to see a Dragon Born walking into their town: The villagers went in their homes, doors slammed shut, windows were shuttered, children screamed and hid, old men lost control of their bladders, old women made signs averting curses and bad omens, young women fainted, young men curled into fetal balls quivering, cats hissed, dogs barked, birds died when passing overhead, sheep saw Rhogar and swooned, insects stopped chirping, milk soured, bread fell in ovens, water boiled, dark clouds formed overhead, thunder boomed in the distance, distant sounds of four horsemen could be heard galloping toward the town, the earth quaked, frogs rained down from the sky, rain water turned to blood, the sun was eclipsed, stars fell from the sky…

Brother TN-450 Toner

Brother TN-660 Toner

Ok maybe only the villagers shut their doors and shutters. But they were not accustomed to seeing anything like Rhogar.

A village guard came up to Rhogar and asked him what his business was in town. Rhogar explained that he was here investigating the bounty posted in High Reach. The guard took the party to the village guard building. A small unimpressive block building with one set of cells in the common room that served as entry, meeting room, jail and office for the guards. The middle aged Sergeant of the guard was at a small rough desk in the back of the room and didn’t even look up when the party entered.

Rhogar stated his intention to investigate the two bounties and the Sergeant asked about the House that burned the prior Fall… (Apparently, the road on the way to High reach is in the Guard’s jurisdiction) he seemed to recognize that he was speaking to a Dragon Born capable of igniting fires. Rhogar stated that he had seen the house before it burned… then that he had seen the house from the inside before it burned… and that there was strange stuff inside… and then after questions by the Sergeant revised his statement that he had only seen it from the outside as he passed it on the road. The Sergeant was very interested but then Rhogar asked more immediate questions about the mysterious Shadow Creature terrorizing the village and vanishing townsfolk. The Sergeant dropped his line of inquiry about the burned down house and described the events of people vanishing in the night. The Sergeant also informed the party of a church to the west and a house where a monk and his apprentice (the same errand boy that had delivered the bounty flyers to High reach) lived to the southwest (both about 3 hours walk from the village).

Samsung MLT-D116L Toner

Samsung MLT-D104S Toner

The party determined that they should position themselves to observe the village that night — Rhogar and Filbert climbed on a roof while the balance of the party walked about the village during the night. After a few hours the party heard a crash from a few houses away. Rhogar lept from roof top to roof top in pursuit of the sounds and Filbert joined the party on the ground. Kelwin donned his mask. The house where the sounds came from was locked but Rhogar saw that a back second floor window had been broken in. Rhogar dove through a ground floor back window, injuring himself slightly with minor cuts, while the rest of the party was at the front waiting for Filbert to pick the front door lock (which took multiple attempts). Rhogar heard sounds of a struggle from the upstairs back of the house and ran up the stairs to investigate. He saw a shadow figure leap out the broken window and a woman bleeding seriously from neck. Rhogar immediately applied direct pressure to the wound calling for help. Kelwin heard the struggle and the call for help and ran around the building just in time to see a shadow fleeing to the West. He let an arrow fly and heard it satisfyingly hit his target. He started in pursuit but waited at the edge of the yard for his companions. Kelwin took off the mask.

Rhogar saw that his companions were not arriving fast enough to save the woman on the floor so he struggled in his pack for some of the healing moss Aria had given the party members. Unfortunately, he let go of his hold on the woman’s bleeding throat and she bled to death while Rhogar was searching for the moss. Just at that moment the village guard (5 men at arms with spears) arrived. They arrived just in time to see that Filbert had opened the front door with thief’s lock picks, Aria and Ophelia were standing ready to enter the house. Three guards stopped at the front and arrested Filbert, Ophelia and Aria because they looked guilty of illegally opening the front door.

The other two guards rushed up to the room where Rhogar stooped over the dead woman’s body. She lay motionless in a huge puddle of blood and because of her violent neck wound much of her blood was covering Rhogar. Perhaps the sight of a large Dragon Born with his hands and body covered in the woman’s blood and his hands positioned near her neck, where he had moments before been holding the woman’s neck to staunch the flow of blood, looked a little suspicious. The two guards looked horrified but quickly arrested Rhogar and marched him down the stairs to the other three party members. Ophelia seeing that the guards were not going to relent, cast a spell on the guards to convince them that their energies should be directed elsewhere. While they were confused and talking to themselves about other activities: Filbert; Ophelia and Aria joined Kelwin in the woods behind the house. These four party members moved 10 points toward chaos because they did not volunteer to walk to jail with the guards. Even Kelwin, who was not with the guards and saw the guards as being in the wrong to detain them from pursuing and apprehending evil. Rhogar determined that he should stay with the guards to convince them that he was a gentle soul just trying to help.

The guards took him back to the village guard house where they locked him up and decided to have a feast and drinking binge because the Sergeant was convinced he had solved two crimes in one night: Rhogar was obviously guilty of murder and he was so evasive about the burned house he must have burned it down also. The Sergeant looked through his paperwork to see if there were other unsolved crimes he could close with Rhogar’s execution.
The other party members were fortunate that Filbert cast a spell to assist in finding the spent arrow and the blood of the creature Kelwin hit. The black blood of the creature was glistening and stuck to a tree along with the arrow. Filbert carefully cut away some of the bark with his dagger and carefully folded it to show to the guards hoping that this proof could save Rhogar.

When the party arrived at the guard house about 30 minutes later the guards were all very intoxicated and Rhogar was downcast and despondent in his cell that his party members had deserted him and that the guards had described in detail how they were going to execute him for all crimes in the village. (Author’s note: The party rescuing Rhogar is going to become a reoccurring theme in this adventure.)

