Tales of the Sword Coast

Captain Morgan's Log #11
1-11: Cleanup, Aisle Four

Session 11 – 09/20/17

Campaign Day 6 – 21st Eleasis – Midnight

The party has just completed a lengthy multi-wave combat to clear a den infested with goblins, hobgoblins and ogres.

 

Silas and Wiero were badly hurt in the combat, while Wilson is critically injured and lying on the ground panting. Captain Morgan goes over to heal Silas, saying "That was some impressive fighting, my friend. They say fortune favors the bold… but that was a bit bold even for me, charging in there like that!"

 

The hobgoblins are wearing splint mail, with crude shields and swords. The leader was carrying a glowing blue sword that he used to significant effect. Other than that, the humanoids don't have significant loot. The party moves onward to investigate the chamber where the hobgoblins came from, and the prisoner who's tied up. As they pass by, Silas notices what appears to be a small side chamber that's walled up with a large rock.

 

In the hobgoblins' room there are four crude beds, and it's obviously a barracks of some kind where the chieftain and his soldiers slept. There is a prisoner shackled to the wall and gagged, wearing durable traveling clothing that is stained and torn. Silas takes his gag off, but the prisoner is too weak to talk. His shackles are locked and the party hasn't found a key for them yet, so Nivah tries to unlock them using her thieves' tools. Captain Morgan cheers her on using Bardic Inspiration, but she isn't trained enough yet to be able to open the lock. Silas tries to break the shackles using raw strength, but fails. Captain Morgan helps the prisoner to drink some water and asks his name, and he says "I am Altamont, of Waterdeep. I joined a group to investigate peculiar happenings in this area, but we were ambushed by goblins." He's a human of northern stock, in his 20s. Old Tom comes up with the idea of using a Ray of Frost to freeze the  shackles, and Silas is able to shatter the frozen lock, which opens one shackle! It is still attached by its chain to the other manacle, so Altamont will need to carry it for the time being. He says he is well enough to walk, as long as they don't travel too fast or too far.

 

Wiero has been sniffing around and he goes on point – he's found something that smells like Altamont, in the small side chamber that is walled up. Silas and Morgan work together and they roll the large rock to the side easily. Behind is revealed a small treasure room, with a chest and some other possessions scattered around crudely, much as you'd expect from a hobgoblin lair. Inside the chest are 46 copper pieces, 85 silver, and 408 gold. There's also a small pouch containing 15 pieces of moss agate and blue quartz (15x 10gp each), and two polished jade gems (2x 100gp). Also in the room there is a walking staff, a backpack and a leather-bound book. Examining the book, Captain Morgan quickly realizes that it is a wizard's spellbook. He asks if it belongs to Altamont, who says it does. The party figure that any enemy of the hobgoblins must be a good ally, so they return Altamont's possessions to him. He asks if he can travel with the party as they make their way back to the safety of Nightstone.

 

Returning to the hobgoblins' barracks, the party searches for more loot, and Altamont finds a small hidden area under the chieftain's bed. There are two potions; one containing red liquid that looks like it might be a healing potion, and one filled with pale yellow liquid that has something floating within it. Peering closely at the potion, Altamont declares that the floating object is a sliver of a relatively large toenail (!!). Silas gives one of the party's smaller healing potions that they found previously to Altamont, who is very grateful. At this point the party is feeling relatively safe on their cleanup duty, so Captain Morgan uses his last healing spell on Wilson. They continue down the passage past the hobgoblins' area and hear the sound of water. There's a small cavern with a central pillar, and the air is damp. At the back of this cavern an underground spring emerges from the wall and rushes away through a hole. There are splashes of water and a few crude buckets and water scoops lying on the ground, but nothing else of interest.

 

The party heads back to the main cavern and examines the southern passage, which branches off into a warren of small tunnels with dirty piles of clothes and crude beds scattered about. In a corner of a tunnel there is a halfling woman crouched protectively over her two children and brandishing a stick. Captain Morgan sheathes his weapons and walks over to reassure her.

Captain Morgan: "Hello there… it's ok, you're safe, the goblins have all fled."

Halfling woman: "What happened? We heard fighting. Did you kill Hark?"

Morgan: "Hmm… maybe. Is this his sword? <points at Silas>"

Halfling: "Yes, thank you! Oh, we are safe now. Have you seen Godric? (she describes a middle-aged human man)"

Morgan: "Yes, we've seen him in the mushroom farms. He is free, and waiting safely outside."

 

The halfling woman introduces herself as Taela Sunrock, a resident of Nighstone. Her children are called Barley and Dollop. Seeing that the situation is peaceful, other prisoners gradually emerge from the other tunnels. There is a tiefling mother named Destiny and her son Grin, a Zhentarim scout, and a human girl (Johanna, age 12, the daughter of Godric). Seeing the civilians emerge, Silas strikes a heroic pose, brandishes his new sword, and proclaims "Hark is dead! You are all safe."

 

The Zhentarim scout introduces himself, saying "My name is Cylidric. Thank you so much." He is badly hurt and having trouble moving, but the party is almost out of healing magic. Old Tom decides to take the opportunity to bluff the Zhentarim and maybe gain some new information.

Tom: "Hey, Sid… we met your boss back in Nightstone, and we're good friends with him. I just want to make sure we're on the same page. I'm just curious, why did you guys accept the contract to protect Nightstone? It's kind of out of the way here."

Cylidric: "You met Althad, or Kella?"

Tom: "Both of them, actually. We're good friends … her flying snake is pretty cool."

Cylidric: "Yes, the snakes are powerful allies for us Zhentarim."

Tom: <rolls a natural 1 on Deception> <loud stage whisper to the party> "Guys … he's pretty dumb! I think it's working!"

(Everybody in the room is pretty embarrassed at the ham-handed nature of the deception that Tom just pulled off. But Cylidric doesn't seem too concerned)

Morgan: "Will you be able to walk back to Nightstone, Cylidric?"

Cylidric tests his weight a bit, and replies that thinks that he should be able to. The wound isn't too bad for an experienced soldier.

 

Silas asks the prisoners to gather up their possessions, so that the party can escort them to safety before they continue clearing out the cave network. Before they can leave, Nivah tries to disable the bell and net trap at the entrance, but she ends up setting it off semi-deliberately. No enemies come to investigate, so everyone marches out of the cave. Tom tries to interrogate some of the rescued prisoners about who else is unaccounted-for, and he makes Taela cry by reminding her of those prisoners that were taken by the ogres and not seen again. Silas takes charge of the prisoners and leads them back to the mushroom cave where Godric and the first group of rescued prisoners are waiting. There is a joyful reunion with much hugging and crying. In total the party have rescued nine civilians (Godric, his daughter Johanna, and two other humans; the halfling Taela Sunrock and her children Barley and Dollop; the tiefling Destiny and her son Grin) and one Zhentarim (Cylidric). Silas gathers up some weapons from the ambushed goblin patrol and distributes them to Cylidric and the other able-bodied prisoners, and they set up a defensible position in the mushroom farm.

 

Silas returns to the party, and they continue their exploration of the caves. Wiero has been sniffing down the abandoned passage to see what's going on. There are no tracks going in or out, and the air is quiet and still. The passageway is totally dark, but he can see a big stalactite that appears to be decaying or eaten away by acid. It smells weird, like something he's never smelled before. He lets out a howl and the rest of the party comes down the passageway to join him. Just as they do, a black ooze of some kind detaches from the wall and extrudes a tentacle that tries to attack Wiero!

 

Round 1

Nivah shoots the ooze monster, and rolls a critical, striking the extruded tentacle for 10 points and severing it. As the arrow strikes the monster, its shaft and fletching completely dissolve away, eaten up by its acidic secretions! Wiero leaps on the monster and bites it for 8 points. The ooze tastes like a foul acid that burns his mouth for 1 point; Silas yells "Wiero, be careful!". Wilson also leaps on the monster, biting it for 6 points, but he gets acidic ooze all over his mouth and face that burns him for 5 points of damage, and he's badly injured! Captain Morgan throws a flask of oil at the monster, which shatters on impact, dousing it in oil. Simultaneously, Tom casts Produce Flame and throws it at the monster, igniting it for 13 points. The monster goes up in flame, and the air is filled with a hideous squealing sound and a pall of greasy black smoke. Silas pulls out his crossbow to take a shot, but it's been a long time since he's used it and his bolt goes wild. Disgusted, he throws his crossbow to the ground and stomps on it, smashing it into fragments. Meanwhile, Altamont uses Chill Touch to conjure a ghostly hand that deals 5 points of necrotic damage. The pudding monster, still on fire, rears up and towers over Wilson. The giant weasel is too badly injured to dodge away, and the monster smashes down to engulf him completely, dissolving the flesh from his bones and killing him instantly! ! !

 

Round 2

Nivah emits a scream of rage and draws her last lightning arrow, firing it at the monster. The small tunnel is filled with a thunderous sound and an actinic blue flash as the arrow detonates into a lightning bolt, blasting a big crater in the middle of the ooze monster. The remaining ooze quivers, regroups into two separate pools, and now there are two smaller monsters! Altamont is fascinated by this strange behavior and the party can see him taking mental notes. Wiero moves in between the monsters and the party, and enters a defensive stance. Captain Morgan draws his flintlock and crossbow and shoots twice at one monster, dealing 8 points of damage. Tom uses Ray of Frost, attacking the same one for 2 points of cold damage, which the monster appears to shrug off. Silas draws out a potion of heroism and quaffs it boldly, charging forward with a yell and slicing one of the monsters … splitting it into two more smaller blobs of ooze! Drawing back his sword, he can see the acidic ooze is starting to eat away its structure, and it is now -1 to damage! Altamont murmurs to himself "Fascinating… don't attack it with lightning damage or slashing weapons, that causes it to split!". He uses Chill Touch to suck the life out of one of the smallest blobs, which turns grey, and stops moving. The two remaining monsters (one small, one medium-sized) attack Silas and Wiero. The larger of the two wraps itself around Silas' midsection. He screams out in pain as the acidic ooze eats away his armor, dealing 20 points of damage to him and reducing his armor's AC by 1 pemanently!

 

Round 3

Nivah uses her Inspiration to aid her aim, hitting the small ooze dead center for 11 points of damage and splattering it across the tunnel. Wiero pounces on the remaining medium-sized monster but it dodges away from his bite. Captain Morgan fires again at the monster, hitting with his pistol and crossbow for a total of 11 points of damage. It's still moving, but quite a bit slower now. Tom uses the Hand of Jones to flay it with a ghostly tentacle for 4 points of damage. Silas is badly wounded, so he drinks the unidentified red potion they just found, hoping it's a healing elixir. He is satisfied to see his wounds knit together as he regains 17 points of health. Altamont uses Chill Touch again to tickle the monster for 1 point of damage. Undaunted, the monster attacks Wiero, wrapping around his form and dissolving his fur all the way down to his muscular flanks! Siero is knocked out of shapechange, reverting to his gnome form, suffering from bad acid burns.

 

Round 4

Nivah uses a Hunter's Mark to focus her aim, narrowing in on her target and striking it dead center for 9 points of damage. The monster quivers once, raises itself up, folds in on itself, and collapses into a spreading puddle of acidic goo.

 

 

Altamont uses a spell of Mending to try and repair the armor and weapons that were corroded by the ooze monster, but there's so much damage that it is ineffective. Captain Morgan searches the black pudding, trying to reclaim Wilson's remains, but the acidic juices have already partially digested his body and there isn't really enough left to bury. With a grim face, Nivah takes some of Wilson's teeth to remember him by, and also reclaims his gold necklace that she gave him.

 

Meanwhile, Altamont takes the empty potion vial from Silas and takes a sample of the ooze. He thinks it might have been a monster known as a "black pudding". Silas searches the stalagmite and finds some random loot that appears to have survived the pudding's acidic juices… two intertwined feathers, four glass potion vials and a tome of some kind that is mysteriously undamaged. Three of the potions appear to be healing elixirs, and the last is some kind of fiery, smoking liquid. Altamont takes a sip of the fiery liquid and declares it to be a potion of fire-breathing. Tom excitedly takes the tome, which appears to be filled with warlock readings.

 

The party is pretty badly hurt at this point. However, Captain Morgan doesn't want to leave yet, so against the party's better judgment he scouts around stealthily. Moving further down the tunnel where they encountered the pudding, he finds a large, dark cavern to the southeast, with some stagnant water in it, and some tunnel offshoots. He also finds another tunnel that leads to the manticores' den, where they are lounging around and chewing on dismembered pieces from a large number of bodies. They aren't chained up or anything… so the Captain decides that discretion is the better part of valor. He returns to the group and they exit the cave system. As they emerge into the night air, a white owl silently flies down and perches on Altamont's shoulder. Nivah asks what that is, and Altamont says "His name is Watson."

 

The party return to the mushroom farm and gather the former prisoners. As they are preparing to leave, Siero works a ritual to conceal their tracks, reasoning that they don't want to be hunted by the manticores. A veil of shadows and mist emerges from the ground to envelop the group, and they depart without a trace. The party travels through the badlands back to the remarkable hidden campsite that Nivah found the previous night. There is enough room for the whole group to shelter under the overhang, and they take a long rest overnight.

 

Rising later in the morning, and feeling well rested, the party reviews the loot they have collected. There are a lot of remarkable items, starting with a potion of hill giant strength (the yellow liquid with the toenail), a potion of gaseous form, and three potions of healing. Silas spends some time examining the magical glowing sword that they took from Hark. This longsword has a deep grey blade covered in etched runes, and an aquamarine set into the pommel. When it is drawn, the blade ignites with a cool blue light. The runes say that its name is "Shriek, the weapon of warning". When worn, the sword gives off a whistling that the wielder and his friends can hear whenever danger is near. This grants advantage on all initiative rolls, and companions within 30' of the wielder cannot be surprised. If the wielder is sleeping when combat begins, they will be magically awoken.

 

Tom has been up all night reading his new tome, which is entitled "Netherbane, the Tome of the Pact-keeper". When held it will give him a bonus of +1 to all spell attack rolls, and +1 to spell DC difficulty. Once per long rest, the wielder can regain 1 warlock spell slot as an action. There is also a ceramic flask with a skull and cross-bones on it, which turns out to be a magical Alchemy flask. This container can be used to hold 16 oz of liquid. However, once per day the owner may use an action to name a liquid which will magically refill the flask. It can generate 8oz of a strong acid acid, 0.5oz of poison (1d8 damage, DC11 Con save for half), 0.5oz of sleeping poison (DC11 con save or sleep for 1 hr), 1 pint of whiskey, 1 pint of rum, 1 quart of wine, 1 quart of oil, 1 gallon of vinegar, 4 gallons of fresh water, or 6 gallons of salt water. Captain Morgan is very excited at the prospect of this flask, and the party let him hold onto it. He immediately switches its contents to rum, and takes a long swig, proclaiming it to be "quite satisfactory grog".

 

Lastly, there is the feather charm that the party found, which consists of several feathers bound by wax strands and smelling deeply of earth. Siero identifies them as the Feathers of Fiaqura, which may be used by a druid up to 2 times to allow their wild shape to become the form of a flying beast.

 

The party take their time breaking camp in the morning. Captain Morgan strikes up a conversation with Cylidric about life in the Zhentarim. As they are chatting he slips a Charm Person spell into the dialogue and successfully charms the scout, and then changes the subject to be more of an interrogation.

Morgan: "So how long have you been with your unit?"

Cylidric: "Oh, about a year and a half."

"You said both Althad and Kella were commanders?"

"Yes, Kella sometimes commands the unit, although Althad runs all of our combat operations."

"So is she a spy then?"

"No… we're mercenaries! She's um… our information officer…"

"So what's up with that flying snake?"

"Many Zhentarim use the snakes to send messages back and forth across long distances. Mostly commanders have them. I don't have one."

"I may have gotten on Kella's bad side at some point. Any suggestions for how I could repair that?"

"Well… she and Althad have been working together for a long time, many years. I'm sure that if you and Althad were on good terms that she wouldn't have a problem. But she never forgets anything."

"Why did you guys come to Nightstone anyway? And how did you personally get caught by the hobgoblins?"

"There were only three of us in Nightstone before the attack, myself, another scout named Dodric, and Kella. The rest were going to arrive a few days later. We were to investigate the shard and report back."

"Really… so what do the Zhentarim want with the shard?

"They don't really tell me those things, but I think they think it might be important somehow."

"Excellent! Well I'm very glad to meet you. Let's have some rum… a lot of rum…"

(At this point Captain Morgan tries to get Cylidric so drunk that he'll forget the Charm Person spell and the interrogation.)

 

While Morgan is talking with Cylidric, the party decide that they should head back to the caverns and try to retrieve any remaining prisoners, or at least their remains. Specifically, Destiny the tiefling tells them that her daughter Sylda was taken by the ogres two days ago and is still missing, and Cylidric hasn't seen his Zhentarim friend Dodric since they were brought to the caves. Nivah and Siero forage for food and are able to find enough that the townsfolk can have something to eat during the day. As the adventurers are preparing to leave, Dollop the 6-year-old halfling runs up and clings to Nivah's leg, pleading with them, "Don't go! Stay here!" Captain Morgan uses a Minor Illusion to conjure some fireworks for her, but she's not impressed.

 

The party returns to the cave system, cautiously keeping their eyes on the sky, but their trek is uneventful. Wiero is tracking Sylda's scent from a bedroll that her mother gave them. The scent trail leads him to the cave and directly to the passage that leads to the manticore pit. Altamont whispers to his owl familiar Watson and sends him ahead to scout; he is able to see through Watson's eyes up to a fairly long distance. Watson is able to see the manticores sleeping at the bottom of the pit, but there are no other signs of motion.

