So before I begin, I have to say that I just got a new keyboard (Razer’s Blackwidow Ultimate Stealth) to replace my eight year-old standard Alienware keyboard, and I have to say, it feels wonderful. The tactile sensation is just…ridiculously responsive. And it has a lot of neat little features, that I can definitely appreciate.
But I digress…
So our big damn heroes of the week include:
- 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
- Javert, a Paladin, formerly a Drow but is now a Human for some inexplicable reason
- Santel, a Halfing Cleric, as opposed to Sandal, the comic relief dwarf
- Malice, a Tiefling Paladin
- Mave, a Human (I think) Rogue, and the only female in the party
Yeah, our party is huge nowadays. Good when it comes to combat encounters, bad when it comes to making quick progress. Battles are extremely long at times, and outside of battle, we can definitely be a bit over-talkative as a group and occasionally indecisive. Simply put, we’re just slow.
So after our battle in the courtyard with six orcs, a giant ogre, and an orc shaman, we elect to take a full overnight rest, as we’re currently out of healing magic, our drunken halfing is passed out from severe intoxication, and Gavan is out of spells, excluding cantrips. Searching the area, it’s noticed that some of the orcs weapons are dwarf-forged, and have a symbol of a flaming hammer etched into them, and one of the orcs has dwarf-forged armor with the same symbol. We also find a trap door at the bottom floor of the tower. We elect to use a barrel filled with water that we found to put on top of the trap door so that no one can come up it to ambush us during our long rest. As it turns out, that precaution was unnecessary, but better to be safe than sorry.
So the next morning, fully recovered except for Santel (who is hungover like no tomorrow), we carefully open the trap door, only to see ropes leading down to a 20×20 room, about 20 feet down. For the remainder of the evening, we essentially crawled through a dungeon, so as before, rather than talk about every single twist and turn we elected to take, I’ll just synopsize the more interesting areas we explored.
- Orc living quarters, where we take down 3 orcs that appear to be tougher than usual. Their toughness can be attributed to all three of them wearing dwarf-forged armor and wielding dwarf-forged weapons, all with the same flaming hammer symbol we saw earlier. Besides tons of beds, there’s also a rather large fire where a pig was roasted. Szenden proceeds to eat as much of the pig as elvenly possible, and thankfully makes his constitution check vs. extreme gluttony.
- A room with four undead pushovers…actually, that’s not true. The pushover part, I mean. They didn’t exactly have a lot of hit points, but they seemed resistant (though thankfully not invulnerable) to conventional weaponry. It is notable why these four undead were even there. Obviously, orcs live there; did they elect to leave them alone for some strange reason? Regardless, in a closet leading off this room is an iron chest. Naturally, Mave fails to pick the lock. D’OH!
- A cell with straw and excrement everywhere, along with a tortured-to-death elf body. Our cleric santifies the corpse
- A room with a dead spider, which turns out to be bait for some green tentacle monster that was somewhat similar to the undead (low hit points, resistant to regular weapons), but with a lot more bite thanks to its tentacles giving it multiple attacks. We later learn that this creature is a grick
- A nearby cavernous area where we fight three more gricks. Post-battle, we check out what appears to be some orbs, possibly eggs. Our meddling leads to five more gricks showing up. It’s also notable that Gavan’s advice to our fighter Tassidar more or less got him knocked unconscious, but the party as a whole was trapped in a tight five feet wide corridor, and the only way for people to maneuver was to get out into the cavern. Ideally, high initiative rolls from everyone would have helped as well, but that didn’t happen. If the grick’s had trapped us by blocking the entrance to the cavern, we definitely would have had a lot more problems.
- A cell with the missing human woman that prompted this journey in the first place. She’s alive and well, all things considered.
- The final room we go to appears to have a makeshift throne of skulls and bones. Sitting on that throne is of all things, an albino orc with glowing red eyes, and surprisingly, the Duke of Daggerford’s missing dwarven bloke (a stone tablet) sitting on its lap. There’s also a human standing nearby that seems somewhat familiar, but with stained clothes and a circular bruise around his neck. Naturally, battle ensues, and the human turns out to be actually undead. Thanks to some strong perception checks, some of us realize that he matches the physical description of the artist that went missing: Alvin Gessen.
- With the battle won, besides treasure, we find Alvin wielding a battleaxe with a flaming hammer symbol, as well as a statuette of a female orc with enormous claws. The religious types in our party recognize this statue to be the orc goddess Luthic.
- Just as interesting as the missing bloke (which the Duke was having a huge cow over), is a map of the Daggerford region, with various locations highlighted including the area we’re in, Firehammer hold, and a location we haven’t been to yet. Furthermore, various lines dividing the region cover the map. Written in orcish runes are the words: “New domain.” Gavan cannot wait to show this to Sir Isteval and figure out our next course of action.
So that’s where this weeks D&D Encounters session ends. It should be noted that our DM rolled exceptionally well this week, which hopefully means that next week everything will average out and he’ll roll rather poorly. 😉