DDC – Pack Tactics

Sunday’s game picked up in the morning after the fight with the werewolves and saw the first of many debates about what to do about those cursed with lycanthropy. The two dwarves captured the previous evening turned down accompanying the group, and instead volunteered to go to a nearby trader and pay to be locked in the cellar for the next few nights. They said that they would do this so that they could not bring harm to anyone. They didn’t want to run the risk of turning in the middle of a fight and making things worse. Reluctantly the group agreed and saw them off in the right direction before carrying on up into the mountains. They knew that as long as they followed the river it would broadly take them in the right direction.

Thorin recalled that there was a guard post at Renald’s Creek, about an hour shy of the Amberhammer Hold. Set among the remains of a gargantuan fallen statue known as the Old Titan, it had previously been the site of a fierce battle between militia and trolls in the Last War, and a presence had been kept there ever since. When they got there however, they found the guards and a group of merchants had been slain recently – the tower breached by powerful claws.

As they investigated, they noticed activity in the water below the bridge and saw the remains of several trolls recombining and growing into one huge monstrosity that in swift motion climbed the bank and strode among them. A fierce battle quickly began as the dire troll flailed its many limbs and nearly killed Kerne and Caeluma. Kerne’s potent magics and Caeluma’s trickery allowed the group to stop the creature long enough to put it down – but they were all battered by the end of it.

The group realised that the promised haven of the Hold was unlikely to be friendly, so they decided to pause to patch their wounds and re-fortify the guard tower. This led to new conversations about the nature of lycanthropy and whether Caeluma would be a threat. In turn this led to the revelation that Valenia had also been infected, and the two nascent werewolves discussed privately what they were going to do. They opted for honesty, and volunteered to be separated for the evening and secured to the best of the group’s ability while the remaining adventurers prepared to defend the tower.

Valenia and Kerne talked at length about the legends of werewolves from their lore – bearing in mind that they were supposed to have been wiped out by the Silver Flame some 200 years ago. Neither knew of a sure-fire way to end the curse but did recall legends that if the original werewolf was slain or cured that the curse would be lifted from all who had been afflicted. They debated that this might mean that Thorin’s sister was the origin of this new plague and what decisions this might lead the group to face.

Caeluma and Thorin also talked at length, with Caeluma extracting promises from him that he would look after everyone and would let Coal know how much they loved him. They also asked Thorin to let Arwan know that Caeluma considered them a better cleric than them. Thorin refused to countenance talk of death and loss, insisting that they would all come through this and put all things right.

Arwan dismissed the praise when told, saying that there was no measure of being “better” in such matters – each had gifts and aptitudes the other did not. Thorin privately shared with Kerne and Arwan that he had already considered that he may have to kill his sister and made his peace with that if it became necessary to save his people. On that somber note, they reinforced the barricades, and waited for the moons to rise.

Wednesday Game

It’s been a hectic week but we did get the Wednesday Librarian game in – picking up from where we left them in a grimy hole in the wall bar with their new friends.

The gang didn’t have a name or anything like that, but drinks were consumed before they headed off out. The two kenku accompanying them were a great source of interest as the players worked out how to communicate with creatures who could only mimic other sounds.

They did at least confirm that the apprentices they were looking for worked in The Mortuary which was next door. There seemed to be some mirth around this that wasn’t explained. Half the party were by now drunk – specifically those specialising in lock picking – and so attempts to gain entry took a little longer. This provided a great deal of entertainment for the locals, who seemed unconcerned by all this activity.

Eventually, by various means, they broke in to the locked up building to find that it was in fact a book depository full of jumbled shelves and stacks of old newspapers. A cursed book of tongue twisters left Xander the artificer literally tongue tied until Wilhem lifted the enchantment. It was carefully stowed away as the group found a trapdoor.

This in turn led to a deeper cellar carved into the bedrock that featured a wide set of magical runes, the two apprentices, and the animated objects that they had just been about to make fight. On spotting the group, they directed their creations to attack and tried to make a run for it. The potted shrub was slow but moved to block the group, while the broom flew quickly and aggressively.

And that was the cliffhanger we ended on.

Wednesday D&D Session One

And this will be the one where I suddenly remember five minutes in that i haven’t actually exported the expected map and uploaded and configured it and proceed to do this in the background.