Filbert showed the bloody bark to the guard sergeant and convinced him that it was the blood of the creature that had killed the woman. While discussing this with the Sergeant Filbert lifted the cell keys from one of the guards. The Sergeant saw the blood but as he was not aware of what kind of blood Rhogar may have was unconvinced it was proof Rhogar had not been the murderer. Kelwin convinced the Guardsmen that if we show that Rhogar’s blood is different than the blood on the bark the Sergeant should let Rhogar go so they could find the real killer. The Sergeant agreed so Filbert offered Aria his dagger (not the one with the black blood on it) to cut Rhogar. Aria gleefully accepted the dagger and advanced on Rhogar with a gleam in her eye. Kelwin saw that sticking a Dragon Born may not have the desired effect hoped for so offered that perhaps the bleeding wounds Rhogar had experienced by jumping through the window would have the same effect to compare blood? The Sergeant agreed and Aria reluctantly returned the dagger to Filbert.

Comparing the blood proved that Rhogar wasn’t the killer so the Sergeant offered to let the Party spend the night in his jail for free. The guard couldn’t find his keys so Filbert helped him by showing that the keys were on the floor at his feet. (where Filbert dropped them) Rhogar pushed one of his drunk guards into the cell and locked him in. The party decided to spend the night in a tavern instead. As they walked in (around 11pm) the tavern guests and townsfolk were stunned to see Rhogar with the blood of one of their own covering him. The Guard sergeant explained the issue and everyone slept well that night. Aria made potions.

The next morning everyone gathered to eat breakfast and Kelwin cast “detect magic” on the dagger blood. It was determined that it was Lycanthrope Blood (were-beast) After some twists and turns the party followed the blood trail to the ruined church (Kelwin put on his mask) where they found two monks. An older monk named Jonathan and the errand boy, monk, Jeremy. The older monk had scars on his face and a white eye cloudy from an injury. Searching the church the party found that Jeremy was sensitive to silver, the older monk had taken a vow of silence, and there was a steel door in the basement that covered a cell. Jeremy confessed that he had been bitten by a lycanthrope and that Jonathan locked him in the cell on nights with a full moon. Jonathan’s wounds were from Jeremy when he locked him in the basement cell. (Kelwin took off the mask)

The party decided to test Jeremy’s story and spend the night at the church.
The party gained 225 experience points.

Walk into the Lair of the Naga

Party members: Ophelia; Aria; Filbert; Rhogar; Kelwin and Erin
When we last left our intrepid adventurers they had just opened a door to the Spirit Naga’s lair.
Actually… Rhogar had seen the large Bronze doors at the end of the tile passage and kicked at the doors. The doors then (booby trapped) had exploded injuring Filbert slightly and then injuring and pinning Rhogar under one of the large doors. Kelwin hurried up and helped Rhogar push the large bronze door off of him. Aria had heroically passed air to Rhodar in a mouth-to-mouth fashion to help Rhodar stay alive under the almost foot of water that was present in the passage and in the exposed chamber of the Naga. (Author’s note: Sometimes it is difficult to fully picture what is happening in “Game Time”. But in this case imagine a halfling girl doing underwater mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a DragonBorn warrior.)

The Spirit Naga was wearing one of the sought after Masks of Xoth. It was blue in color and completely covered the humanoid face of the Aberration. The Naga, who we never found out his actual name, saw the party in the doorway and called out: “You shall parish in this place,” and summoned 12 skeleton Lizard humanoid warriors to do battle with the party.

The Skeletons appeared to be fighting as 4 units of 3’s and the first band attacked Filbert and Aria in the Doorway. Kelwin called out in a booming voice: “For Torn… I shall always attack the Greater Evil” and he rushed forward between the attacking skeletons, missing their rusty short swords and landed a deft and searing blow on the Naga. The Naga attempted to stare Kelwin into submission but the High Elf Kelwin, with his Fey Ancestry, has a natural defense against being Charmed. The Naga retaliated against further attacks by raising a highly effective silvery shield around his entire body. Kelwin called to his companions; “Beware of his eyes he can charm the unaware.”

Filbert deftly hammered a skeleton with his fists scattering the bones throughout the shallow water. Ophelia attempted to send a stream of moths against the attackers but ended up showering Filbert with moths that missed him. Aria cast a field of spiky thorns into the water that covered the battle ground and caused sever damage to any that tried to move through the field. Fortunately she told us not to move. Elan cast a “Turn Undead Spell” that forced the skeletons to move through the spiky field severely damaging or killing many instantly. Rhogar stood and attempted to attack but perhaps from his submersion in the water missed his mark. Ophelia was momentarily charmed but Elan cast a counter charm and brought her out of it. Kelwin again attempted a fiery sword thrust but averting his eyes from the Naga’s charm stare he missed. The Naga retaliated by sending a massive fireball into the party severely crippling and injuring everyone. Kelwin cured the majority of his wounds with Laying on Hands and took another swing at the Naga but his sword bounced off the silver force field protecting him.

After a few more turns of battle the Skeletons were destroyed and Elan moved closer and cured all of their fire wounds and cast “Silence on the Naga” keeping him from uttering more deadly spells against the party. Filbert and Rhogar joined Kelwin on the Naga’s raised Dais and stabbed, poked and swung their weapons at the silver shield around the Naga. Rhogar was bitten and poisoned by the Naga. Filbert did pierce the Naga’s defenses a couple times injuring him but Aria was the final victor as she cast Moonbeam into the Naga’s field and fried him into oblivion.

