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TOPIC: R1 2020 Was Blades in the Dark, now D&D5e

R1 2020 Was Blades in the Dark, now D&D5e 1 month 3 weeks ago #5329

  • mikeawmids
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Season One / Session Three

The heroes return to the city of Knightsbridge to find it has fallen to orcs – or, at least, the southern half of the city has fallen. A contingent of armed soldiers have barricaded the titular bridge to the wealthier districts across the river. Paupers Gate is guarded by the shambling figure of a large zombified ettin! Endon pales and hides under a bush, he cannot be witnessed slaying another ettin (or technically, the same ettin a second time) lest his undeserved reputation for heroism grow exponentially. Overturned wagons lie scattered across the ground outside the city walls. Hunkered down behind one of the wagons is a rock gnome barbarian called Nemin the Perturbed (played by Steve), who had been serving as a caravan guard when the green menace descended and drove off his employers.

Note: Paul was absent this week and Steve took his place at the table.

Sir Henry marches forth and commands the ettin to move! The two-headed zombie groans and attacks! The clash of steel draws orcish archers to the city walls and arrows are soon raining down across the battlefield. With white foam frothing from his mouth, Nemin scales the walls and kills the archers. Meanwhile, Ezeke, lops off one of the ettin’s legs to bring the giant crashing down, then finishes it off with his greataxe.

The poor district is in chaos, orcs loot and pillage unchecked while the citizens cower in abject terror. It appears the soldiers have pulled back to hold the bridge, leaving the slums to burn. After collaring a lone orc, the heroes learn that the attack is only a distraction, while the half orc necromancer Mazoga infiltrates the Knightsbridge museum and steals the skull of the last Orking, Urim Rex. Ezeke is shocked! His half-sister is called Mazoga, though he hasn’t seen her for years. Could it be the same person…?

The museum is across the river, in the wealthier part of the city. Soldiers bar the crossing, commanded by Sir Basil Fondlewood, resplendent astride his trusty warhorse. Sir Henry grinds his teeth, he and Sir Basil have a long running animosity for one another. The two knights bicker for a while before Darvin steps in to smooth their ruffled feathers. Grudgingly, Sir Basil permits the party to cross the bridge.

The museum is an old stone building with thick doors and barred windows. Miasma picks the lock(s) on the front entrance. The exhibition hall is a cavernous space overshadowed by the painstakingly reassembled skeleton of a young black dragon suspended from the high, domed ceiling. Two hooded figures malinger near the glass display case containing the skull of the Orking. The taller figure turns and throws back her cowl, revealing the face of a young, half-orc woman with tiny bird skulls braided into her hair. Ezeke is stunned, it is indeed his half-sister Mazoga Strongtusk! The smaller figure turns out to be a zombified goblin.

Mazoga warns Ezeke to stay out of her way. She will use the skull of the Orking as a conduit for his warlike spirit, so that he may lead the orcs to victory against their enemies! Ezeke stands his ground and tries to sway his sister from her reckless course. His allies stand with him (except Miasma, who is even know creeping up behind the necromancer). Mazoga curses her brother’s stubbornness and uses her magic to animate the skeletal dragon! The dragon tears free of the cables suspending it from the roof and drops to the floor of the exhibition hall to attack the party!

The zombified goblin starts ringing a small silver bell (Toll the Dead) that stuns those who heed its dolorous peal. Darvin fires acid arrows at the dragon, melting through the old bones. The dragon snaps Nemin up in its jaws and swallows the gnome whole, but lacking a stomach, Nemin just tumbles back out between the exposed ribs. Mazoga turns back to the display case and breaks the glass. She reaches in and extracts the skull, laughing maniacally as it blooms with black fire. Suddenly, the skull is knocked from her grip by a magic missile! It clatters across the floor and ends up at Miasma’s feet, glaring up at her with empty eye sockets alight with malice. Miasma pops the skull into her bag and makes a dash for the exit. Mazoga loses her shit and drops a Cloudkill spell in the middle of the room. Ezeke and Poddlebrim breathe deeply of the poisonous yellow fog and fall prone, writhing on the ground as the life leaves their bodies. Nemin seems resistant to the noxious fumes - if anything, it just makes him even angrier than he already was. Sir Henry drags Ezeke into the foyer, away from the spreading cloud. Nemin calms down long enough to haul Poddlebrim to safety. The zombie goblin is still ringing that f***ing bell!