Its also the session where the simple “go here, hit this person, and return with the stolen item” mission became a huge and convoluted conspiracy theory necessitating the on-the-fly generation of a dozen semi-fleshed out NPCs, including four high levels wizards and a street gang who the group talked into not trying to mug them and instead took them down the pub.

It’s also the game that was utterly derailed by a wizard with the name Thunderstaff, how he was a big noise in the community, and frankly everyone was desperate to get their hands on him. That’s about as PG as I can make that conversation.

Welcome to a new Eberron campaign where the players are mostly librarians, with a rogue teacher, and a couple of the polycule for good measure. There are two rogues, two gothic elf death priests, and an artificer with amnesia who’s a little bit bemused by it all.

We had great fun. I have no idea where we’re going to end up.

Howling At The Moons

An amazing session of D&D this evening. We’re all quietly buzzed afterward, and a lot of chatter and gossip filled the chat channel after the stream.

The whole thing picked up where we left off last time. We had the group facing off against a pack of werewolves on the way to Thorin’s homeland under the orange light of one of the twelve moons. Battle was soon joined, and at first seemed to be going well. Thorin held the bridge, raging and striking at anything trying to pass. The rest of the group began to tackle anything that got past him. And then Thorin killed the first werewolf and as it fell it reverted to its original form – a dwarf wearing the tattered remains of clothing in Thorin’s clan colours.

You could have heard a pin drop. And in that moment Caeluma and Valenia were bitten. As another werewolf fell and reverted, Caeluma was bitten again, and in the stress of the battle turned into a werewolf too.

Well, if there was stress and shock before, it was doubled now. Thorin was bitten as well and the group tried to switch to non-lethal subduing efforts to end the battle. Kerne used a charm monster spell to stop Caeluma and calm them and eventually the group was able to subdue two of the original werewolves and knock them out.

The group hurriedly retreated into the shelter of the forest away from the moonlight as Caeluma reverted to their true self with little memory of what had happened. As their captives regained consciousness and lucidity in their original dwarvish forms they began to reveal what had happened.

According to their captives, Thorins father was indeed ill. Thorin’s sister had returned to the Hold with deep mining dwarves who brought news of a cure and they were welcomed in. Overnight however, Hold fell to creatures from below, the night full of teeth and eyes, and Thorin’s sister was revealed as a werewolf who began to infect prisoners with her bite, releasing them into the night to spread chaos and madness across the mountains. The Hold now lies full of death and madness, but no one knows the final fate of Thorin’s family.

And that is where we ended the session…

Corridor Battle

The Sunday game was a pulse pounding battle in the narrow confines of a moving lightning rail train carriage. Assassins had landed on the roof in the night and attempted to separate the cars before focusing on Thorin. We’d left the previous week as a cliffhanger with Thorin and Valenia desperately fighting for their lives as the rest of the group roused from sleep.

This week saw Thorin fighting one on one with a skilled warrior, trading blows furiously while most of the rest of the group were held at bay by a warlock with an unearthly appearance – with tentacles and spikes instead of hair and slightly scaly skin. A detonated bead of force meanwhile had isolated Thorin from Valenia, who was in turn fighting a desperate battle with an orc assassin who was relentlessly beating her defences down.

The turning of the tide came with Kerne being able to concentrate and perform metamagic to extend the lightning of a witches bolt spell to both the warlock and the warrior fighting Thorin, just as the group’s newest member came crashing through a window. They’d climbed onto the roof, avoided the giant bats that the assassins had used as mounts, and made a supremely successful use of acrobatics to swing down between the attackers. As the group managed to finish off the opponents at that end of the carriage though, they could see Valenia fall beneath the blade of her opponent, joined by an assassin who had previously been kicked off the train.

The forcefield generated by the bead of force evaporated at that point, clearing a path for this newest assassin to press the attack on Thorin, while the first attempted and nearly succeeded in finishing off Valenia. It was only through a supreme feat of endurance that Valenia was able to retain consciousness and gulp down a healing potion they had bought before they left home. She barely evaded the attempt to finish her and was able to make a desperate shot with her bow as she lay on the floor to slay her opponent.

Thorin, utterly enraged at this point, was able to slay this new assassin with a fearsome display of prowess and as everyone stood, bloodied and exhausted we ended the session there.