The Party was exhausted after their ordeal and moved on to the dais and searched for the treasures the Naga had been hiding. Kelwin cast Detect Magic and saw a glowing panel behind the Naga. Lifting the panel he found a glowing short sword: the sword was finely made steel with an ornately carved bone handle. Due to Filbert’s expertly landed battle sense the sword was given as a prize to Filbert. The Party also found gold and silver coins so that every party member increased their purse by 91 gold and 244 silver pieces. A beautiful gold chained necklace with a silver claw pendant was also among the treasure and the party awarded it to Aria for her most valuable player (MVP) status of her magic spiked floor that so expertly removed the skeletons from the battle. The party also determined that perhaps they should trademark the term “MVP” because it so accurately describes a party member that plays so well.

Finally the party took the blue mask of Xoth from the head of the dead Naga. In order to determine its properties Kelwin placed the mask on his head. As he did so he told the party what he found:
“The Mask tells me it is the Mask of Abjuration. It makes the wearer immune to Vorpal Weapons or other methods of decapitation. The Mask tells me it has spell casting abilities of a Wizard of the level of the wearer so at will the wearer can cast Divination and Abjuration Spells. The Mask does make the wearer take a negative 1 (-1) to initiative casts but a plus 1 (+1) to saving throws. One last thing about this Mask… I feel strangely paranoid and somewhat fearful (a strange feeling for me as I do not normally fear anything) as I wear the thing.”

Kelwin removed the Mask and said: “this truly is a wondrous magical item but my forte and skills fall to sword fighting and avenging the downtrodden. Perhaps another magic user in the party would be better suited to its use. But beware its paranoid tendencies.”

Aria volunteered to wear the Mask and put it on: “I feel nothing from the Mask.” She passed it to Ophelia. Ophelia also stated that the Mask felt like any other hat or helm. Each of the Party members tried on the Mask to no avail. Elan tried it on last and stated: “It is as I feared… the Mask has bonded to Kelwin as the first to wear it after the death of its last owner. The only way to allow another to wear the Mask and receive the properties of the Mask is to have the wearer die.” Kelwin looked around the party and stated that: “Although I trust you all implicitly I do not see among you one to raise the dead so forgive me if I pass on that option. I will however carry the Mask with me and only don it in battle or emergencies.”

The party saw that with the skeletons and Naga dead (or dead again in the case of the skeletons) the dais was an adequate place out of the water to rest so took a long rest to regain their health and stamina. Rhogar recovered from his poison. Filbert and Kelwin searched through the quivers of the skeleton warriors finding just enough arrows to replenish their quivers of arrows but the rest of the skeleton’s gear was useless.
Aria searched the area and found 16 potions of healing mosses (1d4 +1) that she passed to the company.
By killing the Naga, his skeleton army and completing the quest the party gained experience to a total of 3550. Each advanced to level 4. Some added points to their base levels and Rhogar and Kelwin added Feats.
The party returned to the flooded passage and began removing the stones from the opposite passage to find a way out. Even with everyone working it seemed the clearing operation would never end. The party saw that Elan was not assisting. Ophelia smiled at Elan and said a few words of charm and explained to Elan that the exercise would do her some good if she wanted to lose the “Freshman 15 on her butt” that she may have developed in Wizard School. Perhaps it was Ophelia’s good words or a softly spoken charm spell but Elan began helping clear the rubble. In no time the party was free of the passage and on their way back to King’s Reach . Fortunately, as the Winter storms were hard upon the village when they arrived.

As they went into the Inn the Tavern Owner was happy to see they had survived. He expressed his gratitude that they had rid his tavern of the Baron’s soldiers before they left and that because of the efficient way it was done he offered to put them up in the Tavern for the winter free of charge. His daughter may have had some influence on this as she continued to cast a measuring eye on Rhogar.

While in town Filbert went to the Village Library and sought out the Librarian/Mage to identify his new found sword. The Mage asked for 100 gold and although Filbert was reluctant to pay the fee he relented (without bargaining – perhaps he was tired) and found that his new sword was called “Flayer” it was made from finely wrought Steel and the handle was the bone of aquatic elves. Both Kelwin (High Elf) and Ophelia (Half Elf) were disgusted at the prospect of elf bones being so desecrated.

But the Sword had advantageous properties of its origin: it possessed a plus 1 (+1) to attack rolls and a plus 1 (+1) to damage. Additionally, from its aquatic origin it gave instead damage of a plus 2 (+2) to aquatic creatures and even plus 3 (+3) against Sea Creatures or Water Elementals.

The winter was hard and long. The party was confined to the Village for 3 months. During this time the party busied themselves in singular pursuits.

Aria searched the cold woods and fields around the village for magical supplies. She found enough (160 gold worth) to occupy her time making potions – she was able to make 5 healing potions.
Ophelia found that the village library was well stocked and studied Arcana.
Filbert found a book on Ninja Martial practices and studied it extensively
Kelwin practiced his archery and javelin along with gaming the Librarian Mage in Dragon Chess. Over the course of the winter they played many games together and with some wins and losses but Kelwin came out ahead by one game and 10 gold pieces. Kelwin also studied in the Library finding a Book on Comparative Religions.
Rhogar searched the village for any Bounties to pursue after the weather cleared. He found two posted bounties in the barracks. A sergeant of the village guard informed him that both bounties concerned a nearby village “Edinborough” where there were mysterious disappearances of the townspeople. The other posting was from an errand boy also from Edinborough that came by monthly. Rhogar confronted the boy on his next visit and the boy told Rhogar of his village being beset by shadows from the rooftops making off with villagers in the night.

On one walk through the village Kelwin came to the Village General Store and asked the owner what magic potions he had for sale: The owner explained that he had a few: 3 potions of healing (50g each); 1 potion of cure light wounds (150 g); 2 potions of cure disease (100 g each); and one potion of lesser restorations (200 g). Kelwin saw no need for those items but instead stocked up on 12 days of his non perishable rations. He informed the rest of the party of the magic potions available.