Miasma runs for the exit with the skeletal dragon in pursuit! Fortunately, it is too big to fit in the foyer and gets wedged in the doorframe, snapping at her heels. Mazoga casts Dimension Door and lunges for Miasma through the rift. Darvin tackles the necromancer to the ground. While they are tussling, Miasma gets the front door open and escapes with the skull. Realising that she has lost this battle, Mazoga teleports into the sewers and makes good her escape. With its Mistress fled, the zombie goblin looks forlorn. Poddlebrim twats it with his staff and takes the silver bell.

Note: When I planned this adventure, I intended that Mazoga escape with the skull – from the moment the party knocked it out of her hands and ran off with it, I was forced to frantically fabricate plot twists and story hooks on the fly.

Somehow, the orcs rampaging through the poor district are made aware of the failed heist and retreat to their foetid territories deep in the Gnarlroot Marsh. The heroes regroup in the Old Red Flagon and examine the skull. It is clearly animated by some manner of loathsome sorcery. Nemin tries to smash the skull with his hammer, but a burst of necrotic energy blasts him across the bar. Sir Henry recalls the Battle of Knightsbridge, where 12 brave knights held back the combined forces of the Orking long enough for the King to amass his own army and destroy the horde. One of those knights was his own grandfather; Sir Aelfred the Great, whose statue stands proudly on the bridge in the centre of the city. Legend has it that with his dying breath, the defeated Orking cursed those 12 valiant knights, swearing he would one day return to bring ruin to the realm of men.

Sir Basil seeks out the heroes and informs them they are summoned to the residence of Governor Hobart, lord of Knightsbridge and some distant relation to the King. Nemin decides to sit this one out and orders another drink. The rest of the party make themselves respectable and present themselves to Lord Hobart. The Governor thanks them for saving the city and rewards them with their choice of either a +1 weapon or a Cloak of Resistance. Lord Hobart agrees that the skull of the Orking is too dangerous to display in a museum and asks the party to undertake a quest to destroy it permanently, by delivering it to the workshop of the gold dragon Tyrsientom on Seasend Isle.

Last Edit: 3 weeks 6 days ago by mikeawmids.
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R1 2020 Was Blades in the Dark, now D&D5e 1 month 3 weeks ago #5332

  • Garuda
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Hiding behind bushes is a speciality.

I'm back from hiatus and looking forward to being there this week.

I chose Lucky as my gratefully received feat.
"Gentlemen, we're in the stickiest situation since Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun" - Capt. E. Blackadder.
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R1 2020 Was Blades in the Dark, now D&D5e 1 month 2 weeks ago #5333

  • JIm
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Unfortunately cant make tomorrow. Sucks.

Story wise I was thinking Miasma had been practicing some spells and had accidentally bewitched herself into a coma (that last until I get back next week). Whether you leave me or just drag me around is up to the party. I wont be very heavy though. Enjoy adventuring adventurers and I shall see you next week.
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R1 2020 Was Blades in the Dark, now D&D5e 1 month 2 weeks ago #5337

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Season One / Session Four

The Heroes have accepted a perilous quest to destroy the sentient skull of a savage warlord, to prevent a zealous necromancer from returning the Orking to life. To do so, they must deliver the accursed relic to the gold dragon Tyrsientom on Seasend Isle, beyond the wave-tossed waters of the Stormwrack Gulf. Betwixt Isteaning and the ocean lies the cursed kingdom of Keria.

Darvin is troubled. He would sooner walk into fire than cross the borders of that haunted land, but what other choice is there? The dwarves have dammed the river north of Knightsbridge and turn away travellers seeking to cross their mountain. To the south, the Brine Lords continue their ceaseless bickering over the pirate islands and sink any ship flying an unfamiliar flag. The fellowship must travel with haste, to outrun Ezeke’s misguided sister and whatever horrors she has dredged from the grave. No, the only way forward is to cross the cursed lands as quickly as possible and pray their trespass goes unnoticed.

Sir Basil Fondlewood and a small retinue of his best men will accompany the Heroes on their quest to destroy the skull. Strength in numbers and all that. Sir Henry grinds his teeth as his rival starts issuing orders. The two knights argue over who is in command of the expedition, as neither man is prepared to take instruction from the other.

The party leaves Knightsbridge and travels north-west toward Keria. Steeling their resolve, they cross into the blighted landscape beyond the border. Dark clouds roil across the bruised sky and a constant, stinging rain saturates the barren earth. Almost immediately, Darvin begins to hear ghostly voices on the wind. Endon extends his Divine Sense and determines that - in addition to the cursed skull rattling around inside his cookpot - there are definitely ghosts about. Darvin grows increasingly agitated as the voices torment him, crying out in response to accusations only he can hear. Sir Basil’s men exchange worried glances; the situation is bad enough already without their wizard going mental.