 

The party huddle up to talk tactics, and Altamont raises the idea of using the net from the net trap to tangle up the manticores. Captain Morgan advocates using flaming oil as well, saying "Why not both?". Morgan returns to the secret passage where Nivah had set the trap upon their last excursion, and retrieves both the oil flasks and the alchemist's fire. The party prepare a flaming surprise for the manticores…

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Captain Morgan's Log #10
1-10: Hark's Camp

Session 10 – 08/08/17

Campaign Day 6 – 21th Eleasis – Evening

The party is infiltrating a large goblin encampment built into a wide rocky basin high up in the hills. They have just defeated a patrol of eight goblins and are hiding out in a mushroom farm to plan their next move.

 

Because Captain Morgan is still invisible, the party decide to send him out on a solo scouting expedition. The Captain sneaks out of the mushroom cave and towards a second small cave entrance. The floor of the basin is firm, sandy ground, so it's easy for him to stay silent and move without leaving any tracks. The cave leads to a mushroom farm similar to the first one the party found, but there is nobody in it, and no items except for a few discarded farming tools. He leaves and heads over to the last small cave entrance, which is also a mushroom farm. There is nobody in here as well. As the Captain searches the cave, he notices a crack at the back of the cave that might allow someone to squeeze through. He puts his backpack down on the ground and is able to wriggle his way into the crevice. He finds that it opens up into a small tunnel, and there are signs of passage by small creatures, maybe goblins. After a few twists and turns, and 30 or 40 feet of scrambling he reaches a ladder that leads down to a larger open area. Peering down from the ladder, he can see a 20-foot high cave that recedes off into the gloom, with a lot of stalactites and stalagmites. There are some rusted scimitars on the ground but it is otherwise very quiet. The Captain is feeling kind of bored with this expedition, so he decides to go back to meet the rest of the party because his Invisibility spell is about half gone.

 

After Captain Morgan reports his findings, Nivah is worried about goblins escaping out via the tunnel during the attack. She takes some Alchemist's Fire from Morgan's backpack and rigs up a deadfall trap with some flasks of oil that will hopefully damage any escaping humanoids.

 

While she's doing this, Captain Morgan is scouting the main cave complex, still invisible. From the basin there is a prominent main entrance that is about 20 feet wide and 25 feet tall. The Captain sneaks up to this entrance and can see that it opens up into a large, sprawling cavern. There's an ogre resting against a jumble of fallen rocks in the middle of the cavern, sitting down and playing with something in a mud puddle. Around the edge of the cavern there are a couple of raised sections about 10 feet off the ground, each with an goblin sentry sitting on them and looking bored. The cave goes back over a hundred feet, a long way further than Captain Morgan can see in the gloom. He sneaks in a little way and spots a tripwire in front of him … freezing, he glances up and notices the net trap above him JUST in time. He steps cautiously over the tripwire and continues further in to the cave. Moving further, he can see a pool of water towards the back, with fungus growing around it. There's a third raised ledge with another goblin sentry. Looking around, he realizes this single cavern is huge and there are at least four or five visible exits.

 

Captain Morgan tries to sneak past the ogre into the fallen rocks, getting close enough to smell its breath, which is staggeringly bad. It's a huge creature, nine feet tall, and at least 600 pounds. He is sitting on the ground and humming happily as he splashes in the mud puddle with a large bone, perhaps from a cow or buffalo. Captain Morgan slips past and enters the fallen rock pile, discovering an interior chamber that contains another ogre snoring in a pile of filthy straw. The Captain considers trying to assassinate it in its sleep but decides that maybe that might be a little bit too foolhardy even for him. The ogre is clutching a dirty sack that he considers trying to pickpocket … once again, it's tempting, but he decides to leave instead. He makes his way all the way out safely, and reports what he's seen to the party.

 

 

The party take a little while to strategize their attack. While they're doing this, Morgan's invisibility spell wears off, and so too does Wiero's shapeshifting magic. They are getting ready to move up when they notice that a goblin has arrived at the main entrance and is standing there idly gnawing on something. Captain Morgan throws a rock up on the hillside and starts a small rockslide, which attracts the goblin over to investigate. When it gets in range, Nivah, Morgan and Tom all hit the goblin simultaneously with an arrow, a crossbow bolt, and a necrotic ray. The goblin goes down dead, but as it dies it lets out a loud squeal! Worried that their surprise is now blown, the party waits to see if the ogres will come out to investigate, and they do… but only to the entrance, and then they see the dead goblin. Seeing the fresh kill lying right outside they retreat back in again, muttering to each other.

 

The party are worried that now the ogres and goblins are alerted they might be getting the manticores ready for battle, which would turn the odds decidedly against the party. So, they decide to press the attack quickly, moving ahead to stack up outside the entrance to the cave. Nivah and Captain Morgan peek around the corner, seeing the pair of ogres and at least one goblin archer alerted and ready for battle.

 

 

Round 1

Nivah shoots the goblin archer right as he's trying to aim an arrow at her. Her arrow takes him in the eye for 8 points and he flies backward off his ledge. Siero shapechanges into Wiero and moves forward into the cave, ready to pounce. Captain Morgan runs into the cave and does an acrobatic flip up onto the ledge next to a very surprised goblin archer. He slashes at the goblin with his rapier but it dodges out of the way. Silas moves up next to Wiero and also readies his attack. Tom moves up behind Silas and Wiero and starts to prepare a spell. Several goblins can be seen moving around in the back of the cavern, including one of them running for an exit. The goblin archer next to Morgan drops his bow, pulls out a scimitar and screams maniacally, slashing Morgan's arm deeply for 5 points of damage. Both of the ogres pick up rocks the size of human heads and get ready to throw them – but Tom completes his spell and a ring of holding tentacles spring up from the ground and grab one ogre, holding it in place paralyzed! The other ogre looks very surprised, but it follows through with its throw, whipping a fast rock at Wiero that smashes him in the side for 14 points of damage!

 

Round 2

Nivah nocks one of her two lightning arrows and whispers the command word to it. It ignites into a lightning bolt that blasts across the cavern, striking the ogre full in the chest and continuing on to vaporize the running goblin in the back of the cavern. The cavern is momentarily silent as the smell of ozone fills the air and everyone looks on in awe. The silence is broken by Wiero rushing forwards, pouncing on the ogre and dealing heavy damage, but the ogre doesn't fall down. Morgan duels with his goblin foe, hitting him with both his rapier and hand crossbow, but doesn't deal enough damage to kill his opponent outright. Silas runs up into position to attack the ogre. Tom uses the Hand of Jones to choke the life out of a goblin archer in the back of the cave. Feeling outnumbered, the goblin next to the Captain turns to run, and he takes a rapier in the back of the neck, piercing him for 13 points and dropping down dead. The ogre that isn't paralyzed picks up his bone club and smashes Wiero over the head for 11 points, which really hurts – but Wiero is still standing!

 

Round 3

Nivah uses her Hunter's Mark on the ogre, and takes aim, hitting him with an arrow in the shoulder for 12 points. Wiero uses the courage of the pack to grab onto the ogre's arm, dealing 8 points of damage but he is shaken off. Captain Morgan does a front flip off the ledge, reloading his hand crossbow as he goes, and shoots the ogre in his other shoulder for 7 points. Tom launches a ray of frost at the ogre, hitting for 5 points of cold damage. Silas finally reaches the ogre, and swings a powerful blow, dealing 12 points of damage and taking its head off. The other ogre is still paralyzed by Tom's tentacles holding it in place, staring wildly around in fear as all of its allies fall one by one.

 

Round 4

Nivah uses the paralyzed ogre for target practice, hitting it for 8 points. Wiero circles around behind the ogre and readies an action to attack, while using a bonus action to heal himself. Captain Morgan moves up, leaps onto a stalactite and shoots the ogre with his crossbow for 7 points. Silas moves up, and he and Wiero both strike the ogre in a coordinated attack; the ogre is knocked down and takes massive damage. Tom uses Ray of Frost to hit the ogre with a tiny snowflake, doing 1 point of cold damage. Although the ogre is badly hurt, it starts to recover from its paralysis and is enraged, picking itself up from the ground.

 

Round 5

Nivah shoots at the ogre as it's getting up, grazing it with her arrow for light damage. Just as the ogre fully stands up and roars a challenge to the party, Wiero leaps up and tears out its throat, and it collapses to the ground dead.

 

 

Silas searches the ogres' filthy sacks looking for loot. He finds a collection of treasures – 25 silver pieces, 13 gold pieces and a light blue misty potion, a small gold bracelet worth 25gp, a gem worth 25gp, and a flask of liquor. The liquor flask is not empty, but its contents smell toxic and acrid, maybe like an acid. Nivah takes the bracelet because she wants to wear it. Between them the goblins have a total of 18 copper pieces. While the rest of the party is looting the bodies, Morgan looks down the first tunnel that exits from the right side; it leads down a dusty tunnel with no apparent recent tracks. Wiero looks down the second tunnel on the right, which leads to a pretty sharp dropoff where there seems to be some kind of large hole in the ground. This tunnel smells strongly like the manticores that the party fought the previous day, and Wiero cautiously backs away. Silas moves over to Captain Morgan and uses the healing power of his deity to lay hands on him, healing his minor wounds. Nivah checks the tunnels on the left; the first one has a warren of tunnels and a lot of tracks on the ground. While she's looking down the second tunnel, she sees some torchlight approaching, and the whole party hears the sound of hurried steps echoing down the passage!

 

 

Round 1

As Nivah peers around the corner, she sees a wolf approaching her at a run, silhouetted against flickering torchlight. Realizing she's exposed, she runs back into the ogres' pile of rocks and takes up a defensive position. As the wolf rounds the corner, she hits it in the flank with an arrow for 5 points, staggering it. Wilson is still badly hurt because nobody remembered to heal him since their previous fight, so he hides next to Nivah. Wiero stalks up to the exit of the tunnel and conceals himself, waiting to see what happens. The wolf runs out of the tunnel and Wiero pounces on it, tearing its throat out and killing it instantly. Just then, a small horde of goblins charge yelling around the corner and start to get all bunched up in the tunnel. The party can vaguely see a hobgoblin at the back of the group shouting orders. The first goblin yells a war cry, swings its scimitar, trips over the dead wolf and falls on the ground. The next one shoots an arrow into the ceiling. The third one also shoots and hits Wiero for 3 points of damage. Tom fires a ray of frost towards the tunnel, but he rolls a natural 1 and misses the tunnel completely, striking Wiero in the back for 5 points of freeze damage! Captain Morgan runs up next to Wiero and attacks with his rapier and crossbow, scratching the frontmost goblin for 1 point of damage. Silas also moves up to close ranks with Wiero and Morgan, blocking the goblins' advance.

 

Round 2

Nivah fires an arrow down the tunnel that impacts on the roof and shatters. Wiero grabs the goblin in front, dealing 15 points of damage and biting off its head all the way down to its torso. Seeing this, the remaining goblins scatter in fear, running away past the hobgoblin, who shouts and attacks one of them as it retreats. The goblin takes damage but continues running. Tom moves up next to Wilson and aims a ray of frost down the tunnel, this time missing all of his friends, but the hobgoblin deflects the ray off his shield. Captain Morgan casts Charm Person on the hobgoblin, and tries to tell it that "Hey Goblin, we don't want to hurt you!". Gritting its teeth, the hobgoblin resists the spell and angrily retorts "I. Am. Not. A Goblin!!". Silas decides to go full Leeroy Jenkins and he sprints down the tunnel, past the hobgoblin, searching for the fleeing goblins. As he runs past the hobgoblin, it gets an attack of opportunity on him, but the blow bounces off his armor. Silas spots one of the fleeing goblins and casts Abjure Enemy attempting to terrify it and freeze it in place, but the goblin resists the spell and keeps running. Peering past the goblins, Silas can see into another cave of some kind, and it's full of hobgoblins, including some kind of leader. He thinks he can also maybe see a tied-up human lying on the ground. He realizes at this point that he's quite a long way from his allies, and in a tunnel with enemies on both sides of him…

 

Round 3

Nivah marks the hobgoblin in the tunnel with her Hunter's Mark and looses an arrow at him, which misses. The hobgoblin leader moves towards Silas, banging on his shield and shouting at the fleeing goblin, who turns around and rejoins the fight. Two goblins pile on Wiero, hitting him twice for 12 points of damage. The rallied goblin faces off with Silas and strikes a lucky blow through his armor for 4 points. The hobgoblin in the tunnel hits Wiero with his sword, dealing 6 points of damage. At this point Wiero is badly hurt. The three hobgoblin guards that Silas saw in the far cave attempt to flank the party, moving out through a side tunnel and into the main cavern. Seeing this, Tom casts Dissonant Whispers on one of them. The hobgoblin clutches his head, screaming in pain from psychic damage, and he turns to flee… straight into a chasm, which he attempts to leap across but fails. His screams last a few seconds before they are suddenly cut off. Captain Morgan casts Tasha's Hideous Laughter on another hobgoblin, who falls to the ground laughing and incapacitated. Morgan then moves to engage the last of the three flankers. Silas casts Cure Wounds on Wiero, who starts to feel a bit better but is still badly hurt.

 

Round 4

Nivah shoots at her marked hobgoblin, taking it in the chest with an arrow for 8 points. Wilson is still badly hurt, but he moves up to help Captain Morgan, fiercely biting his hobgoblin in the neck and dealing 11 points of damage. Everyone is very impressed. The hobgoblin leader moves up behind Silas, shouting orders at his troops in the goblin tongue. He swings his glowing blue sword in a complex attack – Silas dodges one blow but another connects for 7 points of damage. Wiero bites at the hobgoblin in the tunnel, dealing 8 points and crushing his windpipe. The three goblins who are standing right there gape in horror and attack Wiero and Silas but miss. The last flanking hobgoblin attacks Captain Morgan and Wilson in a frenzy but misses. Thomas draws a bead on him with a ray of frost but again rolls a 1, freezing Wilson in the back for 4 points. Wilson drops to the ground, badly hurt and almost dead! Captain Morgan braces himself and emits a shout like thunder, pushing the hobgoblins back and dealing 10 points of sonic damage to them. The hurt one is thrown back into a cave wall and dies, while the other tumbles end-over-end and is no longer laughing. Silas attacks the hobgoblin leader but misses.

 

Round 5

As the last of the hobgoblin flankers gets to his feet, Nivah takes him through the eye with an arrow for 11 points, killing him instantly. The hobgoblin leader swings his glowing blue sword at Silas again but he is able to parry both attacks. Wiero bites one of the goblins in half, but even though the two remaining goblins see their friend killed up close, they are inspired by their leader to stay in the fight! One attacks Silas and punches through his armor for 8 points of damage, while the other slashes Wiero for 4 points. Captain Morgan sprints across to the tunnel, moving up to bolster his allies and taking a slash across the side from a goblin for 4 points of damage as he enters melee range. He casts a healing spell on Silas for 4 points of damage. Silas attacks the hobgoblin leader again, but the blow bounces off his armor – the hobgoblin is still uninjured, while the party's front line are all badly hurt!

 

Round 6

Nivah shoots an arrow down the tunnel, which takes one of the remaining goblins in the eye for 10 points, dropping him. The hobgoblin leader attacks Silas twice, hitting once for 9 points of damage. Wiero leaps over the top of the hobgoblin, and tries to make a flying attack but his bite is deflected by his enemy's shield. The last goblin, stupefied by the sight of a leaping dire wolf, stands there dumbly gaping and doesn't attack. At this point, Thomas emerges from the side tunnel behind the hobgoblin and his crony, and unleashes the Arms of Hadar – a mass of tentacles that pick up the goblin and slam it against the cave wall for 10 points, killing it. Several tentacles also batter the hobgoblin leader, dealing 5 points of damage. Silas uses his lay on hands ability to heal himself.

 

Round 7

The last enemy standing is the hobgoblin leader, surrounded by the party. Nivah moves up and tries to get an angle on her foe, but given the close quarters in the tunnel she can't get a shot. The hobgoblin leader roars in anger, and strikes Silas with a vicious blow that deals 9 points. Wiero counter-attacks, pouncing on the hobgoblin to deal 9 points of damage and knock him prone. Thomas uses Dissonant Whispers to strike terror into the hobgoblin's mind, dealing 13 points of psychic damage and sending him mad. Lying on the ground prone and blinded with fear, the hobgoblin leader tries to crawl away helplessly, moving through the party and taking multiple attacks of opportunity. Silas and Wiero both miss, but Captain Morgan strikes him for 8 points. Finally, the Captain raises his rapier, and thinks – is this a moment for diplomacy? He decides it's been a long day, and elects to drive his rapier down through the prone hobgoblin's skull for another 9 points of damage, administering the coup de grace.

 

 

Panting with exhaustion and with many grievous wounds, the party take a moment to catch their breath as the clamor of battle dies down and the cave system falls momentarily silent…

View
Captain Morgan's Log #9
1-9: Mountains and Madness

Session 9 – 05/02/17

Campaign Day 5 – 20th Eleasis – Late Evening

The party have just defeated an ambush party of goblins and bugbears, in the badlands north of Nightstone. It is the late evening. Some of the party were badly hurt in the course of defeating the bugbears, and they take a short rest to regroup. Captain Morgan plays a song of healing to help the party recover.