Mask spells:
Alarm 1
Arcane lock 2
Mage armor 1
Protection from good or evil 1
Shield 1

Encounter at the Bridge

Encounter at the Bridge:

Dylan (works for the evil Baron?) ordered his foot men to charge across the bridge and his archers to continue their volleys of arrows.

Filbert began playing his bagpipes: perhaps to instill fear into the opponents, perhaps to incite bravery into his companions, or maybe to cause an avalanche.

As the footmen were rushing across the bridge one tripped and broke through the wooden planks of the bridge pulling one of his companions with him to their ignoble deaths.

Party members: (the party began with 1817 exp points each because the change from 5e Alpha to the New PHB (received today! Hooray!) changed the level 4 exp points from 2000 to 2700)
Elan, Ophelia, Aria, Rhogar, Filbert, and Kelwin.

Kelwin sent an arrow into the lead footman. Ophelia cast Eldritch Blast, a spell that hit the lead man, interestingly, that sent ferocious blue butterflies cascading into the man. This cascasde startled him so that he stumbled backwards into the man behind him – sending him into the hole in the bridge (through the same hole of the missing planks from the two men before them) also to his death. Dylan’s archers sent a volley of arrows at Filbert and he caught one and sent it flying into the same forward man on the bridge. This final arrow was sufficient to kill him. Dylan saw that none of his men were on the far side of the bridge and a massive hole would prevent further men from crossing so he ordered his men to cut the bridge from his side. The party also realized that cutting the bridge would prevent Dylan’s men from crossing so they also began a race to see which party could cut the bridge into the chasm first. Arrows flew as both sides struggled to cut the bridge.

Filbert realized that the massive amount of snow above the party would probably cause everyone in the valley to perish so he stopped his bagpipes and began hacking at the bridge.

The party was the first to cut the rope bridge out of its bindings and cast it into the bridge. Three unlucky men at arms were on the bridge’s far side standing on the bridge when it gave way and were also cast into the chasm.

Rhogar saw that the opposing troops of Dylan’s were escaping so he roared to cause an avalanche. It succeeded but Dylan’s men escaped. However,

The party was now caught in the avalanche and started running up a nearby knoll hoping for safety. Fortunately the party was still tied together from their journey to the bridge. Filbert (being light of foot) quickly untied himself and ran to safety. Ophelia was second to the last in line and seeing that Kelwin (last in line) would drag her into the path of the avalanche cut her binding to him and Kelwin was violently swept away by the avalanche. The party started searching for Kelwin immediately after the passing of the avalanche and found Kelwin climbing out of the snow, somewhat tumbled but suffering only some cuts and bruises. He was muttering and laughing under his breath about “Rhogar had to Roar, damn snow, Rhogar red roaring raging rhino rotten rat, damn snow, …“

The party decided to rest on the spot for an hour where Kelwin had struggled out of the snow while Kelwin gathered all his gear that had been swept along with him.

The Party gained 250 exp points for the Battle of the Bridge and the Avalanche. Total each 2067.

The party asks Elan where to from here and she points to Mount Shastan. (about 2 days journey)

Rather than start out exhausted and in late afternoon the party spent the night and started at first light. Again the party tied themselves together: Elan in the lead, then Rhogar, then Aria (the druid seems to have taken a liking to the Big Red Fireman), then Filbert, Ophelia and Kelwin at the end. Kelwin has gotten into a pattern of donning his armor at long rests and switching to winter clothes during their march. His armor and gear fit nicely into the large backpack he purchased for the journey.

After eight long hours of marching in the snow the party stops for a long rest. Opehlia decides to entertain the party with a tail of Halflings in danger. Perhaps she is cold or exhausted but her story is rather disconnected and concerns two Halflings lost in the snow and after some minor adventures they get lost then she says: “and then they… well they… I’m really not sure… they get eaten by large hairy creatures or something and they die horribly… the end.”

Our two Halflings in the party look rather shocked at Ophelia… so Aria does some light conjuring and a small ice ball appears out of the darkness and hits Ophelia on the nose.

At daybreak the next day the party rouses from their tents to find that a full blizzard has sprung up in the night. After some discussion about closing the tent and simply waiting for the blizzard to blow itself out, the party again bundles up their camp and ties themselves in their marching line and moves back into the snow toward Mt Shastan.

After a few hours in the snow Elan uses a “find object spell” to locate a protected cave to weather the storm, as the blizzard has gotten much worse.

Elan is so excited that she has found a location she starts rushing toward the shelter. Rhogar pulls sharply on the rope. Perhaps it is because she has pulled the rope tight on him, perhaps he is into mischief, perhaps he likes to see princess sorceresses fall… Whatever the case she is pulled sharply backwards onto the cold hard snow falling on her bum. There is aloud “CRACK”…

Elan falls into a crevasse that opened under her.. she falls to the bottom of the opening and another “CRACK” is heard as she lands on her ankle breaking it. The party rushes to look into the opening and Aria climbs down to render aid. Rhogar is heard saying: “I don’t know she just fell.” Elan tells the party that this is the shelter the was seeking. And Rhogar says: “see she had to break it open … her falling was a good thing.”

The party climbs into the crevasse and covers the opening with one of the tents. Kelwin and Filbert warn the party that an under the ice a crevasse must have been caused by something like rushing water and if it isn’t here it may be under them so they should be prepared in case the crevasse opens up. The party ignores their warning but Filbert secures his grappling hook to the wall and Kelwin secures his ice axe to the wall and they both tie themselves to their secure wall pinions. Rhogar removes his heavy armor and the party curls up in their shelter next to a fire for the night. During their rest Kelwin hears another “CRACK” sound and warns the party “beware, the floor….” But it is too late the floor beneath the party has given way and the party falls into an icy river. Kelwin can see that the party has fallen into the dark river so he turns to Filbert and being of like mind they both unsecure their wall attachments and jump into the river to aid their sleepy companions.

