- The group made ready for trouble and, one by one, made their way outside. There, they found the town under attack by kobolds while something roared and screeched overhead.
- After finishing off a group of kobolds that had crawled up to their area through the storm drains in order to start fires further into the city, they were met by a detachment of soldiers who urged them on to the gate where the bulk of the fighting was taking place.
- Down near the gate, in the thick of the fighting, something large suddenly fell from the sky, completely obliterating some nearby buildings. Emerging from the rubble was an enormous white dragon and a giant, eagle-like bird - both injured and fighting one another. While the group took a couple of pot-shots at the dragon, few of the soldiers had the nerve to approach, and all of the kobolds had fled. It was only moments before the dragon grabbed the great bird by the neck, and slammed it into the ground.
- The wyrm declared its victory before letting loose and icy blast that froze several streets and leaping into the sky.
- The town spent the next couple of days trying to re-secure the gate (which had been burned through), restore the destroyed and frozen areas of town, and tend to the wounded.
- Fyndwhyr came to visit them a couple of days later, asking if they were still committed to his expedition. They told him they were, and that they had received information from a mysterious figure that if the expedition was to be a success, time was of the essence. The party set out the following morning, making their way north...
- As the rest of the group began fighting the jackal in the street, Mido ran up and into the inn. Inside, he found more jackals and the tavern area a complete wreck. The jackal there suddenly transformed into a monstrous humanoid-jackal. I tried to grab Mido with its claws, but he slipped out of its reach. Unfortunately, when he met it eyes he passed out and collapsed. Waking in a dark chamber later, he found himself being addressed by someone else. This person told him that they must abandon their expedition or they would all die. There was a flash of light and Mido passed out again - but just before he did, he caught sight of the speaker: a creature with man's torso but the lower body of a great lion.
- Meanwhile, the others entered the inn and killed or drove off the remaining jackals. They found the entire establishment wrecked, and the ominous words "we are watching you" gouged into the floors of their rooms. They searched the inn and the surrounding area, but found no trace of their friend. They helped the innkeeper clean up the place and stayed the night there. Mido turned up around 4am, having awakened in the tunnel between the Hillside district and the Undercroft. He woke them up and relayed what he had "learned".
- In the following days, they sent word to Fyndwhyr at the keep about this new possible threat to the expedition, ultimately deciding they would proceed but warily. Mido, Jaydah, and Carmella all received thier 50% payment advance to prepare for the expedition, and the group decided they would pool and divide the 300gp 4 ways, so as not to leave Kugrash out.
- Kugrash met up with his friend Joccan a couple of times - once to "celebrate" their armwrestling match, and once more.... unplanned. Kugrash questioned Joccan about the jackal creatures, and the man seemed to know something about them - suggesting they were part of a dangerous organization, and that Kugrash would be better off leaving town. The second time they met, Joccan had actually come to find him. The man was wearing a hooded cloak and acting wary. He showed Kugrash a wanted poster of a man called Lethan Stahzer. Joccan told him he believed this man was involved with the expedition or with Fyndwhyr, and was not to be trusted. He offered Kugrash 500gp if he could get Stahzer arrested - or even if he could just "prevent" him from returning to the Plain. No questions asked.
- It was a couple of nights later when the group was awakened n the middle of the night by the keep's alarm bell. Looking outside, they could see a couple of flickering fires further down the hillside, as well as movement in the streets. As well, they could hear the distant din of shouts and commotion - and a tremendous roar from overhead...
- The following day, the group spent some time cleaning up and getting ready for the banquet at the lord's manor that night - where they were to get some details about the expedition they'd been hired for. Kugrash meanwhile, went looking for an instrument-maker who could "fix up" his axe-flute and ended up in an arm-wrestling contest with a man called Joccan in the Avenue Tavern. He lost the contest, but barely - and his opponent's reaction to the victory seemed a little overly-humble for his demeanor.
- At the banquet - after a "fine" meal and more casual conversation with those present - their host, the archivist Eughenn Fyndwhyr, explained their objective. He had found some old maps which contained some markings of unknown structures deep in the northern wilderness. Their intention was to travel to these locations and investigate. His hope seemed to be that one may be the remains of an ancient and unknown city. They were to depart in a week's time.