 

Captain Morgan spends 2 hit dice and regains 15 hit points, while Nivah spends 1 to regain 13 hit points. While they are resting, Silas walks up the trail a short distance to scout ahead, but the moon is faint and he can't see far. Siero attempts to find a bird or some other animal that he could talk to which might know where the goblin lair is. He spies a sparrow flying in the darkening sky, calls it down and communes with it – the bird knows there are some hunters nearby, in the direction that the party is travelling, but not exactly where. It's scared of the hunters, they are large and it typically gives them a wide berth. The party moves out, following the warband's trail in a stealthy marching order. Nivah, Wilson, Morgan and Siero are scouting ahead in a wide line while Tom and Silas bring up the rear less stealthily.

 

They move through the badlands, which are a series of dry desert-like gullies. Nivah spots a carcass of a large game animal, perhaps a buffalo, that has been killed and eaten by some kind of predator. The buffalo seems to have taken some kind of heavy piercing damage, almost like it was punctured by giant stakes. Nivah follows the tracks of the predator, which is some kind of large animal, and they move away for a few meters and then completely disappear…

 

The party doesn't want to lose the trail of the warband, so they decide to continue tracking late into the night. Nivah follows the warband's tracks back up into the hills for several hours, as the gullies start to turn into canyons that now have sharper dropoffs. It is probably past midnight when Siero sees two large flying creatures, almost the size of bears, with giant faces. They are flying rapidly directly towards the party, roaring thunderously as they close.

 

 

Round 1

Captain Morgan steps forward and prepares a spell for when the creatures get close. Nivah shoots at them as they approach, hitting one in the side for 7 damage, which barely scratches it. Silas moves up to the group and prepares an attack. However, the creatures hover in the air about 30-40 feet above the ground, out of range of any melee attack. Suddenly, one of them whips its tail around, shooting three spikes that all hit Nivah for a total of 12 points of damage! The other shoots spikes at Morgan, hitting him twice for 7 points of damage. Captain Morgan recognizes this attack and identifies the creatures as manticores, a highly dangerous predator. Siero moves close to Nivah and heals her for 10 points. Tom blasts the second manticore with a crackling vortex of lightning, arcing from his hand out into its flank and dealing 12 points of damage.

 

Round 2

Captain Morgan tosses his hand crossbow to Silas, and moves so he is in cover below the manticores. Nivah casts a Jump spell on Siero. Silas grabs the crossbow and shoots at the manticore that is caught in Tom's Witchbolt, but his bolt bounces harmlessly off its hide. The manticores swoop down again and fire another volley of spikes; one attacks Tom and hits with one spike for 4 points. The other attacks Nivah but Silas interposes and shields her; two spikes hit him for 6 points. Siero leaps vertically 30 feet into the air, transforming as he does so. The manticore is extremely surprised to find a dire wolf biting at its wing, mauling it for 13 points and causing it to roar in shock and pain. Tom continues pumping lightning into the other creature, doing another 8 points of shock damage.

 

Round 3

Captain Morgan also leaps into the air and emits a Thunderwave shout, a thunderous boom echoes from his throat and deals 11 points of sonic damage to both manticores. Nivah shoots an arrow but misses. Silas moves over to Morgan and uses Lay on Hands to heal 5 points of damage. The manticores swoop down and fire once more; one attacks Tom and hits with one spike for 8 points, disrupting his concentration on his Witchbolt spell. The other attacks Nivah, hitting with two spikes for 12 points; she is badly hurt at this point. Wiero leaps up and tries to grapple a manticore, grabbing at it successfully and trying to pull it out of the sky, but it's too big for him to bring down. Tom moves forward to stand by Silas's side, shooting a Ray of Frost at his manticore but missing.

 

Round 4

Captain Morgan draws his pistol and shoots the grappled manticore, taking an aimed shot into its exposed underbelly for 11 points; it's badly hurt. He encourages Nivah, saying "Now! Take the shot, you can do it!" But her shot goes wide, maybe due to her injury. Silas heals Tom for 5 points. The grappled manticore thrashes around wildly, shaking Wiero off, and turns to fly away. The other shoots a last volley of spikes at Tom, but Silas steps in once again and the spikes rattle off his shield. Tom shoots a Ray of Frost after the fleeing manticores but it flies wild.

 

Round 5

Captain Morgan takes a last shot at the manticores from long range but misses. He inspires again Nivah to try a final shot, which strikes one manticore in the wing and staggers it in the air, but it continues flying. The pair fly off towards the north, and the party loses them in the gloom.

 

 

It's now past midnight, and the party are all still standing but several are badly hurt. Nivah searches for a place to shelter, and leads the party down a ravine to a defensible area underneath a rock shelf, with good protection from the elements and concealment from the surrounding area. Everyone is very impressed at the perfectly hidden shelter and they figure it will be safe to take a long rest so they can heal and regain spells. The party uneasily alternate watches, but night passes without any further contact. They return to the trail, where Captain Morgan gathers up some manticore spikes as trophies; he finds ten intact ones. They continue backtracking north along the warband's trail.

 

It is a warm, clear day and the party are experiencing some serious heat as they travel; there isn't a lot of shade or trees in the badlands. By the afternoon the party has made it up into the hills and the ground is getting more broken, forcing the party to scramble up slopes from time to time. Nivah and Siero are able to both move really naturally through the difficult hilly terrain, but the others are starting to struggle. Captain Morgan wonders out loud, "How could a large group of goblins support themselves by living off the land here?" Nivah tells him that they definitely must have some other source of food, because there isn't enough game or arable land to support any significant number of goblins. Siero chimes in "They must be eating the people, obviously!".

 

As the group is moving through a ravine, Silas accidentally triggers a trap with a tripwire. A net shoots up from the ground and grabs him up into the air, with a bell loudly ringing! Cursing, Silas cuts himself out of the net, while Captain Morgan and Nivah both go to ground and quickly conceal themselves. After a few minutes of hiding, no goblins have come to investigate, so Nivah scouts ahead. She finds that the trail heads down further into the ravine, with only a few ways to approach, and there are more net traps scattered around. She tries to disable the traps… but fails and triggers them instead! The rest of the party hears bells ringing as the traps triggered, and they come running to her aid, but again no enemies arrive to investigate the traps that were set off.

 

Nivah is getting a bit nervous about the party being down in a narrow ravine full of traps, and she decides to climb up a rock wall, rolling well on Athletics and getting up to a higher rock shelf. There's no sign of tracks up here. She lowers a rope for the party to climb up, while her giant weasel Wilson climbs up the rock wall himself. He has a hard time getting up, climbing roughly 30 feet when he loses his footing and falls, landing hard and taking 8 points of damage. Siero takes pity on the poor weasel, and climbs back down to the bottom of the ravine to heal him. He then tries to tie the rope around Wilson, who is quite unhappy about the idea of having someone tie a rope to him and starts biting angrily at it. After a bit more hilarity everyone finally makes it up to the top of the ledge.

 

It's early evening now as the party regroups on top of the ledge. They continue moving north, up towards the head of the ravine, although they can no longer follow the tracks of the warband from this high up. The ravine opens up into a wider plateau, and there are lots of tracks clearly visible all around the area. Nivah looks ahead a bit and discovers the entrance to a cave nearby. Being the smallest, Siero scouts ahead into the cave while the rest of the party support him from the entrance. As he moves deeper into the cave, and the dim light from the cave mouth fades away, he can see some torches ahead casting light down from the walls. The passageway opens up into a small cavern whose floor is covered with cultivated mushrooms of some sort. There are two goblin guards idling about while three humans work to tend to the mushroom farm. Siero moves up stealthily, casting his Shillelagh and getting into striking range!

 

Surprise Round

Siero strikes at a goblin but although his target is surprised, he manages to twist away and evade the blow. Nivah and Captain Morgan both send arrows darting into the cave, hitting both goblins and injuring them badly, but they are still standing. Tom uses the Hand of Jones which arcs out and barely misses making contact with one injured goblin.

 

Round 1

Siero attacks a goblin and now that it's prepared, it deflects the attack off its shield. The goblins attack, hitting Siero for 3 points of damage and missing Silas who has moved up to support Siero. Just then, Nivah and Morgan both take their second shots, straight through the heads of both goblins, and they drop to the ground dead.

 

The party rush into the cavern and reassure the human prisoners, who look shocked and relieved.

Captain Morgan: "It's okay, you're safe now. We've come from Nightstone to find you."

Silas: "How long have you been here?"

One of the humans says they just got here from Nightstone; the other two say they've been here for maybe two weeks.

Old Tom gives the humans some proper food from his trail rations.

Nivah: "What's up with the mushrooms? I hear Siero really likes mushrooms."

Siero: "No, I don't!"

Human woman: "The goblins forced us to work in their farm raising mushrooms. It's horrible, we never get to see the sun or sky."

 

Morgan: "Can you draw a crude map of the area?"

Human woman: "Yes, there are two other mushroom caves, fairly small. And there's a larger complex where the goblins and ogres live. Off to the northeast of this open area."

Siero: "Uh… did you say ogres?"

"Yes… there are two of them."

Tom: "Can you tell us the layout of the larger cave complex?"

"When you go into the big cavern, just to the left, that's where the humans are kept. Just ahead is where the ogres live. Then further back there are some areas where the goblins come and go from. They don't let us go anywhere except to our area."

Morgan: "Have you seen any giant flying bear things?"

"Yes… some of us have seen something like that. We haven't gotten too close to them. We think they might live somewhere in the cave complex."

 

The party takes a while to plan, and think about what they're going to do. They decide to try and take out the mushroom caves and any goblin patrols they can, before tackling the main complex. They move out towards the second mushroom cave, and while they are approaching they see a patrol of 8 goblins emerge from the main complex and start moving straight towards them. Everyone freezes and tries to hide in plain sight. Captain Morgan casts a spell that turns him invisible. Unfortunately, the goblins are paying attention, and they spot the party, yelling and drawing their weapons. There are two archers and six goblins carrying crude swords and shields.

 

Round 1

Nivah shoots a goblin archer through the eye for 7 points of damage, killing him instantly! The other archer gibbers in fear, shoots an arrow at Nivah but misses. The six sword-wielding goblins wave their weapons and run forward, screaming. As they do so, Tom uses a Ray of Frost to strike the other archer for 8 points, freezing his torso off. Siero shapeshifts into a dire wolf and pounces on an attacking goblin, ripping its head off instantly. Wilson runs up to try the same and a goblin attacks him but he ducks under the blow, biting at the goblin and missing. Captain Morgan decides that discretion is the better part of valor, electing to remain invisible and save his spell for later use. Silas charges into the middle of the goblin pack and several of them attack him but miss.

 

Round 2

Nivah shoots a goblin, killing it. The four remaining goblins attack Wiero, Silas and Wilson; one of them gets a lucky stab between the shoulder joint of Silas' armor for 8 points of damage. Tom uses a Ray of Frost to freeze the goblin that's attacking Wilson, dealing 6 points of damage and staggering him. Wiero shifts around, and uses pack tactics to flank the goblin attacking Wilson, mutilating him for 14 points of damage. Wilson moves around to the far side of another goblin, pouncing on it and biting out its jugular for 7 points. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Silas takes a backswing with his sword, cutting another goblin in half for 9 points of damage.

 

Round 3

Nivah takes aim at the last goblin, and just as it's turning away to flee, she takes it in the neck with an arrow and it drops.

 

The party loot the goblins and find 88 copper pieces. They drag all of the corpses back to the previous mushroom cave and kick dirt over the signs of battle, hoping that nobody in the cave complex was alerted by the sounds of wanton goblin slaughter…

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Captain Morgan's Log #8
1-8: Breakfast and Bugbears

Session 8 – 04/06/17

Campaign Day 4 – 19th Eleasis – Evening

The party are having dinner together in the common room of the inn. It is the evening of the fourth day of their adventure, the 19th of Eleasis (Highsun).

 

After dinner Silas wants to find the Zhentarim commander. He goes to find one of the Zhentarim scouts, asks him where Althad is and gets an evasive answer.

Scout: "Well… I might be able to think about where he is… except it's slipped my mind right now…"

Silas: "Is this a money thing? This is a money thing, isn't it."

Silas doesn't have any money right now, because he spent all of it on commissioning his new splint mail. Unable to pay the bribe, he returns to the inn instead. Morak has reserved one of the less-damaged rooms in the inn for the party, and they're able to all fit, barely. Siero sleeps in a dresser drawer.

 

The night passes uneventfully. The next day the party awake and get themselves ready for an expedition. As they head downstairs into the common room they can hear the sounds of bustling activity coming from the kitchen, and several of the Zhentarim are in the common room waiting for breakfast.

 

Captain Morgan goes into the pantry looking for rum. He finds Althad cooking there… it's a very impressive spread being prepared, he seems to be an expert cook.

Captain Morgan: "Good morning, Commander … may I call you Commander?"

Althad: "Certainly, if you wish, but we don't really stand on titles amongst comrades."

 

Captain Morgan notices that there seems to be a small green flying snake curled around Althad Dram's arm. In fact, it looks like the same kind that Kella had.

Morgan: "I notice you have a little friend there."

Althad: (distractedly, while cooking) "Ah yes, I've had that since I was a new recruit into the Zhentarim. We use them to send messages."

"You know, Kella had one of those as well."

"Oh, did she? Interesting."

"Yes indeed. If you see her, say hello from me!"

"Ah yes… she mentioned she had a little different opinion of you."

"Oh you know, sometimes you make friends, sometimes you don't.

"Well, I've found she can be a person who holds a grudge."

"Ah… that can happen from time to time. I've always found it's possible to smooth things over. Speaking of smooth, do you have any rum here in the kitchen?"

"No, I don't believe so."

"No rum! What kind of operation are you running here? Where do you get your supplies from?"

"We mostly live off the land when we're away on mission. But we're going to be based in Nightstone now, keeping the town safe. We should be getting a supply caravan soon."

Morgan is quite suspicious of the fact that the Zhentarim are moving in to town and making themselves at home so quickly… and there seem to be more of them every day…

 

Back in the common room, all of the party have come down and everyone is getting ready for breakfast. Althad and Morgan bring out the plates, it's a big spread, and Althad invites everyone to eat. The Zhentarim soldiers come in and eat as well, in shifts. They are fairly quiet, as soldiers would be in kind of a combat environment. Captain Morgan tries to engage them with some storytelling and there are a few smiles but nobody is super friendly. The food is exceptionally good. After ten or fifteen minutes Althad is done cooking, and he comes out and joins the party for breakfast.

 

Tom: "Thanks for breakfast, Commander. The bacon's great – it's really crispy, I like it. I'm not a big fan of the vegetables though."

Althad: "Well, I do the best I can with what I have … obviously some of the ingredients aren't the highest quality, given the condition of the town."

Silas: "Actually, this is the best breakfast I've ever had. It was wonderful."

Tom: "We'd like to repay your generosity by helping to chase down some more trouble in the area. We ran across a hobgoblin who seemed to be practicing necromancy. Do you know what a necromancer is? Have you seen one?"

Althad: "I do. We've been running patrols around the area. We know Hark and his crew are in the hills to the north somewhere. We haven't seen much else notable."

Tom: "What do you know about the forest elves?"

Althad: "We've been trying to avoid them, mostly. There was quite a bit of tension historically between them and the town of Nightstone. I feel it's best not to rock the boat too much."

Silas: "What do you know about Hark's lair?"

Althad: "We haven't seen the lair itself, but we know roughly where it is. We've seen a lot of torn-up game carcasses near there, and we usually turn back when we get close. Some of my patrols have had a few run-ins with small warbands, mostly goblins, some bugbears."

Silas: "Do you think the elves would be able to help us with the goblins?"

Althad: "Well, I don't know. Elves are tricky… you can't really trust them…"

Tom: "Thanks a lot for everything you're doing. Try not to die in the next couple of days. Just hold out, we'll be back."

 

Althad and the Zhentarim all clear out to start their work for the day. The party gets together and talk about their concerns about the Zhentarim. Are they moving in on the town and trying to take it over as their base of operations? It seems pretty clear they are, which Captain Morgan does not like at all. However, there doesn't seem to be very much that the party can do about it.

 

Siero gets bored with all of the talking and he wanders off during the conversation. It's early morning now and there are a number of villagers up and about, starting to repair the town and its buildings and fortifications. Siero wants to talk to a villager, and he picks the smallest one because he thinks a small human must be trustworthy, so he walks up to an 8-year-old boy. The boy is amazed that a real live hero is talking to him!

Siero: "What do you think of the Zhentarim?"

Boy: "My dad calls them the Zhents. He thinks they're helping us out a lot, just like you guys! We wouldn't be around if it weren't for them!"

Siero and the boy chatter for a while about their respective adventures in the forest.

 

The party has decided that they want to know more about the elves, as one of the major players in the area they may know more about what happened in Nightstone. They decide to go and talk to Morak Urdray at the general store to find out more.

Captain Morgan: "Good morning, Morak!"

Morak: "And to you, Captain. Say, I've been meaning to ask you, what are you a Captain of exactly?"

Morgan: "Never mind that right now. Can you tell us anything about the town's relationship with the elves? I've heard that there is bad blood. What's the nature of the dispute?"

Morak: "Well, the dispute goes a long way back… we chopped down a bunch of trees to build the town when it was first founded."

Morgan: "So you don't know if there is any specific disputed issue right now?"

Morak: "I couldn't really say. Elves, you know, they tend to hold grudges. And the Lord of the town, well, he could be stubborn. He wasn't really one to mend fences. After he died, Lady Valrosa was interested in trying to resolve things. But I try not to stick my nose into Lords' business, you know."

Tom: "Have you ever traded with the elves?"