The fast moving river carries the party to a calmer area where the sharp eyes of the Elf and Half Elf can see an alcove to climb out of the water. They do so and gather their party together. Filbert is having trouble in the water so Kelwin casts him the end of a rope to pull him to safety.
Unfortunately Rhogar’s armor has been lost in the water. The party is wet and freezing but alive. Rhogar believes his best chance of keeping warm is to remove all his clothes except a loin cloth and do vigorous exercises. This may warm Rhogar but the entertainment value is keeping the other members of the party warm and alive. Kelwin senses a warm breeze and realizes it is not coming from Rhogar as he first thought. The breeze is coming from small cracks and holes in the wall where the river is rushing and escaping. The party decides to reenter the water and follow the stream toward warmer air. After submerging and popping up along an underground stream they come to a vast cavern where the air is vastly warmer. They struggle out of the water and arrange their gear in a fashion to dry their clothes beside a fire. They have found many pieces of drift wood to make a fire but nothing large enough for Rhogar to make a battering ram. Filbert examines the cavern while everyone dries their gear and rests. Rhogar is heard grumbling about lost armor.
Filbert returns to the group and explains that he has found that the cavern is about 100 ft by 200 ft with a 60 foot ceiling. He has found one curious wall that appears to have been hand built so there may be a way out if we can get through that wall.

After a full rest the group puts on what armor they have (except Naked Rhogar) and investigates the wall. Kelwin swings his ice axe at the wall a few times and eventually it breaks open revealing a tiled passage with about 2 feet of water covering the tiles. The walls are decorated in mosaics of lizard men offering presents to a masked human headed snake creature. Elan recognizes the mask as one of the Masks of Xoth. Filbert checks his history and determines that the lizard folk live in the swamps to the south of here but once lived in these mountains worshiping a Naga (the human headed snake being). Aria further determines that it was a Spirit Naga with high intelligence.

Walking along the passage they find evidence of fallen rocks from ceiling cave ins. Ophelia steps on something that breaks under her feet and they determine it is an armor clad skeleton. The armor is plate mail so Rhogar happily dons it. Filbert wonders aloud how good a set of plate mail will be if it has been underwater long enough for the body inside to turn to bones. Kelwin sniffs the air and looks sideways at Rhogar… “your armor smells like a decaying swamp.” After jumping over a 5 foot opening in the floor the party comes to two large brass doors. While examining the doors, Rhogar decides to kick them open. There is a large explosion and Filbert jumps aside, Rhogar, with his one foot in the air from kicking cannot move away in time and a large brass door falls upon him pinning him under water and Aria quickly starts giving him mouth to mouth breathing to keep him alive. The benefit of a Halfling providing air to a Dragon Born could have been amusing in other circumstances but Kelwin quickly helps Rhogad lift the massive door off of him so he does not drown on his back under the water.

As the door is lifted the party notices that they have come to a large well lit room with an Aberration Naga sitting on a dais at the far wall surrounded by 12 Skeleton lizard men minions. The Naga calls out: “You have chosen the wrong place to visit…” He says this and his skeleton lizard men advance….

The party gained another 150 exp points during the exploration of the crevasse: total each member is now: 2217

Encounter at a Tavern

An Encounter in a Tavern leads to an Encounter at a Bridge:

After spending an uneventful night in the “Bad House” enroute to King’s Reach, the party discussed the advantages and disadvantages of burning down the house. Ophelia and Aria both wanted to burn down the house because of the potential for further ill will and harm to travelers. Rhogar and Kelwin wanted to keep the house intact in the event they needed a place to spend the night out of the weather on their return trip. Elan did not offer an opinion. Filbert finally cast the deciding vote to burn down the house. A pile of loose furniture and other flammable objects were piled inside the doorway and Filbert poured half a flask of lamp oil on it. The house blazed beautifully.

The party continued their travel toward the village of King’s Reach. About two days out of King’s reach they came to a fork in the road. Kelwin tried to make a joke: “When you come to a fork in the road … take it”. High Elf Vengeful Paladins shouldn’t try to make jokes. A half day’s travel to the west was another small village and King’s Reach was to the right hand path. They took the path to King’s reach. Two days later they arrived in King’s reach. The village was small: about 50 inhabitants and consists of a village square surrounded by a general store, a blacksmith and a tavern along with other houses and stables. Kelwin cast a detect magic spell and walked around the square to determine if anything was magically amiss. The only magic detected was an aura of magic from the general store. Investigating this they found magical vials and an apothecary kit giving off a magical aura. Kelwin discussed the cost of basic supplies with the shopkeeper and the party purchased rations, snow shoes, warm clothing, climbing gear, and basic supplies. While Rhogar was discussing with the shopkeeper the need for him to increase his inventory to include a “ram”, Aria decided to sneak behind the counter to try to lift some of his coinage. Even with Ophelia’s assistance all she found was some lint. Kelwin asked the shopkeeper about selling some Orc armor and weapons and was directed to the blacksmith’s shop across the square. Kelwin left in pursuit of the blacksmith and did not stay to find if anyone had purchased any of the magical potions or apothecary supplies. Kelwin engaged the blacksmith’s apprentice in some simple sales of the Orc equipment and even though the apprentice claimed the goods were inferior Kelwin calmly explained that the Orcs equipment was of the finest quality. Perhaps it was that the apprentice saw the quality of the goods or it was the 100 lbs apprentice staring up at an armored vengeful Paladin… either way the apprentice gave the party 1670 gold pieces for the Orc equipment ( 334 gold for each member) . When Kelwin gave the gold to the party they decided to go immediately to the tavern and buy some decent food and drink to celebrate. There was a brief discussion of if the Paladin distributed all of the gold fairly but Kelwin explained in the same gentle terms he used with the blacksmith’s apprentice that the division was fair and all agreed.

