Due to the constant grumbling of my regulars having to start at level 1 and having to play Encounters characters, we have collectively decided that any character will be acceptable to play for the season. We are also starting the season as level three characters. So this week, we start the new season off with a blackguard, a wizard, a vampire, and the return of Fargrim the fighter, and Valenae the cleric.
Tired after long day of marching and cold rain, you’re warming yourselves by the earth of the old owl in the town of Duponde. You’ve been traveling and the Kings road for a week, heading south to the city of Sarthel with correspondence from lord Markelhay, the Lord Warden of Fallcrest.
When you arrived in Duponde, you discovered that the city’s two bridges had been damaged by recent flooding in the Nentir River. Now, you must wait a few days while the stonemasons repair the bridge.
The characters around the table took the time to introduce themselves to one another. Although everyone knows each other the characters role played quite nicely adding some flavour. Later on in the evening, the characters can be found downstairs in the common room of the old owl in. Sitting in the room are a trio of dwarf travelers, the dark hair to young man in the robes of scholar and his halfling servant, a burly guard in a brown cloak, the barkeep, a gray bearded old man, and the proprietor, a stout woman of middle years introduced herself as Tilda when you took lodging for the night.
While downing a few mugs of ale, the party overhears the guard say to Tilda. “Think I’d best to be on my way.”
“Take care of yourself Grimbold,” says Tilda “we’ll shut the tap early, I think. It’s no night for good folk to be about."
“And why is that?”
“Because ghosts walk abroad on nights such as of this, friend,” the guard answers.
The young scholar looks out “could the ghost of Evard be among them?”
“Be quiet all of you; that name should not be mentioned on a night like this.” Says Tilda
After overhearing these conversations, the players decide to talk to Nathaire. Jarren asks him who Evard is and he replies that Evard was a powerful wizard who disappeared about 50 years ago. His specialty was magic infused with the power of shadow, and he devised several new spells. I have been following his trail for years and never expected to find his tune in the forgettable little town like Duponde. Between you and me, I cannot wait to get out of this backwater town.
The characters converse for a little while longer with Nathaire and then meander over to Tilda and ask her in hushed tones about Evard’s tomb. Tilda relays to the party that many years ago there was a wizard’s duel between Vontarin and Evard and once the battle was over the townsfolk found Evard dead and Vontarin had disappeared.
At this point, the rest of the customers either retired to their room or had left the building. The characters were tired from their travels and so, decided they would retire to their own rooms. Later that night, a powerful sensation awakes the characters disorienting them. Lighting a candle to look around, the characters notice that the light sources are not glowing as brightly as they should be. Suddenly, a scream of terror erupts from the inn’s common room: the old owl in is under attack!
The characters run downstairs and the barkeep is motionless on the floor while small winged creatures flutter around the room. Before the gargoyles can dispose of Harald, the party springs into action and combat begins.
The vampire moves in and attacks the shadow creature attached to the fighter and misses. The cleric moves in to intercept the second shadow and engages him in toe to toe mortal combat.
The gargoyles attempt a rally and try to knock the blackguard down to no avail. A couple of bad rolls leave her unscathed. Fargrim runs to try and shake the shadow, but soon realizes that he cannot shake the creature. He attacks it and strikes a lucky blow, and manages to force him out of the shadow. The shadows respectively attack Fargrim and Valenae and both swing wide of their marks. Jarren, casts lightning from his hands and catches both of the gargoyles in the blast bloodying both.
The blackguard follows up the wizards attack on one of the gargoyles and he drops down in a million stone pieces. Valenae has her hands full keeping one of the shadows occupied giving some respite to the team dealing with the rest of the monsters in the room. She hits the shadow with her mace.
Despite Fargrim being pummeled by the monsters, the party manages to dispatch the remaining monsters with relative ease, due to good rolls from the players and bad rolls from the DM.
The encounter was relatively easy, even at the adjusted level. Players enjoyed themselves though. They seem to enjoy having a town to explore and people to talk to. They enjoy having that base of operations to start from.
How did your sessions go? Any modifications or restrictions imposed? Did you change anything this season to satisfy your players?