So our big damn heroes of the week include, in no particular order:
- Szenden , a Half-Elf Fighter
- Gavan, an Elven Mage of the High Elf variety
- Valantis, an Elven Monk, of the Wood Elf variety
- Tassidar, a Half-Orc Fighter
- Mave, a Human Rogue, and the only female in the party
- Waxon, an Elven Cleric of the Wood Elf variety
- Dovahkiin, a Dragonborn Ranger
- Selwyn, an Elven Ranger
Having returned to Daggerford, there are a couple of changes: the refugee camps outside the town are no longer there, as the town is now accepting refugees, since we’ve returned the bloke and shown that it wasn’t stolen by a refugee (good job there Duke of Daggerford! Anymore false accusations you’d like to throw around? Are you sure? Positive? Well, give it a few hours; I’m sure you’ll think of something!) We basically report everything we found at Firehammer Hold to both Sherlyn (militia leader) and Sir Isteval, before we settle in a private room at an inn (I’m guessing the Lady Luck Tavern) for drinks, and to figure out ways to get the bloke from the Duke. We think of a tiered approach, escalating as needed. The first approach is to simply ask, perhaps embellishing / holding back certain truths, but maybe saying something along the lines that the bloke is needed to reduce the monsters plaguing the Sword Coast, since that’s been a concern for the Duke. If that doesn’t work, Gavan has a newly acquired ‘Suggestion’ spell that may come in handy, assuming the Duke isn’t warded against magics of any sort. I have a suspicion that his newly betrothed, Natasha, has magical ability and is at least an accomplice to the scourge plaguing the Sword Coast, though there is no direct proof. The third and most dangerous approach requires Gavan casting invisibility on a party rogue and having him / her steal the bloke, though if the rogue is caught, the party as a whole will be of little help.
And then duty calls.
A knock on our door, and we’re greeted by the innkeeper, who lets us know that we have a visitor. The visitor in question is Darfin Floshin, a high-elf friend of Sir Isteval who we met several moons ago. He wishes to talk to us. We immediately accept this request, and Darfin enters. We note that his usual noble dress appears tattered and worn, somewhat unusual for him. He also has a servant with him, Gallan, who is looking rather ragged and bruised. He tells us a story of how he was headed home to his estate when begins to feel pain throughout his whole body. As he struggles to continue, he meets up with Gallan, who tells his lord that the estate has been taken over by gnolls, elementals, and undead. Even worse, Darfin’s sister, Shalendra, is still at the estate, and he’d like us to rescue her.
We immediately set off for the Floshin Estate, which is about thirty miles north along one of major trails off the main road. On the way there, we get into a bit of a squabble with 3 gnolls sand 2 hyenas, who we dispatch reasonably quickly, though one of the gnolls makes a break for it. Fearing reinforcements, Gavan casts a sleep spell on it, and all’s well that ends well. We discover a giant sinkhole nearby, but don’t investigate it as we feel time is of the essence. The trail ends and we find ourselves at a gatehouse, which leads to a bridge, and beyond that, the estate.
Entering the gatehouse turns out to be a hilarious affair. After various party members check for traps, and don’t find anything (which doesn’t automatically mean that there are no traps), our fighter pushes the door open, which activates the portcullis above him. Selwyn manages to grab Szenden and tries to pull him out of the way. But it’s up to Szenden; thanks to Selwyn, he has advantage on this roll. In D&D Next, what this means is that he gets to roll a 20-sided dice twice and take the higher of the two rolls. Szenden’s player clasps his hands together, shakes them for a bit, and throws two 20-sided dice onto the table.
Two 1’s stare back at him. (For those that don’t know, in D&D Next, rolling high is always good, rolling 20’s are considered critical successes, while rolling 1’s are considered critical failures.)
So the portcullis smashes into Szenden for 18 points of damage. Ouch!
Our strong-as-can-be half-orc, Tassidar, lifts the portcullis and Szenden is dragged inside, while the rest of us dash in as well before Tassidar has to let go. Naturally, 2 undead and 2 gnolls are waiting for us inside. Despite a numbers advantage favoring us, we’re confined in a small space, so the battle takes longer than we’d like. Still in the end, we dispatch our foes, cross the bridge, and continue on into the manor, and begin exploring.
Oak leaf designs, marble busts…yep, this is a high-elf mansion.
We eventually enter a room where, sitting at table, are six dread warrior undead. Why they’re sitting at the table is anyone’s guess. I’m thinking they were having dinner or playing Magic: The Gathering. We spoil their gaming with blood and battle (which incidentally, qualifies as the worst battle-cry in the history of battle-cries.)
It’s notable that all the undead we’ve encountered thus far have been humans; no dwarves or elves to speak of, yet.
We eventually find a brazier, with lots of burnt materials, most notable of which are metal plates with elven and human names. We then remember that we have met Darfin’s half-elf nephew, Kelsin Darktreader…or was it brother? The answer is probably somewhere in my blog posts, but I’m too busy to take a peek.
Into a nearby hallway we go, where we find some paintings of more humans and elves, but some of them are missing, and the name plates accompanying the paintings look familiar, as if we’ve seen them in a burnt state just a few moments ago. Naturally, three ghosts emerge to attack us. In fact, one of our members (I think it was Mave), suffers semi-permanent damage to her hit point total (maximum number of hit points is reduced). I say semi-permanent, because I believe magic of some sort can restore her lost health, but at least for the remainder of this venture, she has to bear it. We manage to dispatch the ghosts, and tread deeper into the Floshin Estate. At times throughout the night, we’ve debated taking a short rest, but we press on. Since we’re on a rescue mission, we’re certain time is of the essense. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of this venture, Shalendra is the one who rescues us. Before we left, Gavan asked Floshin of Shalendra’s background, and found out she’s a capable ranger. Hopefully, we’ll see how this plays out tonight. I also hope that I’m just a bit luckier than last week. I didn’t really write much about it, but generally speaking, I kept rolling really consistently low tonight. Not a lot of 1’s (only once did that happen), but many single digit rolls, which often resulted in failed attacks. C’est la vie.