Morak: "No, they never come into town as far as I know, certainly never to my inn."

 

Silas, Morgan and Siero decide that they want to go and talk to the elves. They go to the keep to try and find the map that they saw earlier. Tom stays back at the inn to pet Wilson. Approaching the keep they can see the drawbridge has been partially repaired and it's easy to get across now. There aren't any Zhentarim visible at the keep, but the main doors into the first floor are locked. Morgan climbs a tree, then vaults across through a broken hole in the wall to get inside, and he opens the doors to let the others in. They go up the stairs to the library. Attached to the wall in the library there is a large area map showing Nightstone, the surroundings, and Ardeep Forest. Captain Morgan copies down the map while the others poke around the library a bit. As they are working, Silas hears someone approaching.

Althad Dram: "Hey, what's going on?"

Silas: "We're copying this map."

Althad: "You should have asked me! We have a great map of the area. Come with me and I can give you a copy."

 

While the group are walking back out of the keep, Siero tries to discreetly start a conversation with the small winged snake on Althad's arm. He realizes very quickly that it's the exact same snake that Kella had, and he also realizes that Althad has a long-term relationship with this snake, like he's known it for years. Althad witnesses Siero talking to the snake, but he doesn't intervene to stop it.

 

Althad leads the party to the outer fortifications, where he calls over one of the Zhentarim scouts and asks for his map, which he gives to Morgan. This map shows a significantly larger area, maybe 100 miles wide, and it is very much more detailed… although it doesn't show any details inside Ardeep Forest. He says the party can keep the map and they thank him.

 

The party regroup at the inn and prepare to leave. As they are getting ready, Captain Morgan asks Tom if there are any magical effects on the map that Althad gave them, but Tom doesn't know.

 

Nivah and Wilson take the lead, and the party heads out of town towards Ardeep Forest. They find a path that heads into the forest. Tom is humming a walking song… inside everyone's head, which is very disconcerting. The forest quickly becomes thick, and not much sunlight reaches the ground. As the party travels, they are not trying to be stealthy but they are trying to be aware of their environment.

 

After a few hours of traveling deeper into the forest, Nivah sees a couple of elves watching them from a distance. She waves at them and they wave back. The party walks over to them.

Nivah: (in Elvish) "There has been some trouble in the area and we wanted to alert your people to the danger."

Elves: (in Elvish) "Do you mean the giants in the castle? We saw them overhead."

Nivah: "We have some news about events that we wanted to share."

Elves: "Elowae would be interested to hear that."

Captain Morgan: (in Elvish) "May we come with you to speak to her?"

Elves: "Yes, please follow us to our village."

 

The party follows the elves through the forest. They aren't taking what appears to be a normal path, but the elves have no problem slipping quietly through the trees.

Captain Morgan: (in Elvish) "Thank you for allowing us into your forest."

Elves: (in Common) "You know, we can speak Common."

Morgan: (in Common) "Well, we heard that the humans in the area have not always been so courteous in their dealings, so we wanted to make a good impression. What are your names?"

Elves: "I am Aegnor." "And I am Earwyn."

Morgan: "Well met! I am Captain Morgan, wandering diplomat and adventurer, and these are my companions."

(Captain Morgan does introductions all around. Tom does some prestidigitation to turn his hand into a tentacle when he waves.)

Morgan: "We have heard that the humans in this area have caused some offense in the past, and we were wondering if there were any trouble spots or forbidden areas that we should stay away from."

Aegnor: "That was all before my time. Well, I have heard that Lord Nadar of Nightstone was never friendly to us, and would send us away. We have very little contact with humans these days."

 

The elves lead them to a small forest village, maybe 15-20 small wooden buildings in the elvish style. There are some small buildings in the trees, and some larger buildings on the ground. The village seems to be mostly agricultural, with small subsistence farms scattered in clearings; there is no evidence of commerce or shops or any industry.

 

The party's elvish guides approach an elvish woman who is farming in a field.

Earwyn: "Lady Elowae, these adventurers have come to talk to you, from the human town of Nightstone."

Lady Elowae: "Welcome to Ardeep Forest, and to our village."

Siero: (blurting out) "Do all giants till the land?"

Elowae: (smiling) "Ah, a forest gnome! We haven't had one of your kind in a while. Welcome, little one. I am not a giant, though I may seem it to you."

Silas: "We thought you should know that cloud giants attacked Nightstone two days ago, and Lady Nadar is dead."

Eloway: "We saw the giants overhead, but we didn't connect their appearance to Nightstone. I am sorry to hear of your loss."

Nivah: "What are you doing here?"

Eloway: "We live here, we till the land, and are happy."

Tom: "We are following up on the attack, of course, and trying to help the good people of Nightstone. They report trouble with goblins, and hobgoblins, raiding from the north. Have you had any trouble with a crew led by a hobgoblin called Hark?"

Elowae: "We have had more trouble recently. We've killed maybe 15-20 goblins in the last month, defending the forest."

Silas: "They have been raiding the town of Nightstone, and completely overran it after the giant attack killed most of the guards. We're worried about them posing a continuing threat to Nightstone, and we're also worried they might attack the elves."

Elowe: "Your concern is not unappreciated, but I'd be surprised if Lord Nadar wanted to treat with us. He has thrown us out of the town multiple times in the past."

Silas: "Do you send out patrols, do you send elves outside the boundaries of the forest?"

Elowae: "Very rarely."

Silas: "We found two dead bodies of elves nearby, they were killed by undead. They were wearing these cloaks." (gives her the cloaks)

Elowae: "We have lost a couple of scouts as of late… but we haven't seen any undead. We are a simple village, we don't have any soldiers or a professional fighting force."

Silas: "Are you familiar with a ruin that lies to the east of here?"

Elowae: "There is an ancient ruin… we have avoided it."

Silas: "We found it was infested by darkness, and we cleared out a necromancer and his undead minions. But there are more serious threats that remain. We believe it's in our best interest, and in your best interests as well, if we can take care of this goblin encampment."

Tom: "We have this map. Do you have any information about the area to the north? With your keen elvish eyes… perhaps you can help us scout?"

Elowae: "There are some caves in the hills to the north of Nightstone, we know of the region in general. But we don't know their location to mark it on a map."

Silas: "Would any of your elves be interested in coming with us to help deal with this threat?"

Elowae: "We mostly stick to ourselves."

 

At this point an elf assistant comes up and talks to Lady Elowae in in Sylvan. Silas hears a few words but can't make anything out.

Silas: "With respect (pointing at the dead scout's cloak) the problem has already come to your doorstep. You need to get involved or else more of your people will die." ::uses a Persuasion check, rolls a 23::

Lady Elowae: "I certainly appreciate your argument. However we have few people who are combat trained. And with Quedraxenor nearby, we can't really spare anyone."

Tom: "What's Quedraxenor?"

Elowae: "He is a green dragon that has been nearby in the area, in the forest. But I would implore you to please stay away from him, he is powerful and has been pushing us out of the area. If only we could find Andurshel, the spear of our people, we might have a chance – but we haven't seen it in a hundred years, since the Black Skull orcs overran our former village a hundred years ago."

Morgan: "Are you familiar with the Zhentarim mercenaries who are moving in to the area?"

Elowae: "We have almost no interaction with the humans, so we haven't heard of these Zhentarim."

Silas: "Thank you for any help you can give us."

 

Lady Elowae's assistant returns and bows to her, handing her a package wrapped in green cloth. She unwraps it and shows it to Silas.

Lady Elowae: "These herbs may aid you in your travels. (There are 4 packets, that can be used on a short rest to recover half of a character's hit dice.) If you do ever come across Andurshel, please let us know. It is a long spear with a curved blade at the end, I believe it was green metal."

Tom: (constructs a magical image of the spear to show her – rolling a natural 1). "Did it look like this?"

Elowae: "Yes… it looks nothing like that."

Silas: "Do you want the bodies of your scouts returned to you?"

Elowae: "Perhaps if you just show us where they are?"

Silas: "Have you had any dealings with giants?"

Elowae: "We never speak to giants, and we have had very few sightings recently."

Captain Morgain: "Does the word Ordning mean anything to you, in relation to giants?"

Elowae: "It's how the giants determine who is more powerful than each other."

(Captain Morgan now remembers… it is the social hierarchy, where storm giants are above hill giants, etc. He also remembers something vaguely about the god of giants, who imposed a social order on them, and now they don’t fight any more.)

Captain Morgan: "Thank you for your hospitality and generosity. It is greatly appreciated. We will bring you further news as we find it."

 

--

 

The party is given a friendly escort out of the forest by the elves, who point them north into the hill country. It's a long walk, and the sun is heading towards the hills in the west as they move up into the foothills, passing through light forest. Suddenly, the party is ambushed by a group of four goblins wielding shortbows, and led by two bugbears with hide armor, morningstar and shield. Fortunately, Nivah spots the goblins just before they attack, so their ambush is spoiled.

 

 

Round 1

Nivah uses a Hunter's Mark on the nearest bugbear, and shoots it with an arrow for 7 damage. Tom attacks one of the goblins with his tentacle for 5 points; the goblin squeals and shies back behind a tree. Siero runs forward, transforming into a dire wolf as he goes, standing in between Nivah and Morgan ready to defend them.

 

The bugbears run up and Wiero reacts, pouncing at one which fends him off with its shield. The bugbear swings back at him, but the blow is deflected by his heavy fur. The other bugbear moves to flank and strikes Nivah brutally in the shoulder with its morningstar, for a crushing 12 points of damage. The goblins open fire with a volley from their shortbows – an arrow flies at Tom but misses, Wiero is struck twice for 15 points of damage, and an arrow critically hits Wilson for 10 points.

 

Captain Morgan steps back from combat, holding his nose. He casts Tasha's Uncontrollable Hideous Laughter, saying "What's that smell? It must be bugbears!!" The bugbear must find this extremely funny because it falls to the ground laughing uncontrollably, dropping its morningstar. Captain Morgan hides behind a tree and takes aim with his new flintlock pistol. Wilson is super enraged at everything, and tries to bite the other bugbear but misses. Silas is slowly charging uphill in his heavy armor but hasn't reached the combat yet.

 

Round 2

Nivah takes a step back out of melee range, and takes a point-blank shot, punching through the bugbear's armor and striking him in the chest for 13 points. Tom then uses Dissonant Whispers to instill terror on the bugbear, causing 7 points of psychic damage. It turns to run and collapses from sheer fright. Now that the bugbears are incapacitated by laughter and terror respectively, Wiero is free to lope over to the goblins and pounces on one, knocking it to the ground and ripping out its throat instantly. Morgan moves forward to take cover behind a new tree, and takes aim with his pistol, shooting a goblin with a loud BANG and a shower of sparks, for 4 points of damage. Wilson charges into the line goblin archers and tries to bite one, but misses. Silas decides to finish off the incapacitated bugbear and stabs him for 10 points, but he still keeps laughing.

 

Round 3

Nivah takes aim on a goblin archer peeking out from behind a tree, and her arrow takes him through the eye for 10 points, sending him flying back! Tom takes aim at the prone bugbear with a Ray of Frost and misses, freezing a patch of ground. Wiero pounces on a goblin archer, grabs him and shakes him for 23 points. Little pieces of goblin archer rain down around. Seeing this, the bugbear stops laughing and stands up – just in time for Captain Morgan to engage him with rapier and pistol, striking him with a slash for 8 points. The last goblin drops his shortbow and runs away as fast as he can, but Wilson is pursuing right behind him.

 

Round 4

Nivah takes aim at the fleeing goblin and strikes him in the back of the head for 9 points; he flops to the ground, killed instantly. Tom summons a Witchbolt, and a fountain of lightning arcs out from his hand towards the bugbear, but he takes it on his shield, deflecting it. Wiero runs into the fray, but he trips and falls. The bugbear growls and brings his morningstar down with a mighty blow, smashing down on Morgan's pirate hat for 17 points, badly injuring him. Captain Morgan is badly fazed, and takes a step back, firing his pistol wildly but missing.

 

Round 5

Nivah shoots at the bugbear but misses. Tom uses the Hand of Jones but also misses. Finally, Wiero picks himself up off the ground and leaps on the bugbear from behind, bites him in the neck for 15 points and bringing him to the ground dead.

 

 

The party gathers up and loots the bodies, finding some poor-quality goblin armor that isn't worth taking, and a total of 87cp and 15sp in their pouches. Also, one of the bugbears has a scrap of paper in his pouch that appears to be a wanted poster for the party, drawn crudely by some humanoid! The party have a good laugh about this while they take a short rest to heal.

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Captain Morgan's Log #7
1-7: Interlude at the Inn

Session 7 – 03/21/17

Campaign Day 4 – 19th Eleasis – Midday

It is the fourth day of the party's adventure, the 19th of Eleasis (Highsun). The party have just returned from an expedition to recover some captured townsfolk, during which they battled the hobgoblin necromancer Balggliz, who escaped. Some of the party were badly wounded, and everyone is exhausted. After resting for the rest of the night and the morning, they attain Level 3.

 

Captain Morgan goes to talk to Morak Urdray. Morak is starting to take care of getting the town on its feet, leading some townsfolk to repair damage to the inn and the general store. There are more Zhentarim in town now, ten in total plus their commander Althad Dram.

Morgan: "Did you run this store originally, Morak?"

Morak: "No, I'm just an innkeeper. Sadly, the shopkeeper was killed in the attack."

Morgan: "What's your relationship with the Zhentarim? In my experience they don't tend to protect people out of the generosity of their hearts."

Morak: "Well, you know, their trade routes need to be protected, it's in their own best interest. Incidentally, can I sell you any adventuring gear?"

 

Captain Morgan buys a bottle of ink and five sheets of paper so that he can take notes and make maps as they travel. He also asks Morak about the "Ordning" which was something that Balggliz shouted during the battle. However, Morak can't shed any light on the matter. Thinking about it for a while, Captain Morgan does vaguely remember the name of a sage in Waterdeep who is rumored to be an expert on giant lore in the region. He thinks his name might be something like Merrill Brighthammer.

 

The rest of the party are resting at the inn and dividing their loot. Tom has spent some time investigating the items they found in the necromancer's lair, reading over the laboratory notebook that he recovered and trying to learn more about his plans. He discovers that the two ogres were received from the goblin Boss Hark through some kind of a trade.

 

Tom identifies the ointment they found wrapped in leaves in the wight's chest as Keoghtum's Ointment, a thick mixture that smells faintly of aloe. There are four doses of the ointment, that can be swallowed or applied to the skin. Each dose will heal 2d8+2 points of damage, and also cure poison and disease. The party decides that Captain Morgan will carry the ointment. Siero gives the potion of healing that he has been carrying to Tom, since it's not possible for him to access any items in his inventory while shapechanged.

 

Tom also identifies the two glowing blue arrows that they found as as lightning arrows. They are enchanted for +4 damage, and make a noise of thunder and a flash of light when they strike a target. The enchantment on them is persistent and they can be reused multiple times (unless you roll a 1 on 1d6 to recover the arrow). Nivah takes the arrows and places them carefully in her quiver. Tom also advises her that the arrows have a command word which, when spoken, will consume the enchantment to release a lightning bolt upon impact. This will deal 3d6 damage (DEX save for half) to everything in a line for 30' after the point of impact. Nivah is very excited at the possibility of wielding such destructive power…

 

The party decide to spend the rest of the day resting in town. Captain Morgan goes to the keep, and tries to convince the Zhentarim that he's working to defend the town – so they should let him take a hand crossbow and some bolts from the town guards' armory. After practicing with this for a while, he feels good about his ability to use it. For the remainder of the day he stays in the keep's library researching giants. He doesn't uncover very much, although there is one reference to a giant attack hundreds of years ago that was mentioned as being "for the Ordning". He doesn't find out anything else significant about the Nightstone itself.

 

Nivah has taken off by herself, leaving the town without telling anyone and wandering around in the forest alone. She has bought 50 gold worth of fine food, and is trying to track down an animal companion. After a few hours, she finds the tracks of a giant angry weasel, and is able to magically commune with him, calming him down slightly and developing a strong bond. She decides to call this weasel "Wilson" and fashions a gold necklace for him to wear.

 

Silas and Siero are bored hanging around the inn, and they decide that since everyone else is occupied, they are going to go back to investigate Balggliz' lair. They return and cautiously enter the ruined elven city, looking for any new tracks, but they do not find any signs of tracks either entering or leaving the lair since they left the previous night. They pass through several rooms and return to the area with the portcullis trap. Silas lifts the gate and they both pass underneath, letting the gate crash down loudly behind them.

 

Silas and Siero enter the room where the encounter with Balggliz took place. There is more light now that it's daytime, filtering down through indirect openings in the ceiling. This allows them to see the room better, and amidst the debris of battle Silas notices a few bodies that they didn't search before. There's a dead elf wearing green studded leather, carrying a few shortswords and a longbow with 20 arrows, and wearing a cloak worked with fine elvish heraldry. He also sees a human dressed in rough sailor's garb, carrying a bag of silver and a gunpowder flintlock pistol, and wearing a bandana with unfamiliar markings. They strip the equipment from these mysterious adventurers and continue onward.

 

Siero investigates the door on the far side of the room, and not finding anything unusual, opens it wide. It leads into a large room that wraps around to the right side. This appears to be a set of living quarters that have been established within the ruin, and it's definitely the room from which the necromancer was casting magic spells at Captain Morgan. There's a bed with relatively nice bedding, an armoire, some clothing, and a modest assortment of statuary, paintings and rugs. The roof is open at the top and natural light is filtering downwards. As they look around they can see signs of a hurried escape, with clothes and a few small valuables scattered around.