The party noticed upon entering the Tavern that several horses were tied outside with a Baron’s mark. Obviously there were provisioned soldiers within. But it did not matter to the party there was gold to be spent and ale to be drunk.

Upon entering and sitting down to a fine turkey dinner and tankards of ale Kelwin noticed that the Bartender’s daughter was being roughly treated by the soldiers. As a Vengeful Paladin Kelwin has a personal code of honor to protect the weak from those he sees as being assholes. Perhaps it was a tankard of ale, but Kelwin decided to walk over and explain to the soldier that was pawing the serving girl that the young woman did not appreciate his advances. The soldier stood up and confronted Kelwin but Kelwin decided not to draw on the soldier in order to allow the idiot to walk away if he should choose. He did not and tried to poke his dagger into Kelwin. The dagger was deflected by Kelwin’s armor and at the same time Rhogar and Filbert stood next to Kelwin supporting him. Aria and Ophelia continued eating expressing the belief that Kelwin should mind his own business. Kelwin did not passively accept being poked by a dagger so drew his longsword and striking the man that tried to stab him invoked Diving Smite. He fell unconscious. The battle continued with the soldiers receiving much worse than they attempted to deliver. Rhogar did receive a foul blow to his foot when a man he had knocked to the floor lunged at him. The bartender had gone out of the tavern and roused the townsfolk and they quickly intervened and sent the soldiers on their way. With three of the men at arms unconscious and two bleeding badly the battle ended quickly with only a bowl of spilled soup to show for the events. The bartender’s daughter quickly rushed to Rhogar as the most seriously hurt of the party and tried repeatedly to express her gratitude in a physical manner. The bartender encouraged this and when Rhogar repeatedly expressed that he was not interested offered that he did have a son… Rhogar emphatically rejected this offer as well. The tavern owner exclaimed that all food and drink were free along with the night’s lodging. The party slept well after a night of feast and drink. The next morning the party asked about caves in the area to the North and the Tavern owner explained that a few days North there was a cave described as they sought in Mt Shastan. Rhogar asked the tavern owner about any rams in the area that he could purchase. Finally the Tavern owner thought he figured out Rhogar and offered to buy him as many rams as the stable owner possessed. The tavern owner explained that the rams had fine coats and agreeable dispositions. Rhogar came close to roasting the man in his insult and rage but the laughter of the other party members kept him from doing serious damage. After the Tavern the party members gained 48 exp to a total of 1295

The party set out in the snow and soon the soft snowfall became an icy blizzard. The party tied each other together so not to get lost and Kelwin had to exchange his armor for his new winter clothes. Each night in camp Kelwin exchanged his clothes for armor and went into a trance to keep watch while the others huddled together near the fire to keep warm. After many days through snowfall, cold, blizzard, and the threat of frost bite the party came to a rope bridge over a chasm over 120 feet wide. As the party determined the best way to cross the bridge and untied their ropes and tying each other together with multiple ropes to cross, a large party of armed men appeared on the opposite side of the chasm. The armed men appeared to have the same brand as the soldier bested in the Tavern. The party wondered aloud how they came to be ahead of them in such foul weather. A sound of “FIRE” was heard from the other side and a volley of arrows flew from the company of soldiers on the opposite side of the bridge. The party dove to the ground and the volley of arrows missed them. Kelwin fired back with his longbow and hit one soldier but the rest began to advance across the bridge. Kelwin exclaimed: “Cut the bridge.” The other party members called back: “but we may need it and we can use it to our advantage.”

Encounter at a Bridge …. To be continued.

Session 3 – Any Haunted House in a Snowstorm

The Current Party:

Rhogar – Dragon Born Fighter
Aria Moonflower – Halfling Druid
Marne – Human Mage
Filbert – Halfling Monk
Kelwin – High Elf Paladin

Kelwin joined the party after coming out of a short trance to find that the group was talking to the Wizard Charlis and his daughter Elan. Charlis had just finished explaining that the Party needed to find a mask and that he would finance the party if Elan accompanied them.

Sitting at the local inn at Landover, Charilus and his two companions (Omar the Bard and Elan his granddaughter and Tymorian priestess) explain the importance of the mask and reveals that there are more like the one encountered.

Charilus:…
There was once a great empire ruled by powerful sorcerers who called themselves the Teng. Although the Teng were powerful and there were many of them, one of them was feared more than any other. The sorcerer was called Xoth, and his power grew and extended over the land with each passing year. A group of the Teng conspired to strip Xoth of his powers and use them for their own purpose. They constructed the Masks of Destiny for this, one for each school of magic so no one sorcerer could become too powerful. The crafty sorcerers lured Xoth in to a trap, but something went awry and while Xoth was seemingly destroyed, the Teng sorcerers were killed by the masks in the process.

The masks, thought to be cursed, were scattered throughout the ancient kingdom, secreted away so that no one or no thing could reclaim them. Charilus tells the party that he has an idea where another one of the masks can be found, but he was unable to determine the exact location. He suggests that the party go to Kings Reach which is to the Northeast high in the mountains in search of more information about the area. He warns the party that the trek is treacherous and if the dangers of the wild do not kill them, the threat of being frozen is a real possibility. His granddaughter insists she comes along to ensure that the party reaches the mask and…in fact…returns it to her grandfather. Despite initial protests, Charilus relents and gives a sack of gold to help the adventurers along their way.

