Thursday, May 18, 2023

Returning to the Campaign

Back at the table, and as I mentioned before- the pick-up game is now a 'real' campaign. Scary.

Who made it tonight?

  • Frederick - Thief
  • Waegstan, née Bonk - Fighter
  • Jax - Barbarian (and Goober)
  • Fulvus - Halfling
  • Mareth - Elf

Since we'd been away from the table for about four weeks, I took a page from Gary G. and declared that four weeks had past in game-time as well. What have our heroes been up to in the meantime?

  • Frederick - continuing to look for "unsecured loads" along the trade road with his halfling compatriots, as well as getting coastal traffic updates from the "Road Safety Committee" along the coast.
  • Waegstan - Fishing, hanging out with the river boatmen, and advocating for a new sport of fish-tossing.
  • Jax - Plant-hunting and studying from a sketchy herbal remedies book that she bought off a traveling bookseller.
  • Fulvus - Negotiating with the town leadership to purchase a plot for the construction of a brewery.
  • Mareth - Supervising the charmed ogre (Ogre #2 made his saving throw and wandered off) in ditch/palisade construction and making awkward attempts at negotiation when the ditch cut through someone's field.

Hugo, the gnome apothecary, had to leave town under urgent conditions, but left a "recently-developed" potion for the party to try out, along with a substantial list of possible side-effects.

The party also checked in with their compatriot Victor Matui, who is rebuilding his family keep outside of town. Victor's advisor Firmin had sent missives east to a colleague regarding information on the "Barrier," and had received some minor information in return, pending further discreet inquiries. Likewise, the chip of glass from the cracked hemisphere found in the watchtower appeared to be either ruby or some ruby-like alloy. If so, it would have required both an exceptional furnace and skill to create.

Sometime during this, a patrol representing the Hougon Duchy arrived in town. The captain noted the town growth and beginnings of fortifications. As a representative of the duchy, he offered the duchy's support and protection. For reasonable accommodations and financial support, of course. The town mayor conferred with the party, and they agreed to consider the offer, sending the patrol on their way. Which led to discussions on the with of becoming a vassal, whether this power was a viable ally, and a potential third way of developing their own power center or allegiances.

With that, the party set off to see if they could locate another 'node' of the Barrier.

The party re-located the overgrown road and returned to the watchtower location. While there, they were set upon by a band of goblins. Slaying half their number, and taking some minor damage, the remainder of the goblins fled, and the party continued south. 

Spotting some more ruins in the woods, the party investigated. The structure appeared to be a fortified manor or caravanserai. As per usual, Fulvus, Frederick, and Mareth crept about. Fulvus took advantage of the halfling ability to hide in the woods, but the dice rolled 00, and for once, he stumbled.

Waegstan walked up to the front door.

To be greeted by a pair of gnolls. Combat happened, with the party bum-rushing the entrance while being sniped and attacked. Some back-and-forth, and the party defeated the first two, only to be set upon by reinforcements. Again, they managed to overcome and scare away these opponents, before being attacked by the leader and his guards. Sometime in the midst of battle, Waegstan lost another hireling... Mareth webbed the boss gnoll after he had attempted to frighten Waegstan with an illusory opponent. Another round or two and the gnoll shaman was left alone and sticky. 

Mareth questioned him regarding their motives, and upon learning that they were capturing slaves, did the fellow in. The party cleared the rooms, finding four prisoners - a pair of merchants and their guards. Noting that the first floor of the manor didn't quite line up correctly, they deduced a secret room and found its access. 

Of course they rolled exceedingly well and did in my undead fire-breathing knight in one round. No need to belabor that point...

Collecting their loot, the group decided to rest for the night.

And with that, we'll see what happens next time...

DM Notes:

It was good to get back to the table after a few weeks off. We did a bit more world-building, and I was able to share some more of my framework of the world. I may have mentioned before, I count myself very fortunate to have acquired a group of players who are both fun folks and amicable to my style of game-running and world-building. It’s been one of the good things to happen to me this year.

The campaign world. We're somewhere 
on the west coast of the sea...

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