Darkness falls over Keria like a funerary shroud and the party make camp. Ezeke casts Protection from Evil to give Darvin some respite from the horrors that assail him. The wizard slips into a feverish slumber and dreams about the Siege of Kerr, when he and his squad slipped into the city to assassinate the foul hag with whom King Kazemar had forged a desperate, last-ditch alliance. The outcome of the King’s pact was the transformation of every last citizen of Kerr into gibbering mouthers! Of his entire squad, only Darvin made it out of the city alive and his survival has been as a festering splinter of guilt, slowly poisoning his mind ever since.

Darvin bolts upright, his garments sodden with cold sweat. The camp is surrounded by spectral figures, garbed in the uniform of the Isteanese military. Darvin recognises the faces of his old squad. The ghosts curse Darvin for abandoning them and demand that he releases their souls from the hag’s black heartstone in Kerr Castle.

Darvin releases a long sigh and accepts his fate, even if it means his own death. He will leave the fellowship and seek absolution in the cursed city. The ghostly figures salute their former comrade and fade away. To Darvin’s surprise, Sir Henry and the other Heroes all stand with him. They will not let him go alone. Sir Basil is outraged and demands Endon hand over the relic, so that he can complete the quest. Ezeke squares off against the foppish knight and Sir Basil stands down. He and his men will ride ahead to Whalewater Landing and secure a vessel to carry the party across the Stormwrack Gulf.

The Heroes approach the necropolis of Kerr. The main gate gapes open invitingly, but the drawbridge has collapsed into the stinking, sewage-clogged moat. Sir Henry attempts to leap the gap, but a barbed tentacle snatches him out of the air! A ravenous otyugh rises from the crusty muck beneath the drawbridge! The heroes defeat the monster and enter the cursed city.

The Heroes pass along empty streets. The only sign of life is the constant babble of incoherent voices. A manic laugh sounds from an adjacent street, answered by a baby’s gurgling cry. Darvin shudders. He knows these unsettling sounds are formed by no human mouth. The Heroes enter an open courtyard cluttered by the tattered remnants of abandoned market stalls. A bronze statue of the Kerian lion gazes down at them imperiously from atop its stony plinth. Suddenly, the sound of senseless jabbering grows louder and a dozen gibbering mouthers surround the party, emerging from drains and abandoned buildings around the square. There are already too many to fight and more arrive every moment! Resisting the maddening wails, the Heroes break through and seek refuge in Kerr Castle.

The throne room is dimly illuminated by braziers that flicker with sinister purple flames. King Kazemar sits upon his throne, attended by a beautiful elven maid. Darvin is not fooled for a moment and demands the hag abandon her false face. Neia Blackblood, the Hag Queen of Keria assumes her true form and attacks!

King Kazemar rises from his throne, leaving a sticky residue clinging to the armrests. Sir Henry notices a slimy tether connecting the King to a large, quivering blob lurking in the darkness behind the throne. Kazemar raises his hand against the Isteanese knight and his arm transforms into a slimy tentacle that Sir Henry bats away in disgust. Meanwhile, Endon and Poddlebrim close in on the hag queen. She defends herself with a cursed dagger that steals away the life of those whose blood it tastes. Darvin hurls a firebolt at the ooze behind the throne. The ooze spawns several baby slimes to defend it from further harm. Neia Blackblood brandishes her cursed blade and cuts open a tear in the space-time continuum! Poddlebrim is incapacitated by the frigid chill emanating from the starry rift! Endon slashes his blade across the hag’s shins and pushes her through the tear! With a howl of frustration, Neia Blackblood is swallowed by the rift! With the hag gone, her connection to the ooze-king is severed and the gelatinous monarch collapses in on itself “like a bag of shit".

In the centre of the slimy puddle left by the former King of Keria lies the hag’s heartstone. Darvin crushes the black crystal underfoot, releasing the souls trapped within. The ghosts of his squad reappear and thank him for setting them free. The spirits coalesce into a small, ephemeral pearl that floats down into Darvin’s palm. For the first time in two years, Darvin Buckwild feels at peace with himself.

(Note: Darvin receives a Pearl of Power, allowing him to regain the use of a 2nd level spell slot. The party could also have claimed the hag’s dagger, which was a Nine Lives Stealer, but they opted instead to toss the evil weapon through the rift after its previous owner.)