The party members bought nice stuff for the trip. Kelwin found a merchant and sold the Gnoll’s armour, swords, shields and bows and each member picked up 14 gold and 2 silver. Kelwin asked a passing guard about the local stables and asked them if they had found his armoured steed. They had and after some spirited negotiating they agreed to keep the horse in the stable for only 1 gold piece for every 4 days of upkeep. They seemed a little too friendly with the horse so Kelwin reminded them that he was a lawful Vengeful Paladin and would not appreciate dishonesty. After reconsidering any adverse thoughts about the Paladin’s horse and one stable hand returning with clean shorts the stable hands all agreed that the Paladin’s horse would be well cared for.

Author’s preface: The posts you are about to read are journals of one player in a weekly D&D game. The players are a mix of experienced and very inexperienced D&D players. The DM is very experienced and is trying to guide the players through his adaptation of the module “The Masks of XOTH”. As many DMs are aware… sometimes players do not follow the script… (and I won’t keep repeating this as now I think everyone knows these are very rough journals…)

They set out on their journey and soon came upon a band of 6 Orcs that had set up an ambush for the orcs as they had the element of surprise. The Orcs were armed with short bows and axes. One ornately dressed Orc in the back appeared to be both the leader and a mage. The party ambushed them by first sending Filbert to the right of the path and Rhogar up the road. The other party members stealthily moved up the opposite side of the road to strike the first blow. Unfortunately, Filbert stepped on a dry branch and one Orc started to investigate. The Mage Marne cast an illusion spell that fabricated a white bunny that ran from the bushes near Filbert and ran up to the north. The Orc pursued the rabbit – perhaps thinking he had found a meal. Filbert dispatched a nearby Orc, which started the battle and the other party members joined in with Aria placing a very effective moonbeam and the rest of the party following up with a flurry of swords, axe blows, hand chops and fire blasts. The party was unscathed by the encounter and killed all of the Orcs. The party distributed 6 great axes, six short bows, 1 chain mail, 5 studded armor, 7 healing potions, & 1 potion of spider climbing. Each party member received 1 gold piece and 4 silver pieces and Filbert received an extra silver for leading the fight. Rhogar thought he earned it for being the bait but Filbert pointed out that he didn’t kill any Orcs.

As night was falling the temperature was dropping and a freak blizzard started to come up – freakish because we thought it was only early Fall. But the party decided to try to find shelter. Soon they came to a house. The house appeared abandoned and the furnishings were mostly bare. Filbert lead the way up to the second floor – fortunately finding a broken step that could have tripped the heavier party members. On the second floor the party encountered a girl curled up in a corner of a room. Kelwin tried to calm the girl down but apparently the sight of a vengeful paladin was too much for her as she dematerialized – Kelwin muttered something about “always having that effect on young girls.” The party wasn’t too surprised when they found the girl’s body decaying under some blankets. At this point Kelwin remembered that he could determine if other fiends, ghouls or undead were about – and determined that there were none. The party found some old bones in an upstairs closet and a maggoty old corpse fell on Rhogar. The party decided to search the rest of the house… after much searching they gathered old furniture for firewood – started a fire in the old dining room – barricaded the doors – curled up and slept through the night. Kelwin didn’t need sleep so he kept watch in a trance. Apparently it was a “Bad House” but the party thoroughly intimidated it, so they had no problems staying the night. A couple of party members seemed to be muttering in their sleep; “spiders, bugs and maggots before bedtime… rotten old house.”

Who is Aria Moonflower?

Aria Moonflower is a Druid Halfling. Aria is the daughter of Healeen of Saranac and Dyvyd of Oswego (little known villages in the North Country). Healeen is well known as a powerful healer and charismatic spell caster. She has been known to charm small animals and passing travelers freely divulge all their secrets. Dyvyd is a talented tinkerer and builder of toys. He is known in the North country as “Dyvyd Aviator” because of his artistic toys that fly.

Aria Moonflower has always had an urge for wandering and an artistic side that can capture the inner essence of plants and creatures. Aria is the party member that will always choose the path less traveled. She is quick to the aid of her companions with a healing word or a “just in time” Moonbeam illuminating the battlefield.

Session 2 – Gnolls and New Companions

After an hour rest the party started back toward the town of Landover. The Halfling Monk expressed a desire to commune with nature for a while as part of his mission of his order. (Author’s note: Sometimes when a player couldn’t make the game, I make an excuse for his character’s absence.)

The rest of the party decided to let him stay behind. The party determined that due to his expertise in disengaging from battle he would be safe on his own for a while.

Author’s preface: The posts you are about to read are journals of one player in a weekly D&D game. The players are a mix of experienced and very inexperienced D&D players. The DM is very experienced and is trying to guide the players through his adaptation of the module “The Masks of XOTH”. As many DMs are aware… sometimes players do not follow the script…

At a particularly sharp bend in the path where there were shear walls of rock to the North and a pronounced cliff drop to the South the party detected the sounds of many footsteps coming toward the party from the direction of Landover.

As the party had not fully rested and many of us were still not fully recovered from our wounds we chose to take cover behind the bend in the path and some light brush on the rock side.

Around the bend came five Gnolls armed with shields, short swords and bows and arrows. The party began dispatching the Gnolls when a half elf Wizard (Ophelia) came up behind the Gnolls and started firing purple energy bolts at the Gnolls. Surprisingly the party also noticed what appeared to be blue butterflies erupting from the energy bolts as they hit their targets.  The Gnolls were dispatched and the Wizard joined the party. Ophelia took a shield and Amras took the other 4 shields, the 5 sets of  leather armor, swords, bows and 25 arrows from the Gnolls, just in case Landover may have a merchant to exchange them for silver or gold.