 

Silas loots the room for items of value. Scattered on the floor he finds 3 small carved bone statues each worth roughly 25 gold pieces, and a pair of moonstones that fell into a corner, each worth 50 gold pieces. There's also a small chest inside the armoire. Siero and Silas are both unsure what to do with this, breaking and entering not really being their specialty, but they open it and it turns out not to be locked. In fact, it's full of money… 168 copper pieces, 216 silver pieces, 112 gold pieces, and also three potions. Siero is bored with the money and looks for secret doors, but he doesn't find anything. After finishing their search, they return to town, with Silas carrying all of the treasure in the chest.

 

Silas and Siero return to the inn to find Captain Morgan drinking in the common room and practicing with his hand crossbow. They tell him about the sailor with the pistol and show him the bandana. Captain Morgan pretends not to recognize the markings on the bandana, but it identifies him as a member of Elizabeth Swann's traitorous pirate crew who deserted him and stole his ship two years ago. He does take the pistol, though. "Strange to find a seafarer so far from the sea."

 

Later that afternoon, Nivah returns to town, accompanied by a new six-foot-long giant weasel, whom she introduces as "Wilson". Wilson seems to be quite angry, even for a weasel. Everyone is fairly uneasy about this new addition to the party, except Siero who is thrilled. Captain Morgan tries to befriend Wilson by offering him some steak and ale, and he seems to enjoy the meat, but he's still quite skittish.

Wilson

 

Silas takes all of the party's surplus equipment and incidental items, and goes to see Morak at the general store. He sells the gear and commissions a new set of splint mail, which Morak says will take the village blacksmith about two days to put together. The new armor is expensive and wipes out all Silas' free cash, but Siero doesn't mind giving him "some of these shiny rocks that I don't need and he seems to enjoy", lending him another 26gp. Silas also spends some time identifying the new potions that they found, two of them are healing, and one is invisibility. Silas and Siero take healing potions while Nivah takes the invisibility potion.

 

The party end their day of rest with dinner together in the inn's common room, laughing and sharing stories.

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Captain Morgan's Log #6
1-6: Balggliz's Lair

Session 6 – 03/07/17

Campaign Day 3 – 18th Eleasis – Midnight

The party is in a ruined dungeon complex looking for a hobgoblin necromancer named Balggliz, trying to free some townsfolk he has captured. It is late at night, just after midnight.

 

The party leaves the room with the ogre corpses and alchemical experiments, retracing their steps, with Nivah out ahead sneaking along. They return to the large room which contained the ambush of the ceiling zombies, and Nivah moves ahead to scout the room's other exit. She can see a large pile of corpses, a ghoul that is feasting messily on the corpses, and five zombies moaning and wandering aimlessly. Off to one side of the area she can see a cart parked against a wall… maybe this is the cart that the villagers were transported in? She returns to the party and they discuss tactics.

 

Captain Morgan wants to set a fire trap for the zombies, but Silas thinks setting a fire underground isn't really a good idea, and the party backs him up. Captain Morgan acquiesces, but then behind Silas' back he sneakily tries anyway to make an improvised molotov cocktail. He isn't sneaky enough and Silas sees him doing it.

Silas: "What are you doing?! Are you an idiot?"

Morgan: "I'm going to burn the zombies! It's the only way to be sure."

Silas: "If a fire starts down here there's going to be a bunch of smoke and it's going to suffocate us all!"

Morgan: "No… I don't think that's going to happen…"

 

-—-

 

Surprise Round

To end the argument, Tom steps forward and conjures a tentacle out of the ground to grab a zombie for 6 points of damage. Nivah shoots the same zombie with a surprise arrow in the chest for a further 10 points. Captain Morgan also shoots him with an arrow in the leg for 5 points. Siero casts a Shillelagh.

 

Round 1

The ghoul looks up in surprise, throws down the leg bone that it was chomping on, and sprints off towards the side. Silas and Siero ready their actions in case any zombies come towards the party. Tom conjures another tentacle that grabs the zombie for a further 5 points of damage, and it falls to the ground; the tentacles retract into the ground and disappear. Nivah shoots an arrow at the ghoul that sticks in his shoulder for 8 points. The zombies move up towards the party's front line, two of them menacing closely. Silas slashes one for 4 points, while Siero hits the other in the leg for 8 points. Captain Morgan throws his molotov cocktail at the middle rank of zombies, and it bursts apart in a glorious shower of flaming oil, burning one zombie for 2 points. The Captain is very impressed with himself.

 

Round 2

The ghoul runs up into the middle of the party and claws at Tom, raking across his chest deeply for 7 points of damage, and he is paralyzed! Silas returns the favor, slashing the ghoul for 4 points. Nivah takes a point-blank shot at the ghoul, hitting him in the side for 6 points. Siero is horrified at the ghoul so close to him, and shouts something unintelligible, leaping up and shapeshifting into a dire wolf! Everyone is quite taken aback at this tiny gnome transforming into a five-hundred-pound wolf. The newly transformed Wolf-Siero (or "Wiero") takes a big bite out of the ghoul's neck for 10 points, sending it to the ground. The zombies move to attack; one claws at Silas for 5 points, while two attack Wiero, one misses and the other clonks him on the head with a femur for 5 points. Captain Morgan draws his rapier and stabs the bone-wielding zombie in the eye for 11 points.

 

Round 3

Silas slashes the scythe-wielding zombie for 8 points of damage. Nivah shoots him with an arrow for 6 points, dropping him. Wiero leaps over the battle, pouncing on a fresh zombie and biting him for 11 points of damage. The pounce attack knocks over the zombie, who slowly gets back to his feet again. The two standing zombies attack Wiero, one of them misses, but the bone-wielding zombie clonks him on the head again for 4 points. Captain Morgan stabs him in the other eye for 11 points and he goes down.

 

Round 4

Silas moves in from the side with a mighty swing for 11 points, cleanly taking the head off a zombie. Tom starts to feel sensation returning to his limbs and starts to move again. Nivah shoots the last remaining zombie with an arrow in the shoulder for 8 points, and then Wiero bites him again for 9 points of damage, killing him.

 

 

As the last of the undead bodies slump to the ground, Captain Morgan edges uneasily over to the gigantic drooling dire wolf that has just torn several of them to pieces. He asks cautiously "Siero, is that you in there?" The wolf sniffs the air, saying nothing, but it can smell living things coming from the opposite passage, and it lopes off down the passage. Captain Morgan follows Wiero (although not too closely), staying stealthy, while the rest of the party stays to search the room. The cart is empty and doesn’t have any corpses on it any more. The large pile of corpses is all rotted and doesn't seem to have any fresh townsfolk in it.

 

As the party enters the tunnel to the next area, it's getting very dark. Wiero steps on a pressure plate and a portcullis slams down, almost squashing Morgan, who leaps back out of the way. At the same time, four zombies fall from the ceiling, but several of them land hard and fall prone. Now Wiero is trapped in a dark room with a bunch of zombies – although he can see a few villagers tied up against one wall.

 

Round 1

Thomas pulls out a torch and ignites it with a wave of his hand, shedding light into the room. Nivah switches places with Silas, and then shoots an arrow through the melee, over Morgan's head, and into a zombie's shoulder for 9 points. Silas switches places with Captain Morgan, who is jostled around a bit but manages to shoot another arrow through the melee, hitting the same zombie for 8 more points of damage. The zombies all stand up and move to attack Wiero, whose back is up against the portcullis. The cornered dire wolf lashes out with a bite, ripping open one zombie's chest for 11 damage, but he remains standing. Two of the zombies bite at Wiero, both scoring shallow cuts for 9 points.

 

Round 2

Wiero bites the same zombie again for 11 points, tearing him into separate pieces that fall to the ground. Tom conjures a tentacle that wraps around the front-most zombie and burns it for 5 points of damage. As he does, Nivah shoots an arrow through the melee at the same zombie, hitting for 8 points of damage. By this time Silas has made his way through the party's ranks to the portcullis, and strains trying to lift it off the ground, but he can't get a good grip and it falls back down. Captain Morgan hits the front zombie with another arrow for 4 points, and he's still standing but is now swaying a bit on his feet. The back rank of zombies moves up, spreading out to surround Wiero in a clawing and weapon-swinging mass. However only one of the three connects, dealing a minor injury for 3 points.

 

Round 3

Wiero bites back at the surrounding zombies, but is shaken and misses. At this point, the party are surprised to hear someone yell out from the shadows. A harsh voice speaks in the Common tongue, saying "Fools! I am the only thing to stand between you and the Ordning! Fight me at your peril!"

Hearing this, Captain Morgan stops and thinks for a moment. He's heard the name 'Ordning' before and thinks it might have something to do with giants, but in the heat of battle he can't quite recall.

While Captain Morgan is thinking, a green ray shoots from the shadows on the right-hand side where the harsh voice came from. The ray strikes Wiero, causing his fur to wither and dealing 16 points of poison damage. Captain Morgan identifies it as necromantic magic, maybe a Ray of Sickness. Thomas uses Dissonant Whispers for 15 points of psychic damage, which makes his zombie target's brain squish out its ears. Zombies don't need a brain to survive though, and it lurches around to flee, provoking a reaction from Wiero… who promptly bites off its head. There are now only two remaining zombies, and Nivah strikes one of them in the eye with an arrow for 5 points, taking him down. Silas grabs the portcullis and with a mighty heave lifts it upwards, just enough for Captain Morgan to get underneath and move into the room. Morgan is looking for enemies where the voice was coming from, but he doesn't find any… except there might be some hiding spaces behind the wall perhaps? The last zombie standing claws at Wiero and slashes him for 4 points, which is enough to puncture Siero's shapeshifting magic, and he transforms back into gnome form, panting heavily from the effort.

 

Round 4

The newly revealed gnomish Siero moves out of the passageway in order to let others through, and raises his Shillelagh to fend off the last zombie in a defensive stance. Captain Morgan is searching for enemies, and he hears someone on the other side of the wall shout out "Leave! NOW!". His instincts tell him to duck just as another green necromantic ray shoots out of the wall over his head. Thomas moves out of the passage into the room, and conjures a tentacle that attacks the zombie, burning it slightly. Nivah also moves out of the passage and past the zombie, then spins and shoots him right in the chest with an arrow for 9 points. Silas is last to enter the room, dropping the portcullis he was holding. He draws his sword and strikes the last zombie in the shoulder, hurting him badly. Captain Morgan calls out to the necromancer behind the wall, saying "Balggliz – is that your name? We're fighting the giants as well! We have no quarrel with you. We're here for the townsfolk, that's all!" The shadowy figure doesn't sound convinced, yelling out in response, "I don't believe you!" Amazingly, the zombie is still standing, and it claws at Siero, scratching him for 2 points.

 

Round 5

Siero is furious at the zombie, clubbing it in the leg and sending it to the ground. The necromancer once again shouts out "Leave! NOW!". Peering through a hole in the wall, Captain Morgan can now see his attacker clearly, it's the hobgoblin necromancer that they saw the day previously, wearing a purple robe from which a skeletal hand protrudes. As Morgan looks through the hole, another green ray stabs out from the necromancer's hand, striking him for 7 points of poison damage. Tom moves up to support Captain Morgan, but he doesn't have a clear shot at the necromancer, and instead he readies an action to attack anyone else who enters the chamber. Nivah moves up and frees the villagers from their ropes.

Captain Morgan shouts out "Balggliz! We want to learn what you know of the Ordning! We won't attack you, but I warn you, if you harm me again, I will kill you!".

The necromancer says nothing in response.

Silas and Morgan talk about getting the villagers out of here on the cart, and hearing them, he shouts back "DO NOT take my future thrall!! Leave them there, and drop your weapons, and we can talk!"

At this point Tom interjects, trying to intimidate, "Arr, Bagliz! Let us go, and we'll let you live!"

The necromancer shouts back, "I won't say it again, leave them alone and drop your weapons!"

Silas replies "Die, scum!!".

Captain Morgan lowers his weapon and says "Balggliz, giants attacked Nightstone, and they took the Nightstone. We want to know what you know of the Ordning. We have no quarrel with you, please!".

There is no response.

Nivah and Silas go to help the villagers. They are too weak to walk but each of them helps one villager over to the portcullis.

 

Round 6

Captain Morgan and Thomas see a shape running away in the dimness behind the wall. Tom moves back towards the portcullis. Silas tries to lift the portcullis, and gets it a few feet off the ground but doesn't fully raise it. Finally realizing that the dim light is hindering their efforts, Captain Morgan lights a torch and wedges it into the ground so that the room is illuminated. The party hears a voice call out, from far away, "I will be back! You have not foiled my plans!"

 

-

 

The party regroup and help the villagers to their feet. Silas tries to lift the portcullis, but he's tired from the fight and it slips out of his grasp, crashing down to the ground. Captain Morgan plays an inspirational tune on his flute, which lends Silas a bit of good cheer, and after a few more tries he is able to lift the portcullis. The party and villagers make their way through, and retrace their steps to the entrance. As they're walking, Captain Morgan has a crazy idea … what if they left a note for the necromancer, and some money to pay him for the cart and the captives? He does seem to know something about the giants. Silas thinks this is out of the question. "The guy is evil, he's turning townsfolk into zombies! No negotiation, we need to come back here and kill him!"

 

The party find the exit and emerge from the elven ruins, to find a quiet night in the early hours of the morning. As they make their way slowly back to town, the villagers start to recover their nerve. They relate how they were captured when the goblins attacked Nightstone, and then sold at auction. The hobgoblin's cronies made them walk next to the cart full of corpses and they were terrified. A little while after leaving the auction, the hobgoblin came over to them and grabbed one of the villagers with his skeletal hand, and then all of them blacked out. They don't remember anything until the party found them in the ruin.

 

Because of the villagers' slow walking pace, it takes the party about three hours to get back to Nightstone. As they approach the sun is just rising. The town's drawbridge is down, and they can see two Zhentarim scouts up in the guard towers. The Zhentarim scouts call out a challenge as the party approaches, but as they get closer they are recognized and the scouts let the drawbridge down.

 

Everyone returns to the inn. Morak Urdray is just starting to get the inn's kitchen going for the morning, and when the party enters the common room he emerges to greet them.

Morak: "You're back! Praise the gods! What happened?"

Silas: "It was a long day, and a longer night, but we've found your townsfolk."

Morak: "That's marvellous! Some of the other townsfolk are back as well. Mercenaries found them, and brought them back last night."

All of the villagers are ecstatic to see Morak is alive, but they are exhausted. They slump down at tables and he fixes them some food.

 

While everyone is eating, Captain Morgan talks to Morak.

Morgan: "Morak, do you know of a hobgoblin necromancer named Balggliz? He lives in an elven ruin near here."

Morak:"No… but in the forest for the last couple of months, there has been a growing stench of undeath. The elves have seen more of this corruption. They warned us of its spread. But we didn't know where it was coming from."

 

The party is very tired after their long day and sleepless night. They settle into their rooms at the inn and take a long rest.

View
Captain Morgan's Log #5
1-5: Undead Fiesta

Session 5 – 02/07/17

Campaign Day 3 – 18th Eleasis – Evening

We return to the party after dusk on the third day of their adventure. It is the eighth month, Eleasis (Highsun), the 18th day. (Tom's player was absent for this session.)

 

The party is hunting for any townsfolk who were taken captive during the goblin raid on Nightstone. They tracked the goblin raiding party but were unable to prevent the sale of some townsfolk to a group of rough humans whom the party suspects of being slavers. This group have horses, but they are leading their captives on foot, so the party feels pretty confident that they will be able to catch up to them on their trail through the forest.

 

Old Tom has revealed the new and uncanny ability to see in the dark, claiming that he has the Sight of Davy Jones. His eyes now glow with the dim luminescence of an angler fish at night, and he seems to have Darkvision on par with the rest of the party. This allows the group to move through the forest without carrying any lights. Captain Morgan and Nivah are scouting ahead, moving stealthily, while Silas is trailing further back due to his heavy clanking plate mail.

 

As they move through the forest, the party tries to plan out their approach to the group. They could attempt to negotiate to buy back the townsfolk, but they left the majority of their money in Nightstone. Silas thinks they might be able to intimidate the slavers, but that would be hard with only four adventurers, one of whom is two feet tall. Captain Morgan suggests trying to create a distraction to split up the slavers, but no clear option presents itself besides riding in and killing everyone.

 

The party decides they need to get more information. Captain Morgan and Nivah move up to follow close behind the slavers' group. The terrain is a somewhat dense forest, with trees every 8 to 15 feet, and low scrub dotting the ground in between the trees. There are six guards and their horses, all wearing belted longswords, two with hand crossbows and four with shortbows. The three civilians are walking in the middle, with no sign of ropes or manacles, and two guards are walking with them while the remaining four take the corners on horseback. The civilians are talking to their guards in a low voice, but they don't sound agitated, which is curious.

 

Nivah and Captain Morgan try to get closer to eavesdrop on the conversation. As they approach, Captain Morgan catches his foot on a root and hops a little. One of the human guards hears this, and he slows down and turns to scan the forest. He calls out something and the rest of the group stops in their tracks. Morgan hits the ground, and uses a Minor Illusion to create the audible sound of a rabbit scampering off through the brush. The guards seem to believe that the sound came from an animal; after a few seconds they start moving away again. However, everyone has stopped talking, and the guards now see more wary.