(Note: Everyone advances to level 4!)
Last Edit: 1 month 2 weeks ago by mikeawmids.
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R1 2020 Was Blades in the Dark, now D&D5e 1 month 1 week ago #5342

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Season One / Session Five

Having slain the Hag Queen and released the trapped souls from her black heartstone, the Heroes leave the ruins of Kerr to catch up with Sir Basil. They hook up with Miasma and Nimin the Perturbed on the road to Whalewater Landing, a squalid little town huddled on the coast of the Stormwrack Gulf. The bleached, barnacle-encrusted bones of some great sea monster have washed up on the grey shingle beach. One large ship is moored at the docks, tossed around by the choppy waters. The church is dark and boarded up, but the tavern is open and alight. The Heroes partake of a round of Blackflap and a salty seafood platter. The locals are unfriendly (to the point of being hostile) and claim not to have seen Sir Basil or his retinue. The Heroes do not believe a word of it.

The Heroes investigate the ship. It is called the Ambuscade. Two burly (but dimwitted) lads guard the gangplank, but the Heroes soon scare them off. The deck is stained with bloodstains that someone has made a half-hearted attempt to clean up. Endon breaks into the Captain's cabin and reads the logbook. Captain Tuktho was on route to Seasend Isle, to deliver a load of clockwork components to his 'Uncle Tyr', but planned to stop at Whalewater Landing to sample their famous seafood platter.

The Heroes investigate the lighthouse overlooking the town and persuade/intimidate the elderly keeper into spilling his guts. A halfling fisherman called Benten Bunkle started a weird fish cult that is all about human sacrifice. The townsfolk deliver any visitors to the cult to avoid being taken themselves. The cult operates out of the sea caves beneath the lighthouse, which are accssible via the beach at low tide.

Speaking of the cult, a dozen hooded figures are advancing on the lighthouse! The steep cliffside path is easily defensible and the Heroes roll barrels down to Donkey Kong the murderous villagers. A magical stormcloud forms overhead and bolts of lightning strike the ground. The Heroes hole up in the lighthouse until dawn, then head for the caves to confront the cult.

Sir Henry takes the lead. The floor of the cave is scattered with bones, both human and equine. Suddenly, an enormous grick lunges for Sir Henry, grappling the brave knight with its awful face tentacles! The Heroes kill the guardian beast and forge ahead. They reach a room full of horrid fishmen. After butchering the vast majority, the Heroes realise that these were once the people taken by the cult - not sacrificed at all, but transformed into new, fishy forms. They apologise to the one surviving fishperson and akwardly back out of the room.

Soon thereafter, the Heroes follow the sound of chanting to a large cavern overlooking the sea, where Benten Bunkle preaches to his wicked congregation. The halfling is pale, completely hairless and coated in some manner of clear slime. His sodden robes hangs open, revealing a pallid paunch that writhes and wriggles like a wet carrier bag full of snakes.

"Ah, new converts," the halfling sighs contentedly, "Join us and succumb to the loving embrace of Araluuz."

Last Edit: 1 month 1 week ago by mikeawmids.
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R1 2020 Was Blades in the Dark, now D&D5e 1 month 1 week ago #5344

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No tombs again so I'll come die heroically for you all while trying to Roll above a 10 if that's ok?
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rhodsey - Thu 29 Jul - 18:07

I'll join in if ok Hugh. posted in the forum post as well so the shoutbox doesn't get overwhelmed

Mr. B - Thu 29 Jul - 17:39

Jim - it’ll be next week and the week after…

JIm - Thu 29 Jul - 17:29

Ah, actually, I will skip tonight and join as a special appearance for the conclusion next week. Beware tentacles.

JIm - Thu 29 Jul - 17:11

Im up for some Cthulhu, what time you going to start ;)

Mr. B - Thu 29 Jul - 17:02

Max of six! So five spaces left. Any newbies, pcs will be generated before play…

Mr. B - Thu 29 Jul - 17:01

With Sant being absent for the next two weeks, I’ll run a one/two-shot of Cthulhu - for possibly the last time!! It’ll be a mix of existing pcs (so, Scott’s in!) and newbies. Who’s in?

Sarge - Thu 29 Jul - 16:53

Won’t be around tonight as have no game. Can someone please collect subs and pay for room. Thanks

Sant - Thu 29 Jul - 13:18

Expanse...Rather than wait until later to make a call, I've been feeling off yesterday and today so I'm going to have to not run tonight, sorry I thought I might feel better by this afternoon.

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