The party continued toward Landover to the point where the path and a small stream joined together and a campsite had been located the day before. As this location was still a half day’s journey from the village the party decided to rest for the rest of the day and through the night.  Amras again took the watch while the others slept through the night. Amras heard strange croaking noises and saw lights around the party as they slept but as they didn’t appear to be any more dangerous than the first night, he did not investigate.  Amras did notice that Cat, the panther, didn’t even awake for the strange noises. Damn Cat seems to be either deaf or clueless.

At first light the party again set out for the village of Landover. The Halfling Aria Moonflower did insist on leading the party in a few yoga poses before setting out and impressed everyone with her full lotus. Even the Cat participated, although seemed to be offended by the “downward dog” pose.

Just before entering Landover the party came to a clearing where a Ranger stopped them with a stuttering call to surrender their weapons and valuables. The Ranger was backed by a short and rather chubby human with a large round head. The sight of these two with only the one bow and arrow for visible weaponry  caused the party to laugh and exclaim that perhaps the ranger and his overweight companion should drop their valuables and weapons.  Perhaps the party should not have laughed quite so hard because a large Ogre came up behind the party and immediately knocked Amras unconscious. As Amras was visibly attacked the situation became one of immediate combat and the party sprang into action. Unfortunately, the ranger and his companion were not alone. They were joined by a wizard, a phantasm, a rogue and an assassin.  Fortunately, a Paladin on a horse rode up behind the chubby human and chopped off his head. Unfortunately, that was the only casualty on the side of the bandits. After some fierce fighting along with valiant spells and counterspells our party was all rendered unconscious and gravely wounded.  When Amras was roused to consciousness the Bard Omar had shown up again and was bandaging and reviving the party. Cat the panther had done well in the battle but when everyone had appeared to have been killed he ran off into the woods.

Amras left the extra shields, a shortbow and 20 arrows, armor and swords from the fight with the Gnolls with the other party members and decided to leave the party in search of his panther companion. The Paladin Kelwin decided to join the party (even though he wasn’t sure why they kept talking to the air about a panther).  It was only later that Aria reminded everyone that Amras was invisible to other elves.  Kelwin picked up the shortbow, arrows, five sets of loose Gnoll armor, 3 shields, short swords, & bows. Some arrows and one shield seems to have walked off on its own.  Kelwin went with the rest of the party into town. Perhaps he can see if anyone found his horse.

More journal entries to come next week, stay tuned.

Session 1 – The Adventure Begins

While wandering along the coast Amras, Elf Ranger, Lord of Estolad, Last of the Noble House of Feanor, entered an insignificant human village. The town guards (insignificant fly specks of humanity) would  not let “Cat” Amras’ beast panther companion enter the village. Amras instructed Cat to forage around the outskirts of the village until he left the miserable hovels. He purchased a healing potion from a vendor along with some fruit and sat next to the filthy village fountain to observe the meaningless short lives of these mortals.

Author’s preface: The posts you are about to read are journals of one player in a weekly D&D game. The players are a mix of experienced and very inexperienced D&D players. The DM is very experienced and is trying to guide the players through his adaptation of the module “The Masks of XOTH”. As many DMs are aware… sometimes players do not follow the script…

A human bard sang about a greedy human and his riches while standing on the fountain’s edge. Amras tossed him a silver coin for his efforts. A Halfling nature child gave the bard flowers, the idiot bard ate them. The bard ( he identified himself as Omar) asked the crowd if anyone wanted to go on a trip to search for the song’s subjects riches. The Halfling with flowers, she identified herself as Aria Moonflower offered to go along. Another Halfling, his name was Filbert also offered to go. Then a large creature of indeterminate origin (a dragonborn), he called himself Rhogar, volunteered to join the company. Amras thought it would be interesting so he also agreed to join the group.

After a short walk north and along the way Cat joined back up with the group. Cat told Amras he could smell the others in the company a mile before he joined us. Soon the humanoids became tired and choose to rest in a small camp area near the road. Cat perched in a nearby tree and Amras chose to watch while in a trance to renew his strength. During the night strange noises could be heard, but being of no consequence Amras did not awake the others.

The group passed a small ruined watchtower and soon came to the cave where Omar stated the riches were located. Amras carefully looked inside the cave and saw a large Manticore, a beast with a man’s head and lion’s body . The group quickly engaged and fought the beast, eventually defeating it. The dragonborn, Rhogar, turned out to be a skilled warrior, he struck the killing blow with one of his axes. The party then searched the beast’s cave and found 42 silver pieces and a small box with a black domino mask inside. They decided to split the silver pieces in four lots of 10 each. Amras volunteered to hold the remaining two for Cat’s expenses. While investigating the mask they had found, they heard the sound of beating wings from the entrance. Rhogar went to investigate and ducked back inside the cave as a large Chimera landed on the roof of the cave. Amras, thinking quickly, advised the others in the party to follow his lead and he made a dense cloud at the opening of the cave mouth. His casting of the Fog Cloud was successful. When the party attempted to make their way out of the cave mouth using the fog as concealment the Chimera descended upon them and knocked Rhogar unconscious. The Halfling Aria revived him but as Amras attempted to subdue the beast it knocked him unconscious as well. Cat informed Amras of the rest of the battle after he awoke and recovered from his injuries. Cat had struck the only blow from the party that connected with the beast and the others disengaged and hid in the bushes. Although Cat appeared to have pieces of brush in his fur he said that he assured Amras that he had stayed by his side the entire battle.

Cat also informed Amras that while the others hid in the brush, an old wizard named Charilus slew the beast with a lightning bolt. The wizard wanted the box with the mask but the group decided to return to the village to discuss the exchange with the wizard. Perhaps it is worth something to him. Omar seems to know the old man and it appears the encounter itself was a set up by the bard. Amras should ask for his silver piece back.

Stay tuned for future posts as the adventure continues.