- Returning from the banquet later that evening, they found the lights in the street near their inn mysteriously extinquished, casting the street into darkness. Remembering their encounter from the previous evening, they approached cautiously. As they did so, they could hear occasional shouts, crashes, and breaking glass coming from the inn - and they saw a wolf-like creature emerge from the shadows coming toward them - baring its fangs and growling...
- The group left Sims' Camp the following morning and sailed the remainder of the way to Erelan. On arrival, the captain Satwi had the Jovossa pulled out of the water for inspection and found that it had sustained damage she was unsure how to fix. She and Hemmet would be in town for a few days at least - and were a little hesitant to make the return journey on their own.
- They made their way to the top of Erelan's bluff to the Lord's Keep where they spoke with Regulus Brandt, the keep's quartermaster. They were given letters of invitation to a banquet to be held soon, and notes for accommodation at a local inn called the Cardinal Arms.
- The group spend a few days in town, exploring the place and looking for such things as smiths, shops, libraries, and so on. One evening as they were on their way to the inn from the Red Elk Tavern, they came upon a stretch of road darkened by covered lamps. Here they were attacked by a pair of grey oozes that had come up from the storm drains. They saw the movement of some small humanoids - possibly children - in a nearby alley, but were unable to get a closer look before they'd disappeared into the maze of side streets.
- The group fought off the kobold attackers while Satwi and Hemmet attempted to navigate the boat through the shallows to the right of the stone outcropping protruding from the center of the river. The effort required dumping some cargo and quickly emptying some ballast tanks but still resulted in a couple of hard hits on the bottom, resulting in some moderate damage to the underside of the vessel. The fight against the kobolds and a couple of worgs was tough, but they ultimately fended enough of them off that the rest declined to pursue them further.
- Some time later, as they made their way further up the river, they were suddenly hit by a strong, cold wind from the west, and witnessed the river ahead of them freezing over, they attempted to turn the boat around to escape, but found themselves froze in the river before they could. Across the ice, they were approached by a ghostly horse and rider, which Jaydah believed to be a wraith of some kind. It seemed in command of the howling wind and the intense cold, but rather than attacking aggressively, only approached, talking to them in some unknown language. Jaydah thought it sounded something like an antiquated common dialect, but was only able to pick out a few probable words. When they were unable to respond to the creature, it disappated and vanished - and the frigid wind subsided.
- The group was delayed significantly by having to cut themselves out of the ice, and Satwi told them they wouldn't quite make it to the capitol that day - instead, suggesting they make for the edge of the forest and a small hunting and logging camp that sat by the river there. They reached the camp just after sundown, and spent the evening talking with the locals about the gnolls, the frost wraith, and other local events - before heading out again the following morning.
- The group spent the rest of the afternoon around town until the log-roll contest that evening, when they headed to the docks along with most of the rest of the town. Carmela joined a local fisherwoman called Satwi in challenging captain Walthon for possession of the coveted river ship. Dockmaster Holluk explained the rules: there was a very large, round log suspended and floating between two of the docks. All three contestants would step onto it, and the last one to fall would be declared winner.
- The contest began. While captain Walthon was doing quite well at the start and Satwi almost immediately faltered, the tables soon turned as the challenger recovered. The crowd gathered around the docks cheered and called throughout the competition. All three did very well overall, and captain Walthon was the first to fall, followed almost immediately by Carmela, leaving Satwi the victor. The crowd cheered and then headed to Gallen's pub for their "reward" - drinks bought by the losers.
- While the PC's representative wasn't able to win the contest, they hadn't given up on using the river ship to sail north to Erelan rather than walking through the potentially-dangerous Nembrill Wood. Mido and Jaydah both spoke with Satwi about making the trip and letting them buy their way along, and she eventually decided it was a reasonable idea.
- The group set sail a couple days later up-river. They hadn't made it an hour north of Onara when they began seeing disturbances along the far shore, eventually catching sight of a kobold astride a worg. Shortly after the river entered the forest, it began to narrow and ahead they could see a large rock protruding from the center of the channel, and rough water on either side - indicating shallows. It was at this point that arrows began flying at them from the kobolds along the shore...