 

Now that they are closer, Captain Morgan can see that a couple of the guards have a distinctive insignia stitched onto their cloaks, of a white dragon with its wings spread. Captain Morgan recognizes this as the logo of the Zhentarim, infamous mercenaries in this part of the Realms. Captain Morgan and Nivah return to the rest of the group and relate what they found. The group decides to go and confront the Zhentarim, with the goal of either buying back the townsfolk or intimidating the mercenaries into releasing their prisoners.

 

Eventually, about 30 minutes after the slave exchange took place, the party catches up to the Zhentarim just as they are starting to move down a hillside into a small meadow. Silas calls out in a booming voice, "Ho, travelers! Halt and parley!". At this, the mounted mercenaries immediately wheel their horses and gallop to assume combat positions. The party does nothing overtly hostile, allowing three mounted warriors to take up position on the flanks sixty to seventy feet out. The other three remain in a group with the civilians.

 

Zhentarim Leader: "I am Althad Dram of the Zhentarim. We were sent out to collect these civilians. What is your business with us?"

Silas: "We were also sent to collect them. Who sent you?"

Althad Dram: "Morak Urdray sent us. And you?"

Captain Morgan: "We are all adventurers who are assisting the civilians of Nightstone. I am Captain Morgan, a diplomat here to speak with Lady Nadar. When did you last speak with Morak Urdray?"

Althad Dram: "He is our contact in the town of Nightstone. We have not yet spoken to him directly about the civilians. We saw the goblins and decided to intervene and try to retrieve any civilians that we could."

Morgan: "May I speak to the civilians? I'd like to know who you were able to retrieve."

Althad Dram: "You may approach, but keep your weapons sheathed, as will we." He sheathes his crossbow.

 

Captain Morgan, Siero and Silas walk down the hill to the Zhentarim position. Morgan speaks with the civilians and confirms that yes, they definitely were kidnapped from Nightstone by goblins, and that the Zhentarim have told them they will be returned to their homes.

 

Althad Dram: "Many people on the Sword Coast believe that we Zhentarim are slavers, but this is simply not true. Fortunately, we were able to parlay this reputation into a deal with the goblins, and get them to sell us these captives. We didn't have enough coin on hand to rescue all of the civilians."

Morgan: "Do you know what is going to happen to the rest?"

Althad Dram: "The goblins made some kind of deal with that hobgoblin Baggliz – that guy does not seem good – he took a few civilians, and the dead bodies as well! There were also some left with Hark's group."

Morgan: "What do you know about Hark's base?"

Althad Dram: "Not much. We've lost a couple of patrols up there. It seems like he has a pretty big force. Surprising given they have no real food sources up there. We don't know how he's been able to build up his forces."

Silas: "Why don't a few of you come with us, we can take out the hobgoblin and then rescue the others?"

Althad Dram: "We don't know enough about the hobgoblin to risk an assault. Also, we just met you … I can't commit my forces in that fashion right now."

Morgan: "We understand completely. Thank you for your compassion in rescuing these people. If you're still in Nightstone when we get back, I'll buy you a drink!"

Althad Dram: "Thank you very much for your kind words… did you say you were a captain?"

Morgan: "Ah yes… indeed… now that's a story to have over a drink!"

 

After bidding farewell to the Zhentarim, the party quickly heads back north to try and intercept the hobgoblin's group. Nivah picks up some tracks about 3-4 miles east of the goblin camp. There appear to be 8 goblins, 2 civilians, and a cart pulled by a mule. After a short distance the goblin tracks disappear, and then six sets of shambling tracks emerge from the surrounding forest and form a procession around the cart. Nivah doesn't recognize these new tracks, but they are humanoid sized.

 

After a few hours travel, it is the middle of the night. The party are gaining on the cart and its escort, but only slowly. They decide to pick up the pace a bit, while Silas stays back to try and muffle the sound of his armor clanking. The party crests a hill, and in the distance they can see some kind of ruined fortress silhouetted against the clouds. It is surrounded by light forest and clearly the destination of their enemies. They continue down the hill and are approaching cautiously when they become aware of a pair of creatures running towards them – they are six feet tall, emaciated, wearing ragged clothing, with claws and long tongues and all-around scary looking. The creatures are about 100 feet away and closing fast.

Captain Morgan: "I don't know what those are but shoot them right now!!"

 

Round 1

Nivah shoots and skewers one creature through the shoulder with an arrow for 9 points. Siero moves up to a front line, casts Shillelagh and readies his action to strike the first creature in range. The creatures run towards the party, splitting up. Silas is a fair distance behind the party, and seeing them prepare for battle, he runs forward to rejoin them. Captain Morgan takes careful aim with his borrowed goblin shortbow, rolls a natural 1 and shoots wildly in the air.

 

Round 2

Nivah takes careful aim but also rolls a natural 1 and shoots wildly after Morgan's arrow. Siero steps forward and attacks the uninjured creature, rolling another natural 1 and whiffing his attack completely. Seeing that Siero is off balance, the creatures converge on him. Siero is surrounded by the stench of death as they claw at him but miss. Silas charges to his aid and aims a blow at the injured creature, opening a large slash in its head with a critical hit for 11 damage. Now that he's closer, he recognizes the creature as a ghoul and shouts out "Undead! Beware!". Morgan aims his shortbow and misses again, cursing the inferior goblin workmanship.

 

Round 3

Nivah fires again, hitting the ghoul that Silas injured, and it drops to the ground dead (or un-dead?). Siero attacks the remaining ghoul but it jumps back and he misses. Jumping forward, it catches him off guard and claws him deeply for 6 damage. As the claws cut into the skin of his chest, he feels all of his muscles stiffen up, and he is frozen in place! Silas rolls a natural 1 and misses. Morgan shoots and finally connects with his target, taking it in the chest for 9 damage.

 

Round 4

Nivah strikes the ghoul with another arrow, and it staggers back with its eyes red, hissing and growling. Siero tries heroically to move, and feels his limbs starting to loosen up a bit. Silas steps forward and clubs the ghoul with his shield for 6 damage, stoving in its chest and sending it down for the count.

 

Siero regains control of his limbs and is utterly horrified at what happened. He wants to burn the ghouls' corpses immediately, but is talked out of it for fear of giving away the party's location to everyone for miles around. Instead, Silas cuts off their heads and throws them away into the forest.

 

As the party moves onwards, they can see the walls of the ruined fortress. The cart is nowhere to be seen, and must have already been brought inside. The fortress is huge and sprawling, several times the size of the town of Nightstone. However, it is hundreds of years old and little is left except large moss-covered blocks of stone. There are few remnants showing where the road that led to the fortress was located, but the main gate is totally collapsed. The cart tracks lead to a ragged hole in one wall, an entryway made from jumbled blocks of stone. In the dim light it almost looks like a cave entrance.

 

The party approach the ruins and see signs of decay and corruption in the forest all around them – rot, fungus, and dying trees. Not wanting to take the obvious front door, they take some time climbing around the sides to look for an alternate entrance of some kind. After spending a few minutes they don't find anything significant … there are some holes that might lead into an interior space, but nothing that is a clear entrance.
 

Nivah sneaks in by herself this time; Captain Morgan isn't feeling so good about his stealth skills after the "rabbit" episode earlier in the evening. The cave-like entrance quickly narrows and becomes more like a crack in the wall; two people can fit in side-by-side. After a short distance it opens up into an interior space. Nivah moves ahead, looking for traps. There's a musky stench of death in the air and she can hear a low moaning in the air. Morgan asks Silas if he can hold the Alchemist's Fire, you know, just in case…

 

Silas moves past Nivah, using his Divine Sense to sense undead in the area. He doesn’t sense any, but right as he crosses the threshold, four zombies come crashing down on top of him! They all claw at his armor, one of them manages to get through and does 6 points of damage.

 

Round 1

Nivah skewers a zombie with an arrow for 11 damage, staggering it. Morgan misses it with an arrow. The zombies all stand up from where they fell prone and attack Silas. Two of them puncture his armor and deal 10 damage; he is starting to get badly hurt. Silas hits back at the wounded zombie and hits it for 5 damage. As he does so, he invokes the power of his deity in a Divine Smite. A burst of radiant energy engulfs the zombie, dealing a further 13 points of radiant damage and completely vaporizing its top half. Siero moves up to Silas and heals him for 10 points.

 

Round 2

Nivah uses a Hunter's Mark on one of the zombies, which highlights it with a red arrow above his head. She then hits it with a critically aimed arrow for 17 points of damage. Morgan fires another arrow, hitting it this time, and it falls down … and then stands right back up again. The three remaining zombies attack Silas again, doing 9 points of damage. Silas aims a massive overhand blow at the zombie that just stood up, smashing him for 11 points of damage, and he goes down and doesn't get back up. Siero heals Silas again for 7 points.

 

Round 3

Nivah moves her Hunter's Mark to another zombie, and strikes him with an arrow that rips away his jawbone and cheek, dealing 12 points of damage. As he's staggering, Morgan hits him in the shoulder with another arrow for 4 points. The two remaining zombies attack Silas again, doing 3 points of damage. Silas hits the wounded zombie for 9 points, and he staggers, falling back and staying down. Siero draws his club and moves up beside Silas, smashing the last zombie in the sternum for 10 points.

 

Round 4

Nivah moves her Hunter's Mark to the last zombie, aiming an arrow at him that hits him in the eye for 10 points. Morgan shoots another arrow but misses. Silas hits the zombie for 4 points of damage and it falls to the ground, then gets back up again, just in time for Siero to club it back down to the ground again, smashing it for 8 points.

 

 

All of the zombies are down now. Captain Morgan says "Zombies. I hate zombies!. Why did it have to be zombies?! I'm not sure I've had enough rum for this." He takes a drink of rum.

 

Inspecting the room, Silas can see there was a ledge of some kind above the door, with ropes that were presumably suspending the zombies up above, until he triggered a trap that caused them to be dropped down. The room appears to have been excavated out of the surrounding rubble at some point in the past. It's about 40 feet wide and 80 feet long, and is not a deliberately constructed room, but appears to have been carved out of the remains of several old ruined rooms. There are two exits – to the right, there is some evidence of disturbance in the dust, and to the left it looks more abandoned. The party considers taking a short rest but decide to keep pushing on because they're worried about the time-critical plight of the captured townsfolk. Instead, Silas quickly draws on his deity's power to partially heal himself.

 

The party heads down the right-hand hallway, with Nivah moving stealthily up front. After a distance the passage turns, and enters a large ruined room that has been uncovered from the past glory of the fortress. It looks as though it once had a fairly ornate floor, although only remnants are left now from so long ago. The room is maybe sixty feet wide and a hundred feet across; there are a lot of dead bodies along the back side of the room, some humans, goblins and elves, all badly decomposed. Silas uses his undead sense but none of the bodies are undead. The party moves through the room to the single entrance on the far side. Morgan examines some of the elvish bodies, and he recognizes some of their insignia as maybe being from the elves of Ardeep Forest. He takes one of their cloaks. They continue onwards.

 

Nivah scouts out the next room, which is even more clearly an excavated room from the elven fortress. This room is partially filled with some strange equipment – there are two tables with ogre corpses on them, and some kind of medical experiment going on with fluids being pumped into them. There is also a chest off to one side. In the middle of the room is an undead humanoid of some kind that Nivah has never seen before. This guardian is armored, and is standing motionless, with white hair and red eyes, wielding a longsword. There are no obvious exits from the room.

 

Nivah sneaks back to the party and reports on what she's seen. They have a brief, quiet debate about whether to go in and attack the undead guardian, or head back and look for the missing townfolk. In the end, Captain Morgan's enthusiasm is able to overcome the caution of the rest of the group. Silas casts a blessing and the party attack!

 

Round 1

Siero strolls into the room and prepares a defensive action. Nivah casts Hunter's Mark and aims an arrow at the undead, which hits it for 12 points. The undead warrior moves forward with uncanny agility, swinging its sword at Siero and also trying to grab him with a glowing blue hand, but both attacks miss. Captain Morgan casts Faerie Fire and the undead warrior spins away out of the area of effect, but one of the ogre corpses starts glowing purple! Silas attacks the warrior, using both his Bardic Inspiration and Divine Smite in an attempt at a heroic blow. His sword glows white with the radiance of the divine, and this energy explodes on contact with the undead for a massive 30 points of radiant damage. The undead warrior is thrown back, and while it is reeling, Siero steps up and hits with his shillelagh, dealing another 3 points of damage.

 

Round 2

Nivah shoots another arrow at the undead warrior but it ricochets off its armor. The undead warrior recovers its footing and swings its rusty, ancient sword at Silas, slashing him for 10 points. As it does so, its off hand glows blue again with eldritch energy, but the paladin manages to dodge out of the way of the attempted grab. Captain Morgan moves up to support Silas, casting a healing spell on his friend just as he unleashes another Divine Smite on the undead warrior. The blow connects, detonating with a flash of light that shatters it into two pieces. As it dies, it lets out a hideous, inhuman screech of uncanny pitch and volume. This shriek echoes throughout the complex and must surely be heard by all its occupants. As the party hear this sound, Silas finally recognizes the undead warrior as being a wight.

 

 

After the fight, Captain Morgan is uneasy about the bodies in the room. He goes to look at the ogre that his spell caused to glow purple, being extremely careful not to touch it. Upon examination he concludes that it is dead and doesn't pose any danger, but oddly enough although this ogre has been dead a long time, its corpse remains very fresh. The wight's corpse is altogether different, its withered undead flesh suggests extreme age and it is wrapped in a set of decayed armor and holding a rusted sword. None of the bodies seem inclined to jump up and return to life (or undeath), much to his relief.

 

The party spread out and search the room, looking for treasure or secret doors. Captain Morgan looks for valuable stuff he can steal in the alchemical equipment, but doesn't find any. Nivah goes to check out the chest in the middle of the room. It is locked but does not appear to have any traps laid upon it. After a few attempts she is able to unlock and open the chest, extracting its contents. She finds four small garnets (50gp each), a brace of non-magical daggers, a shortsword, some paste wrapped in leaves, and two arrows that glow with a blue inner light. She is very interested in the arrows but gives all of the items to Silas for safe keeping.

 

Old Tom discovers a ledger sitting on a cabinet, and flips through it. It's written in several languages – Goblin, Arcane, and something else he doesn't recognize. Using the sight granted to him by Davy Jones, he realizes that he can read these languages! There are descriptions of lab experiments, numerous arcane rituals, and some kind of alchemical experiments being performed on the ogres. The writer's goal seems to have been to create a new kind of ogre zombie… however, it appears that the necromancer didn't have sufficient magical power to achieve his goal through spellcasting, so he turned to unusual alchemical techniques, and was possibly using residual elven magic found in the ruin to supplement his magical power. Old Tom is intrigued, and takes the ledger for further study.

 

Based on the sheer spookiness of the scene, the party decides that even if the ogres appear to be corpses they should still try to kill them some more. Silas uses his sword to cut off their heads, with no reaction. After doing this everyone relaxes visibly. A discussion ensues as to whether they should take a rest in this room to replenish their strength, or continue onwards immediately. They are worried that the captives might be in urgent danger, but it's getting late, and everyone is quite depleted and needs to rest.

Tom: "I'm not saying I do … but if I DID want to necromantically interfere with some freshly captured civilians, what would be the most auspicious time of night to do that? Surely around midnight… in other words, right now?"

 

After some further discussion, the party decides to wearily head back the way they came.

View
Captain Morgan's Log #4
1-4: Swords and Squirrels

Session 4 – 12/06/16

Campaign Day 3 – 18th Eleasis – Morning

The party spend their first night in the town of Nightstone camped out in the Nightstone Inn. They still aren't sure they trust Kella, and they have a live goblin prisoner as well, so there are two people awake on watch at any time both at the inn and in one of the town's guard towers. The night passes uneventfully.

 

The day dawns on the 18th day of Eleasis (Highsun), the eighth month. The party and Kella wake up and eat an improvised breakfast in the common room, while they divide the loot they have collected. The dwarf-sized armor won't fit anybody so they keep it aside for now. Siero takes the potion of healing that they found on the big goblin, because he's mobile and hard to kill, so he's a good choice to reviving party members who go down. Silas takes the potion of heroism that they found upstairs in the inn, in case he needs to be a hero!

 

Captain Morgan is drinking a liquid breakfast and chatting with Kella. He claims that "if we're going to be travelling together, we should turn over a new leaf and establish a friendship", but the conversation turns into something of an interrogation.

Morgan: "So why exactly did you come to Nightstone? I can't see any reason why anybody would travel this far out."

Kella: "I told you, I came to visit the Temple of Lathander. Also, the Nightstone has some spiritual significance for me. Did you know that it radiates magic? Nobody has ever figured out what it's for."

Morgan: "Did anyone send you here on their behalf?"

Kella: "No, I just decided on my own to come."

Morgan: "And you have no memory whatsoever of the attack?"

Kella: "Unfortunately not, it all happened while I was upstairs, and I was knocked out by the rock that crashed through my room. So I never saw anything."

Morgan: "So how do you explain the goblin that we found dead here in the inn, with a crossbow bolt in his back that matches the ones you were carrying?"

Kella: "Um… I don't explain it."

 

At this point Captain Morgan casts Charm Person on her, hoping to gain her trust. Kella is caught off guard and succumbs to the spell.

Morgan: "Siero, can you bring that crossbow bolt over here? …. Look, it has grey fletching on it. Let's compare it to the ones that you have."

Kella: "What crossbow bolts?"

Morgan: "The ones in your quiver right there."

Kella: "Oh, THOSE crossbow bolts. Here you go. They do look very similar."

Morgan: "So how do you explain the goblin getting shot with your crossbow, if you were unconscious?"

