March 5, 2017 by Jake
My D&D campaign finally seems to be on the right track now. We have a fine group of players and what we hope is a well balanced party for fourth edition. What we don’t have is a Dungeon Master who regularly updates the campaign journal, but somehow still manged to keep story details and NPC names juggled somewhere between his head and a small handful of note cards. I think its time to fill in a slightly more official update to the occurrences of each play session.
Session 1: The party consisting of five heroes travels the Banning Hills region headed north to the forest one of them still calls home. The group includes Polana Silvermoon (a half-elf paladin sworn to the strength god Kord), Alvyn Brenn (a gnomish rogue and semi-kleptomaniac troublemaker), Hexena (a wilden druid resembling an elf and simultaneously a living birch tree), Nadi Astrakhan (a half-orc child priestess of Avandra and Hexena’s ward), and Nightfall the shifter (a canine ranger from the Roanwood Forest to the north who assembled the group together). They traveled to the village of Farf which was having trouble with several kobolds attacking militia and preventing travel in and out of the hills. With none of the king’s men and a dwindling town defense to aid them, the head of the village Fjar Padraig enlisted the five to locate the kobold lair and drive them off. The group followed their only lead, but were attacked on the road by an angry kobold mystic who they drove off, slaying everyone in the patrol but him and capturing a single foe alive.
Session 2: After being healed and cared for by the young cleric Nadi, the kobold hostage proved very difficult to glean any information from and seemingly impossible to befriend. Nevertheless, the rest of the group agreed to let Nadi keep their captive alive and managed to track down the entrance to the kobold lair hidden behind a waterfall. Outside the doorway the kobolds had placed over a dozen sentries to bar the party’s entry. They tied their captive to a nearby tree and staged a daring assault against the guardians, sending many running to the hills and dispatching even more. Surprisingly no more creatures left the cave to assist their comrades in defending their front porch. Unsurprisingly their lone captive managed to escape from his tether and went missing.
Session 3: After checking the perimeter of the kobold lair and studying the barred entryway, the party made the acquaintance of a halfling warlock named Seras. She quickly befriended the group and agreed to help them for a time in their upcoming lair attack. When the group entered the cave, guns blazing, many of them fell for a nasty trap of falling rocks over the entryway set by the denizens. Waves and waves of kobolds tried to oust the intruders, including the angry mystic they were attacked by earlier. Alvyn and the mystic dueled in single combat while Polana stood toe to toe with the burliest of reptiles. After a short time they discovered the mastermind behind the village attacks, a violent brigand titling himself Spraig the Red Wind. Spraig’s fearsome whirlwind of axe swings knocked down Nightfall, Nadi, and Hexena only for them to stubbornly help each other to their feet to continue the struggle. In the end, Seras lined up a devastating blast of star magic which managed to gruesomely decapitate the brawling foe. The party discovered in the lair afterwards an unhatched dragon egg which Spraig was using to coerce the kobolds into obedience. They also discovered a small horde of valuables and sadly, the bones of what they believed to be many of the missing villagers of Farf. They entrusted the egg to Seras as a token of their friendship, or perhaps out of fear of harboring such a volatile object. Seras parted ways on good terms and the party divided up the rest of the loot among themselves.
Session 4: Before returning to Farf, Nadi and Hexena agreed to travel north to the Roanwood forest ahead of the party and prepare for their arrival. Alvyn, Polana, and Nightfall returned to the village and were hailed as heroes of the town. The villagers convinced them to stay for a feast of thanks, while others performed the grim business of retrieving the remains of their friends for a proper burial. Days later, Alvyn and Nightfall attended a funeral with the village residents for their lost and loved. Shortly after a group of patrolling knights led by the elderly Ansem Barris arrived in shock to hear the trouble the village had been in was left unaided by the king. A former denizen of the village Sir Barris was beyond grateful to the heroes and paid them an additional reward out of his own pocket and wrote letters of mark for them to take north to the Roanwood to his apprentice who was stationed there.
Session 5: Most recently, Polana, Nightfall, and Alvyn arrived at the town of Rosobell and Goldthorn Castle which was the last safe stop before entering the forest of Roanwood. They were surprised to find the entire town and castle evacuated to the outer fields and entry to the forest itself blocked by otherworldly gigantic thorns and brambles. No one had been able to successfully enter or escape the forest without serious cost and those that returned had lost all memory of their time inside or their escape. The camp ground outside the forest was populated by townsfolk, adventure seekers, and knights of many different temperaments and loyalties. Fortunately enough the head of the “Tent Town” was the very person the party sought, Lady Misti Dawnseager. While the Queen Goldthorn and her closest retainers fled south to seek help from the high king and members of the Noble Union, Lady Dawnseager was left with the daunting task of protecting the empty town and castle and seeking to end the supernatural phenomenon herself. After reading the letters of mark, Misti agreed to let the party join an expedition into the forest in three days time.
The party was unable to make contact with Nadi and Hexena, who strangely had not been seen by any of the local rabble, but did end up recruiting a few followers to aid them in entering the forest. The first was the intimidating dragonborn singer known only as Ghesh, who was interested in joining their group for a time. The second was the unstable and frightening Kalik, a human drunk and criminal who had caused a commotion and several “accidental” murders nights prior. Before his execution, religious symbols of Kord appeared overnight across his body, which many superstitious locals deemed a divine intervention. Lady Dawnseager enlisted Polana to enact divine judgement upon Kalik in a mortal duel, but Polana stayed her hand before slaying him. Kalik swore himself unofficially to the group until he received the paladin’s leave.
Last to join the group at the knight commander’s behest was the young professor Xander Cornelius. Xander was a painfully green researcher in extra planar occurrences and had developed several prototype devices to test his theory of what might be causing the thorns to engulf the town. As a favor the party agreed to escort him into the forest where he could test his hypothesis and try to cleanse the area of the invasion. Shortly after, the party managed to use gnomish engineering to burn an entry point into the forest which quickly sealed itself behind them. They evaded the animated plant life and rushed in with their skin still attached, but fell for a trap by several mushroom men. Emerging from a seemingly tranquil lake the mushroom men attempted to exterminate the party as dangerous vines the size of pythons began encircling them. The group struggled for a long time before finally slaying the leader of the menacing morels and his bodyguards. Ghesh took from them a strange fungus-like staff that allowed him to manipulate the thorns around the group through his own magic aura. Could this be the key to their escape?