GM's note: The 'log roll' and possession of the ship was meant to be an interesting bit of setting detail for the tiny Onara riverside village - an event that they could maybe watch and talk to the locals about and would give some life and color to the place. I had in no way intended or expected them to try to join the contest. Because of this, I was just going to narrate the outcome with whatever seemed most interesting at the time. Once they said they wanted to be part of it however, I knew I'd have to make up some rules mechanics to make it fair - and I wanted it to be more than just a single roll-off, because they all seemed excited about this. I came up with a set of rules that broke the contest into combat-like rounds where the primary actions related to maintaining their own stability or trying to weaken others'. I think it worked well, and it was quite the nail-biting competition. They came close but didn't end up winning - though through some other rp and actions, still managed to get themselves on the ship sailing north.
- The group headed toward the river village of Onara along the road now muddy with water from melted snow. As they made their way into a flooded lowland marsh, they could hear some commotion some distance ahead. As they approached, they found themselves attacked by a swarm of stirges.
- The group fought off the flying pests as best they could, becoming aware of a small group of kenku fighting them as well. When the last of the stirges were killed, they spoke with the kenku, who invited them back to their camp.
- The group spent the rest of the evening with at the camp, talking to some of the kenku about their nomadic tribe and the party's plans to go to Onara and then north to Erelan. The kenku cautioned them on some dangers of travelling through the Nembrill wood.
- The next day, the group finished their journey into Onara. The small village sat on the edge of a bay-like protrusion of the Dobec river along a slow-moving section. They made arrangements for accomodation at the simply-named Riverrest Inn, and proceeded to the one tavern in the tiny village for an afternoon meal - which they found to be so crowded as to be overflowing with locals.
- The group caught word of a "log roll" contest of sorts to be held that night at the docks and went to inquire further. Speaking to the dockmaster, they learned that this was a something of a local ritual that would determine the captain of "The Jovossa" - a large fishing boat owned by the town and that most regarded as something special. Noting the comment that it was the only vessel in town capable of making reasonable headway up-river to Erelan, the group asked if they might participate in the contest - and if they won, could they use it for a trip up-river. The dockmaster, who seemed to regard the whole thing as tiresome, was amused by this plan and told them that that seemed reasonable - but cautioned them that a losing challenger had to buy a round at the pub for every fisherman in town...
- The group met up at the Cup & Hearth in the village of Bhurk and enjoyed a bit of a reunion over a meal. As they discussed their common purpose, Mido informed his friends that there was an issue with the way north toward their destination of Erelan: namely, that the gnoll tribes had become particularly aggressive and were explicitly watching the roadways for targets to waylay.
- Due to the situation, no other traffic was heading north, and while the local Borderguard had sent word for support to address the situation, it was likely a couple of weeks from resolution. As they wished to reach their destination as soon as possible, they decided to take another's advice to head west to the river village of Onara, and then follow the river north through the Nembrill Wood toward the regional capital of Erelan.
|Friday August 19, 2022 at 8:00pm||d&d, salthon plain, game session notes, new campaign||Comments (0) »|
Since our Cyrran Reaches game is having some difficulty meeting these days, we decided to start a new 5e game with a slightly different player group that might be easier to keep going at the moment. We met for a session 0 some weeks ago.
- Jaydah Orez [Sheri] :: human rogue
- Carmela Nailo [Edie] :: elven druid
- Mido Bagu [Tony] :: human wizard
- Kugrash Damaris [Tim] :: half-orc fighter
- The characters had been childhood friends, but had gone their separate ways and hadn't seen each other in many years. Each had seen an adventurous job posting and decided to check it out, This took them to the Salthon Plain, a northern region of their kingdom of Aanashalor known for its harsh climate.
- As they made their way independently to the village of Bhurk, an early-spring blizzard descended suddenly on the region. Kugrash and Carmela were caught in the storm along with a wagon crew Kugrash had been accompanying. Just outside the gates of Bhurk, the group was attacked by snow-white wolves - including one enormous specimen. Soldiers from the settlement came to help them, along with Jaydah and Mido.
- The ensuing fight was rough, but the group survived and made their way into the village...