Kella: "I don't know."

 

Captain Morgan is frustrated that his magical rapport with Kella doesn't seem to be sufficient to let him fully into her confidence. He drops the line of questioning and wonders what's going to happen when the spell wears off and she realizes what he did to her… but he isn't really one to dwell on consequences.

 

Meanwhile, the party is getting ready to head out and investigate the town further. Old Tom has taken off his leather armor and isn't wearing it any longer, claiming that his god has granted him "the mystical armor of the deep". Siero is quite impressed. The rest of the party eyes Tom nervously.

 

After girding themselves and gathering weapons, the party heads to the keep. There's no sign of movement in the abandoned town. They reach the keep and find that the only access to it is over a large bridge, about seventy feet long and ten feet wide. However, a rock has smashed into it and destroyed a large section in the middle. Captain Morgan uses his sailor's knowledge of timber construction to determine that the bridge looks relatively sound and should hold their weight. He makes an Acrobatics check to leap across and catch himself on the far side. Silas throws him a rope that he ties off, and the rest of the party use the rope to jump across. Tom is not very acrobatic, but he somehow manages to make it over the gap!

 

At this point the party realize that they forgot about Kella and the goblin prisoner Derp, who are still on the far side of the gap. Captain Morgan goes back to talk to the goblin in broken Common Tongue, while the party waits impatiently.

 

Morgan: "Why come town?"

Derp: "Hark send."

"Where Hark?"

"Hark cave."

"Where cave? Which way?"

"<points> North."

"<point at rock> What happen?"

"Don't know."

"Did you see rock fall?"

"Rock here!"

"Hark cave. How many?"

The goblin looks confused. Morgan uses some coins as props to indicate numbers.

The goblin eventually understands and makes a pile of about 30 coins.

"That many goblin."

"You tell Hark. Stay away. Or we kill him."

"Me tell Hark?" (wide eyes) "Me no tell Hark."

"We live here. We kill goblins."

"You kill many goblins!"

"You tell goblins. They come here. We kill them."

"Me tell."

"You go now."

The goblin hurriedly scampers away and leaves town by the main gate.

 

Captain Morgan helps Kella and they both come back across the gap. Meanwhile, Nivah has been scouting ahead stealthily to see what lies within the keep. There is a large circular stone wall around the keep, roughly eight feet high. The bridge terminates at a gatehouse, and the gates are closed.

 

Silas gives Nivah a boost so that she can sneakily look over the wall. Seeing no enemies, she climbs up onto the parapet adjacent to the gatehouse. There are two gate towers on either side of the entrance, and the one nearest her has been smashed by a rock, its broken stonework walls gaping open to reveal a guards' barracks. There are at least three dead human guards on the ground lying amongst the rubble and broken bunk beds. Nivah calls down "There's nobody here, they're all dead".

 

Tom tries to open the gates, and they open easily; they're heavy but not barred. The party walks into an open courtyard surrounding a central keep. Numerous rocks have come crashing down and struck the courtyard and keep; there is a lot of structural damage and part of the keep has collapsed. There are no other buildings in the courtyard, just the parapet surrounding the keep. It is eerily quiet with no sign of movement.

 

Tom, Silas and Captain Morgan search the gatehouses. They find common guards' possessions, clothing and some simple weapons. Captain Morgan helps himself to a spare set of studded leather armor and three daggers, reasoning that he's helping to defend the keep, so that makes him an honorary guard, doesn't it?

 

The party approaches the keep, wending their way through the corpses of several more guards that have been killed by falling rocks. Silas opens the front doors to reveal the great hall, whose roof has collapsed. Over half of the hall is buried in rubble, and more dead guards are here. There might be a body wearing noble finery sticking out from under a rock near the head of the hall. It's quiet with no sounds anywhere. Captain Morgan calls out loudly "Hello – any survivors? We're here to rescue you!" Nivah hears a reaction – there is a shushing from the left door and the sounds of rummaging hastily suppressed.

 

Silas moves over to the door, and tries the latch, but the door doesn't move, it's blocked by an object. He calls out "We're here to help! Is anyone in there?" After a bit of diplomacy, the suspicious residents are convinced that these newcomers aren't goblins, and they decide to open the door. Inside, there are five civilians, a dwarf wearing fine clothing, and a wounded guard lying down and receiving healing.

 

The party enters, and the dwarf runs up to them, exclaiming "Thank Lathander! You ran off all the goblins! Are you sure you got them all?". Silas takes the lead for the party, starting to question the dwarf.

 

"Who am I speaking with, sir?"

"I am Morak Urdray!"

"I'm afraid to say, sir, there's been a bit of structural damage to your town. We think the town is now clear of enemies, at least as far as we know, although we haven't swept every single building. The goblins have already attempted one counter-attack, but we laid a trap for them and repulsed their force. Was it just goblins that attacked your town, sir?"

"No, there was an attack by giants earlier yesterday, and then the goblins attacked shortly thereafter. We were the few who were lucky enough to be close to the keep and could get inside when the attack started."

"Morak, we found this woman in your inn. Do you know each other?"

"Yes, she's a guest of mine, and has been staying there for a few days. What's the condition of my inn?"

"There's some damage to the upper floor, but it should be salvageable. Where is Lady Nadar, sir?"

"Sadly, she was in the Great Hall when the giants attacked, and she was crushed by the rockfall when the roof came down." (Captain Morgan winces when he hears this.)

"What did you see of the attack?"

The civilians chime in at this point. "We didn't see a lot before we ran to the keep. There was a cloud flying against the wind, with some kind of keep on top of it. That makes us think of cloud giants, but we haven't heard of cloud giants in this area for hundreds of years! Several giants came down and attacked the guards, quickly overrunning the town, while others secured the Nightstone."

"Can you describe these giants? What do they look like?"

"We were all too scared to spend much time looking at them. They were huge, throwing rocks, and killing people!"

"Why do you think these giants would want the Nightstone?"

Morak says, "We've been trying to figure out the Nightstone for generations. We know it's magical – it's warm to the touch, and mages are always interested in it – but we don't know anything about it. We haven't noticed anything that changed about the Nightstone recently."

"Did you get any warning before the attack?"

"No – just the cloud moving before the wind."

"Are there any strangers who arrived in town recently?"

"Just this woman Kella, who showed up a few days ago. We had a couple of hunters who come by every once in a while."

"Did you get a sense for where the goblins came from?"

"We've been having goblin problems for a while … not just goblins, but hobgoblins and bugbears, as well. We know there's a cave somewhere to the north, but we don't know exactly where."

"What's your plan at this point, what's next for all of you?"

Morak says, "My roots have been here in Nightstone for far too long. You say the inn looks salvageable – if we can make it work here, we're going to try and stay. We'll need resources and people, though."

 

Silas looks through the sack that he's been keeping the party's loot in, and finds the items that were taken from Morak's room at the inn. He gives Morak back his dwarven chainmail and helmet. However, Morak refuses to accept the potion, gemstones and the money, saying that the party should keep them as a reward for liberating his inn. The party decide that they should help the civilians make sure the town really is clear. Nivah asks Kella what she wants to do. She says she'll tend the wounds of the guard, he needs skilled attention to recover.

 

The party decide to look through the other rooms in the keep. It's suffered significant damage, but there's a kitchen, a den, a library, an upstairs hall with rich carpets and paintings, and coming off the upstairs hallway are some large locked double doors. Morak says that the locked doors lead to Lady Nadar's master bedroom. Captain Morgan takes some time to poke around the kitchen looking for run, but it's pretty destroyed and he winds up frustrated. Meanwhile, Silas and Tom look through the library to see if they can find any books about the Nightstone. It's a huge room with several tiers of shelves covered in books – it would take multiple days to do any in-depth research.

 

The party regroups at the locked doors to the master bedroom, and Nivah uses a set of thieves' tools to pick the lock, raising a few eyebrows. When asked how she knows to do that, she mutters something about a misspent childhood. Opening the doors, the party find a nicely appointed room, with tapestries and oil lamps on the walls. There are wolfskin rugs on the floor, and a large bed with an ornate headboard sculpted with images of roses and foxes. Around the walls there are four wardrobes; there's a large wooden chest at the foot of the bed; and a nicely made longsword mounted above the door.

 

Nivah opens the wardrobes and finds a lot of nice, fancy women's clothes. She takes a slinky red dress in case she needs to "do any spy stuff later". Silas opens the chest; as he does so, the sword that was hanging over the door flies into the air and attacks him!

 

Round 1

Thomas tries to grab the sword with a tentacle, which fails to grab the sword as it dances and jigs in the air. He decides the safest place is for him to retreat back through the doors. Silas draws his weapon and tries to attack the sword, but it dodges his flailing attack, slashing him on the shoulder for 6 points. Nivah casts Hunter's Mark on the sword, and shoots an arrow at it, which misses completely. Captain Morgan tries to slap the sword out of the air with his rapier but fails. Siero leaps up and tries to grab the sword, which Captain Morgan cheers on with Bardic Inspiration. He grapples the sword and successfully holds on for dear life, hanging on to the sword as it flies around the room – now more slowly with a gnome dangling from its hilt!

 

Round 2

Thomas again tries to grab the sword with a tentacle but fails. Silas swings and connects with the sword for a solid smack, dealing 13 points of damage, which staggers the sword and flings it back across the room. Siero hangs on for dear life! The sword flies back and attacks Silas, but he dodges it. Nivah takes a steely aim down her Hunter's Mark, and nails the sword with an arrow dead center. It drops to the ground and lies still.

 

Siero is very confused about what's happening with the flying sword. "So it's dead now? Was it always dead? What's going on here?" Tom investigates the sword and says "The magical essence that animated this sword has dissipated, my diminutive friend."

 

Inside the chest, there's a velvet sack with 160sp, a silk pouch with four 100gp gemstones, and a silver jewelry box (worth 25gp) with a beautiful gold necklace in it (worth 250gp). Captain Morgan searches the chest for hidden compartments but finds nothing. He is quite surprised there isn't more loot in the room of a minor noblewoman.

 

The party take the money from the chest, and head downstairs to tell Morak that the keep is clear. Morak suggests that the party should split Lady Nadar's money with the townsfolk. Captain Morgan isn't comfortable with this. "These poor people had their livelihood wiped out, all of their family and friends are dead. We shouldn't steal from them. They don't even have any rum."

 

Morak tells them that actually, not very many people were killed in the goblin raid, that the majority of the surviving townsfolk were kidnapped and taken prisoner by the goblins. The goblins also carted away a bunch of the dead bodies, which makes the party quite uncomfortable. The best information that they have is that goblins are coming from a cave system that's in the hills, maybe 5-10 miles to the north. There's also an old ruined elven fortress to the northeast. The elves of Ardeep Forest live in the forest to the southeast maybe 2 miles away.

 

The party resolve to try and rescue the prisoners from the goblin camp. Morak says they're going to try to send a messenger south to Waterdeep and let them know what happened. They will try to rebuild the town as best they can, hoping another goblin attack doesn't happen. Kella says that she will stay with the townsfolk and help them put their town back together again. Captain Morgan thinks this is probably for the best, seeing as his Charm spell on her is going to start wearing off very soon…

 

 

It's now mid-morning. The party heads north out of the town, continuing along the forest road. Nivah finds the tracks of a large group, possibly 20 or 30 goblins, plus 20 or more humans. The track veers slightly to the west away from the road. After a few hours' travel, the tracks are starting to get a bit fresher, and as dusk approaches the group can see some smoke rising from what might be multiple campfires, maybe a quarter of a mile away. Captain Morgan climbs a tree to look out; he can see maybe four distinct fires, in what looks like a few clearings in the forest. There don't seem to be any caves nearby.

 

The party circles around to the west side of the tracks, with Nivah and Captain Morgan sneaking up ahead of the main group, about 40 feet in front. They think this should be far enough that Silas' armor clanking won't alert anyone. Crawling towards camp, Nivah and Captain Morgan can see dozens of figures moving around near campfires. As they get closer they start to make out a few goblins moving around on sentry duty, with some larger humanoids by the campfires; a handful of hobgoblins, and a couple of bugbears. As they get closer, they can make out a large gathering through the trees; at least a couple of dozen goblins, three or four hobgoblins, a couple of bugbears, a bunch of chained prisoners, five or six humans who aren't chained and have horses, and some kind of shadowy figure in a black robe. They can see some kind of parley going on between the shadowy figure and the hobgoblins, but they aren't close enough.

 

Nivah and Captain Morgan return to the group and let them know what they've seen.

Captain Morgan: "Let's take out the goblin sentries silently so we can get close enough to listen to the parley!"

Silas: "Wait, what's the worst case scenario here? You could pull down forty goblins on us!"

Tom: "I vote for murdering necromancers! But… this is more goblins than I've ever seen in one place together at once."

 

Siero reveals that he has some ability to mimic the shape of forest creatures, and he thinks he could get closer if he was to turn into a squirrel. Nobody seems to bat an eyelid at this newly discovered power, and everyone thinks it sounds like a great idea. Captain Morgan says he will steathily provide covering fire for Siero, and that he will make the sound of an owl hooting three times to alert the rest of the party if there is trouble. On the basis of this hasty plan, Captain Morgan and Siero sneak up to the goblin camp.

 

The goblins ignore Squirreliero as he clambers through the trees. They are speaking in the Goblin tongue, which none of the party understand, but it appears one of the humans has some smalls kill with it and is crudely negotiating. The figure in a dark robe is also involved, who appears to have a hobgoblin face, yet a skeletal hand protrudes from its sleeve. Squirreliero is close enough to determine that some kind of slave trade is being executed, both for live prisoners, and also there's a cart full of dead bodies with eight goblins guarding it. As he approaches, the humans give money to the goblins, and the dark-robed hobgoblin also gives money to the goblins. The transaction doesn’t go smoothly, he can hear the name "Hark" mentioned a few times, also the name "Komdor". The bugbears and humans get a bit aggressive and almost get into a fight, but eventually the transaction is complete.

 

As Squirreliero watches, the imprisoned townsfolk are divided up – two going to the hobgoblin with the skeletal hand, three going to the humans, and eight remaining with the main group of goblins. All of the groups make preparations to leave – the hobgoblin and his escort take the cart of dead bodies and their prisoners to the east, while the humans on horses lead their prisoners southwest. The large group of goblins starts to pack up camp.

 

Squirreliero scampers back to the group, comes out of squirrel form, and quickly explains what he's seeing. Faced with a choice, the party makes a snap decision to follow the humans on horseback and attempt to free the prisoners!

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Captain Morgan's Log #3
1-3: Bridge of Traps

Session 3 – 11/15/16

Campaign Day 2 – 17th Eleasis – Late Afternoon

 

The party is gathered in the inn, debating what to do with the loot from the chest. Most people want to treat it as shared loot, but Captain Morgan insists on "dividing the plunder". They compromise on splitting up the coins but keeping the rest shared. Kella says the chest with the dwarven armor in it came from Morak Urgray's room – he is the proprietor of the inn. She doesn't know what happened to him.

 

The party debates where they should go next, and decide they should head towards the keep so they can find the leader of the town and maybe work out what's going on. Kella says she will come with them but only if she has her weapons back. Captain Morgan is still suspicious of her and doesn't want to, although Silas says "She's killed goblins, so she's all right in my book." Morgan: "So, will ye vouch for her, then?" Silas: "No…" Although Morgan is suspicious, the rest of the party want to give Kella her weapons back, so they do.

 

 

The party moves towards the far side of town where the keep is located. Between them and the keep there are several farms, and as they approach Captain Morgan hears the sound of rummaging coming from one of them. The party pauses to look around and can see two goblins wandering around in a wheat field behind the farm. Nivah sneaks up on them, but just as she approaches the farm and sees a third goblin inside through a window, she rolls a natural 1 on stealth and emits an involuntary "Yipe!". The goblin shrieks at her and attacks.

 

Round 1

Siero moves up to protect Nivah. The goblins in the wheat field run away behind the building, while the goblin in the building rushes at Nivah and tries to attack her through the window. But first, Siero uses his readied attack to flip up and club the goblin in the head, taking it down! Silas moves up through the wheat field looking for goblins but doesn't find any. Kella and Tom also move up and ready actions in case any goblins show up. Nivah tries to mantle through the window but can't make it through. Captain Morgan moves up to defend Tom in case any goblins show up.

 

Round 2

Siero helps Nivah get through the window, and then tries to get through himself but can't. Tom moves off to the side and discovers more goblins poking around near a windmill up on a hill. Back down by the farm, one of the hiding goblins peeks around the corner to check on Silas, just as he charges around and cuts off the unsuspecting goblin's head. Kella continues to move up cautiously with her hand crossbow drawn. Nivah looks around inside the building and discovers it is a trading post – goods are strewn everywhere, and the goblins have been ransacking it. She rifles through the dead goblin's backpack and finds a crowbar, some caltrops and an unknown vial of green liquid. Captain Morgan comes up behind the last remaining goblin and pricks him in the back with his sword, saying "Drop your weapon or I kill you!". He fails his Intimidation check, so the goblin doesn't surrender, but he does drop his weapon in surprise.

 

Round 3

Siero tries to sneak over towards the goblins by the windmill, but is spotted! Thomas conjures a spectral tentacle up from the ground, which chokes one of the windmill goblins to death. There are two goblins left on the hill and they shoot arrows at the party, but both miss by wide margins. Back down by the farm, the goblin who dropped his weapon picks it up and swings wildly at Captain Morgan, hitting with a nasty slash for 5 points of damage. Silas comes up behind this goblin and slashes right through him, almost cutting the goblin in half and dropping him to the ground. Kella moves up into cover and shoots her hand crossbow at the goblins but misses. Nivah braces herself in the doorway of the trading post and takes a shot with her longbow, but rolls a 1 and completely fumbles. Captain Morgan pours some rum into his wound, bandages it, and searches the dead goblins. He finds a live chicken, which he lets go, and a few copper pieces which he pockets.