Next week? Well who knows – at the very least some investigations in the aftermath…

Back to the DDC

We didn’t stream, but we did play this evening, and ran video through Discord so we could see most of our faces as video and mental states allowed. It was a gentle enough session – rounding things up from the last one as they searched the huts belonging to the Blinded Eye hags.

I dropped some plot hooks in there about Kerne’s sister, introduced them to the Winter Knight who serves Queen Mab and got them swiftly home for well deserved humour, welcome, and a thorough telling off by Tanglefinger.

So, that’s the stage set for what I’m calling Year Two of the DEC’S adventures.

Dragon Encounter

Tonight’s game was a blast, I don’t often have an excuse or a chance to bring dragons into play. Given they’re in the name of the game they’re relatively rare, and in Eberron they have a more narrative important role too, but this week was fun.

The DDC characters aren’t quite at a level of power and expertise where they can comfortably tackle an adult dragon, so talking and negotiations were the name of the game this evening. Kerne as a dragonborn sorcerer was thrown into the spotlight as effectively the only person Fellestri the Green would deign to talk to, and Lady M rose to the challenge.

It also gave me an opportunity to bring out what myr s calls “the Dom voice” and really impress on the DDC who was in charge.

Yes, we all know it’s Odif!

DDC Returns Tonight

We are three hours from the return of the DDC – and I’ve just spent an afternoon crafting fun things for them to encounter if all goes well, or things go sideways. I’ve also just sent them a voice recording of Tanglefinger wondering where they are on our group chat. What’s the worst that could happen?

Meanwhile I’ve also been making some new design to go on tshirts – while they rework how they handle accepting new items and advertise them in different markets Amazon have throttled the number of new designs I can submit – but the link at the top of the page should show you the ever expanding collection of designs and items – go have a look, maybe you’ll see something you like the look of.

Oh, the message Tanglefinger sent? “They’re still not home, they’re still not home, where are they? They were only going down the pub! Hmm, well they’d better bring me some beer back is all I have to say.”

Come join us this evening on www.twitch.tv/jedileah at about 7.30pm to find out what happens next – at about the same time that I do.

DDC Feywild Dreams: 3

Valenia dreams of the hunt. She dreams of tracking her prey with Raine at her side, and her pack close by. It is a simple dream. It is a comfort dream, and it is a dream she shares with Raine. Their dreams are one, with visions overlapping and complementing as they close in on their quarry. They sidestep traps and treacherous terrain. They leap across rivers and weave through trees until they see their target. They are with someone, someone who is bent with teeth at their prey’s throat and who locks eyes with them as they approach.

Odif dreams in shades of grey and flashes of colour. The kindly dragon, the furry man, the wolf woman, the horned cuddles are all there. He is happy.

Caeluma sees their infernal father reaching for them and the holy symbol on their chest. His presence fills their lungs with brimstone, and leaches the strength from their limbs. In a cage at his belt Caeluma sees their mother. Beside it is an empty one with their name on it. As the demonic claw reaches for them, a bright hand intercepts, pushing the infernal one away. Gerlon the Morrowheart, Caeluma’s celestial patron, moves between them and forces the demonic presence back. The Morrowheart’s feathered wings spread to match Caeluma’s father’s leathern ones and the stench of brimstone is replaced with clean summer breezes and the promise of rest. Caeluma wakes, Shriken nestled against them in the shade of a tree, and a single enormous golden feather as long as his forearm resting on their chest.

DDC Feywild Dreams: 2

Kerne dreams of sisters – the Unburned Child and the Feytouched Warlock – and of her own flight from angry and scared villagers. She sees her younger sister learn to fade from sight and move unchallenged, aiding those in need. Her older sister walks in living landscapes and eternal dusk where time flows strangely in all directions. In a hut covered by snow, Kerne sees her brewing potions under the watchful eyes of hunched and dark eyed women. Kerne looks down at her own scaled hands and sees coiling serpentine energies running through her flesh, remaking her from moment to moment. A butterfly lands on her claw, and is still there when she opens her eyes.

Shriken dreams of flying. He dreams of catching up eating butterflies that have prettier wings than his. He dreams of breathing his breath of happiness in everyone’s faces while they sleep to bring them pleasant dreams. He dreams of sleeping curled round his master’s shoulders on a cold night beneath the trees. Shriken thinks he’s dreaming – but he’s never really been able to tell the difference.