 

Round 4

Siero moves up to hunker down behind a rock in the open field. Thomas conjures a spectral tentacle which grabs the arm of one of the goblin archers and hurts him, but he fires back at Thomas, as does his friend, and both of them hit for 9 points, dropping him to the turf in a cloud of profanity. Silas moves to Thomas and places his palm on his forehead, healing him for 5 points. Kella and Nivah both fire again but miss. Captain Morgan sprints over and slides into cover beside Siero.

 

Round 5

Siero creates a Minor Illusion of himself standing next to the rock to draw fire. Thomas stands up, and with a flurry of curses, sends another tentacle ripping out of the ground to thwack the wounded archer, dropping him. The last goblin bravely continues fighting, and ignores the illusion of Siero, instead sending another arrow at Thomas which misses. Kella fires again but misses, while Nivah finally has her range dialed in and hits the archer in the shoulder with an arrow for 4 points of damage. Captain Morgan mocks this goblin viciously, calling him a terrible archer that deserves to die, and he takes 2 points of psychic damage and is dizzied from the insult.

 

Round 6

Siero moves up towards the goblin and readies his defense. Thomas uses another tentacle, which erupts from the ground and fails to connect with the goblin. The goblin furiously shoots at Captain Morgan but his arrow bounces harmlessly off the rock that the Captain is hiding behind. Silas moves up to attack but misses. Kella runs up the hill to enter melee as well, drawing her shortsword. Just as they all close in on the last remaining goblin, Nivah takes an aimed shot from distance that takes him in the chest and he falls down dead.

 

 

Siero investigates the mound that the goblins were standing on and is delighted to discover that the building on top is a windmill. He is totally fascinated by the gears and ladders inside and clambers around investigating them. Silas loots the goblins and finds a total of 9 coppers.

 

Meanwhile, Captain Morgan uses his broken spyglass to look around the town for movement and doesn't see any. He approaches the guard post, intending to scout up top, but hears the sound of scampering inside. He motions to Silas to come over to help him and whispers that he's going to draw the goblins out – casting Minor Illusion to create the sound of a bunch of chickens squawking and flapping around.

 

Surprise Round

A goblin runs out of the door of the guard post, excited to grab chickens, but all he gets is a rapier and a longsword in the chest from Captain Morgan and Silas, and he crumples to the ground.

 

Round 1

Siero comes over to the door to help with goblins and readies his action. There is another goblin up in the guard tower, and it leans out to see what is going on, but it doesn't have a clear shot at the adventurers gathered around the door. Undeterred, it shoots at Kella, who is over by the windmill and not paying attention when an arrow hits her in the shoulder for 8 points of damage! She doesn't look that badly hurt, but she ducks behind the windmill. Silas clambers up the ladder inside the guard post and comes up behind the goblin, who is unprepared and takes a sword to the back for 5 points of damage. Captain Morgan acrobatically leaps up to the parapet, flips over it and puts his rapier in the goblin's face, shouting "Drop your weapon!!". The goblin is extremely scared and surrenders.

 

Morgan: "We're not going to help you. But you have to tell us everything."

Unnamed Goblin: "Friend friend."

 

Captain Morgan uses his broken spyglass to scout outside the town and is shocked to discover what appears to be a small band of seven or so humanoids approaching from the north. He and Silas take the captive goblin back down the ladder and into the trading post, which Nivah and Thomas have been searching. There are tons of adventuring supplies around, including a healer's kit which Siero takes. Captain Morgan takes six flasks of oil and some hunting traps and the party lays up a trap on the main drawbridge into town, then retreat to the two guard posts that flank the drawbridge.

 

The party attempts to take a short rest, but before they are done, they see the group of humanoids approaching. There are six smaller goblins who are being whipped and beaten along by a larger goblin behind them, who is wearing a chain shirt, and holding a shield and scimitar. Captain Morgan says to his goblin captive that he'll kill him if he yells, and lifts him up to see through the arrow slit. He says "Is that Boss Hark down there?" The goblin says "No Boss Hark." Thomas clocks him on the head and knocks him out so that he isn't a distraction during the fight.

 

 

The band of goblins approach and walk across the oil-soaked bridge. One of them sees shiny stuff on the ground and stops, motioning the others to stay behind him. As a result, they are all bunched up on the oil-soaked bridge when the party opens up on them.

 

Surprise Round

Nivah fires a flaming arrow down which misses the oil and just sits on the bridge idly burning. Captain Morgan lights a flask of oil and rolls a natural 1, throwing his flask of oil down into the water. Thomas strikes with the Hand of Jones at the large goblin, who is bound up with a tentacle and takes heavy damage.

 

Round 1

Captain Morgan is fed up with this failure of an ambush and uses a Thunderwave to blast the goblins with a mighty shout. Three of them fail their saves and are thrown off the bridge and killed. Two more make their saves and are wounded but stay on the bridge. Thomas conjures a tentacle which misses the large goblin. Siero readies an action to use against the goblins if any of them make it across the bridge. Nivah shoots at the large goblin but he takes it safely on his shield, and then charges across the bridge into the traps and caltrops. He manages to dodge all of the traps (!) and attacks Silas, missing once and then slicing him for 4 points of damage. Silas returns an attack but fails to penetrate his armor. The three other goblins run forward; one of them triggers a hunting trap which takes his leg clean off, killing him. Another stands on a caltrop and is wounded, and then gets clubbed in the face by an angry Siero.

 

Round 2

From his perch in the guard post, Captain Morgan shoots the last unwounded goblin in the head for 9 points, killing him instantly. Siero attacks the goblin leader but misses. Thomas uses Dissonant Whispers to infiltrate the mind of the goblin leader, singing an infernal sea shanty that drives him mad, doing 9 points of psychic damage and causing him to flee in blind panic. As he turns to run, Silas takes a mighty blow and takes his head clean off, ending the combat.

 

 

The goblins had 21 copper pieces in total, while the leader had 5 gold pieces and some kind of potion, in addition to his chain shirt and shield. The party kicks all of the dead goblins off the bridge and retire to the inn to regroup. They identify the potions they've found – the red potion from the goblin is a potion of healing (2d4 + 2 HP), the blue bubbling/steaming potion from the chest in the inn is a potion of heroism (10 temporary HP, plus the effect of a bless spell, for one hour), and the green potion from the trading post is alchemist's fire. They are quite annoyed that they didn't discover the alchemist's fire before the ambush!!

 

After much discussion of watch schedules, the party decides to rest in shifts so that they can always have one person awake in a guard post and one person awake in the inn, to watch over Kella because they still don't trust her motivations. They take an uneventful long rest in the inn overnight and all attain level 2.

 

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Captain Morgan's Log #2
1-2: Gumgum

Session 2 – 10/11/16

Campaign Day 2 – 17th Eleasis – Early Afternoon

 

Our party are investigating the town of Nightstone which has been devastated by a mysterious attack. It is currently mid-afternoon, and the sun is starting to head toward the western horizon. The party decide they really need to figure out what happened here, and quickly.

 

The party heads out of the trashed temple where the bell was ringing. There are numerous buildings around the town, but no signs of life. Ahead of them is a large two-story building with a sign on the exterior that proclaims it to be the Nightstone Inn. While most of the party heads over to the inn, Captain Morgan investigates the large hole in the ground outside. He rolls a natural 1 on his Investigation check and concludes that "It's a hole".

 

Silas peers through the open double doors at the front of the inn. He can see a large dining room strewn with wreckage of tables and chairs. A rock has crashed in through the roof and second story. There's a dead goblin that seems to have been shot with a crossbow bolt. At the back of the room there are stairs that go up, and a door leads to the back of the building. Thomas listens and hears the sound of rummaging coming from the back of the inn. He steps back and motions Silas in.

 

Captain Morgan also enters the room, and he attempts to leap up and hang from the hole, but he rolls a natural 1 on his Acrobatics check, followed by another natural 1 (his third in a row!). He falls down and has the wind knocked out of him for 1 point of damage. Lying on the ground, he takes a swig of run while he considers the situation. Meanwhile, Nivah sneaks over to the door. She cracks it open a hair and listens – and everyone hears the sound of glass breaking and someone scrambling!

 

Surprise Round

Assuming that there is an intruder trying to escape out the rear windows, Captain Morgan and Thomas dash out the front of the inn and run in separate directions around the building. Silas strides forward, pushes Nivah to the side and kicks the door open. He discovers the inn's kitchen and pantry, which have been ransacked. All of the cupboards are open, and utensils and foodstuffs are strewn about. One corner of the room has been destroyed by a falling rock and is open to the outside. He can see two goblins trying to scramble out the window, and shouts for them to freeze. They are intimidated, but keep scrambling. Nivah tries to shoot an arrow in their clothing and pin them down, but barely misses.

 

Round 1

Thomas comes around the corner of the building to discover one goblin halfway out of the window. He reaches out and grabs it with a watery tentacle, yanking it out the window and squishing him for a grisly 13 points of damage. The goblin's head is violently separated from his body. Captain Morgan sprints around the corner to see a squished headless goblin lying on the ground next to him. "Not again!", he groans, and takes another drink of run.

 

Inside the inn, Siero approaches defensively and says "My friend controls the ghosts…" as a warning. The goblin isn't intimidated and climbs out the window, past Thomas and Captain Morgan, and runs away west towards a nearby watchtower. Two arrows shoot from this watchtower, one of them striking Thomas with a grievous wound. He cries out in pain, "I'm hit, boys! Come for me!". Silas moves through the kitchen and out through the hole in the wall, clambering over where the rock is, to shield Thomas. Nivah breaks open a window and shoots through it at the goblins in the watchtower, but they are in cover and the arrow hits the parapet they are hiding behind.

 

Round 2

Thomas uses the hand of Jones to attack the running goblin but misses, then takes cover behind the crypt. Captain Morgan sprints after the disappearing goblin, but isn't quite able to catch him. Siero climbs through the window that Nivah broke open, scurries to Thomas' side and heals him partially for 3 points.

 

The goblin who was running away feels emboldened by the presence of his archer friends and turns to attack the Captain, but fails. The archers also shoot at Captain Morgan, who dodges, and Silas who bounces the arrow off his shield. Silas moves up and tries to knock out the goblin runner with the flat of his sword, cracking him a solid blow on the temple, but he's still upright. Nivah moves up to next to the crypt and takes an aimed shot, taking out one of the goblin archers with an arrow to the eye. The archer flies back and lies staring up at the sky.

 

Round 3

Thomas steps out from behind the crypt, uses the hand of Jones to attack the remaining goblin archer for 5 points, then steps back. Captain Morgan clonks the stunned goblin on the head with the pommel of his rapier, and he drops like a sack of wheat. Siero sprints into the watchtower, opening the door, and starts climbing up the ladder. The last goblin archer, seeing one of his friends incapacitated and the other dead, throws his bow out of the watchtower and cowers in the corner. Silas also enters the watchtower and climbs to the top of the ladder.

 

Round 4

Captain Morgan uses his sailor's knot-tying expertise to bind the goblin that he captured with a rope. Siero climbs up and tries to soothe the goblin archer, but his diplomacy skills are better suited to forest animals, and winds up screeching and grunting at the goblin. This freaks out the goblin so much that he draws his scimitar and attacks Silas with a panicked swing, doing 4 points of damage through a weak point in his armor. Silas is enraged by this, and swings back, but the goblin dodges. Nivah loots the goblin runner and finds some cooking utensils and food but nothing else of interest.

 

Round 5

Captain Morgan feeds the incapacitated goblin some rum to wake him up, and uses Persuasion to try and calm him down. Meanwhile, Siero uses his Shillelagh to club the remaining archer and kills him.

 

After the combat is concluded, Captain Morgan tries to interrogate the goblin in Common, with limited success.

"What's your name, little feller?"

"Gumgum."

"We're going to let you go, and you can keep your loot."

"Gumgum cheese?"

"Yes, cheese. Tell us everything you saw here today."

"Gumgum boss… Hark!"

"Where… is Hark?"

"Hark boss. Big cave." <Gumgum indicates to the north.>

"Rocks. What happened? Rock fall?"

"Rock! Rock fall!"

 

Thomas is frustrated with the progress of the interrogation, and tries to intimidate Gumgum by whispering telepathically to him in his mind. This makes Gumgum very freaked out and all he will say is "Boss Hark. Cave. North!"

 

Meanwhile, Silas and Siero loot the bodies. Siero clambers down out of the watchtower carrying some arrows, and wearing a leather goblin skullcap that slips down over his eyes. He gives the arrows to Nivah.

 

The party free Gumgum's feet so that he can walk, and he leads the party back to the inn. They retrieve his loot sack, which just has random food stuffs and some junk – a cooked chicken, a cracked hourglass, two flasks of oil, and some cooking herbs. Captain Morgan takes one of the flasks of oil, which makes Gumgum mad, but he deals with it after realizing that he's surrounded by heavily armed adventurers.

 

Captain Morgan starts searching the pantry for liquor. Silas and Thomas head upstairs in the inn to investigate the private rooms. Silas finds an empty room with a desk, wardrobe, etc, while Thomas enters the destroyed room that the rock plunged through. He discovers a human woman in the room, hiding in the shadows. She says her name is Kella Darkhope, and that she was knocked unconscious during the attack and just woke up recently; she has a scalp wound to confirm her story. Siero notices that she has a flying snake wrapped around her arm – maybe it's some kind of familiar? Siero gets really excited and starts trying to talk to the snake, and examining Kella's wound. Kella tries to interpose her body and keep the snake away from him while he tends to her. Silas is suspicious of Kella, and says they should all go downstairs.

 

Captain Morgan has found a bottle of whisky in the pantry, and set up a table and chairs in the dining room so that he can have a quick drink. The party regroup and learn more about Kella. She is a travelling monk of Lathander, and arrived in town about a day ago to worship at the temple. She claims not to know what happened, because she was knocked out while she was sleeping – although Siero is suspicious because her injuries aren't completely consistent with her story. On a hunch, Nivah goes to the dead goblin with the crossbow bolt and identifies that the bolt has grey feathered fletching that matches Kella's crossbow. When confronted with this, Kella admits that she shot the goblin right before the party got there, but says she really did wake up only a few minutes earlier. Captain Morgan uses Insight and decides he doesn’t trust her. He asks Kella to give up her weapons until they can confirm her story further.

 

Kella, Gumgum and the party all go outside. Kella recognizes the hole in the ground and says "Oh my God the Nightstone is missing!". She says the Nightstone was a huge shard of obsidian that was in the middle of town, and gave the town its name. The party are becoming openly distrustful of Kella. She says she has no reason to stay in town now and wants to leave at the nearest opportunity. Captain Morgan says nobody should be caught on the roads at night with goblins in the area, so he thinks she should stay the night in town with them. She replies "Suuure, I can watch over you while you sleep." Nobody thinks this is a good idea. Siero is becoming confused and frustrated at the deception, which he doesn't understand at all.

 

Thomas and Siero realize that they haven't finished searching the remaining two rooms upstairs, so they remain at the inn while the rest of the party goes to the stables. The rest of the party goes to the stables. The stable has a sign that says "The Nadars of Nightstone" over the door. Inside it has a dirt floor, with six stalls containing five draft horses. The horses look as though they have been pretty spooked by the attack, but are now starting to calm down. There's a bunch of riding tack on the walls. Towards the back of the stables, there are two ladders that lead up to a loft. As the party enters, an arrow comes down and strikes Silas in the shoulder, hurting him badly for 5 points!

 

Round 1

Kella and Gumgum take cover outside the stables. The goblin in the loft is hunkered down in cover behind a hay bale. He fires another arrow down at Silas that misses. Silas moves in and takes cover under the loft. Nivah shoots at the goblin but hits the hay bale instead. Captain Morgan tells a dirty limerick, invoking Tasha's Hideous Laughter upon the weak-willed goblin, which falls to the ground shrieking in hilarity.

 

Round 2

The goblin is still laughing. Silas moves up the ladder and attacks him, but even though the goblin is prone and incapacitated the wound to the shoulder doesn't kill him. Captain Morgan moves over to the loft and use Acrobatics to leap and grab onto the hayloft.

 

Round 3

The goblin stops laughing and tries to get up. Silas swings at him but misses. Nivah shoots an arrow at the wounded goblin, who is now out of cover. She hits him in the back and kills him. Gumgum cries out "Derp!!" in grief at seeing his friend killed.

 

After combat, while Silas searches the bodies, Captain Morgan and Nivah feel bad for Gumgum. They give him his sack of food and let him go. He runs out over the drawbridge. Silas finds that the goblin was carrying a sack, with nothing of value in it besides a small box. The box has the crest of the Lionshield Coster on it, and it contains ten silvered darts.

 

The party regroups at the inn. Captain Morgan tries to use his charm on Kella by offering her a drink. Thomas has found a locked chest upstairs but he and Siero have been unable to open it. Nivah tries to pick the lock of the chest but fails. Frustrated, Silas kicks the chest out of the hole, and it falls into the dining room, crashes into the ground and pops open. Inside, there is a set of dwarven chainmail, a helmet inscribed with dwarven runes, a leather bag with 45gp, 2x 100gp gemstones, and a potion. The party takes a short rest to heal.

 

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