DDC – Into the Woods

The DDC picked up this week with an expedition to find the Auntie in the Fields, and were pulled towards the northern farms currently lying fallow under the winter snows. Thorin declared his presence through the iron token, and was told to approach the blasted oak on the edge of the forest – where they were met by an ogre-half breed called Kher. With visible restraint, he told them to follow the path into the woods, not to stray, and it would lead to his mother. He would wait for them here, and look after their mounts.

Behind the tree was a winding but relatively short trail to another hollow oak which had space to fit everyone in at a squeeze. The group gathered inside it but saw no way forward – it was only when they looked back outside that they realised things had changed. The previously overcast sky was bright blue without a cloud in it. Things flitted just out of the corner of their eyes. The snow on the ground had started falling up into the sky. They had entered a fold or layer of Thelanis – also known as the Feywild.

The path they had previously travelled was still visible, so they made their way back along it until they got to the halfway point. There they could see a wicker basket with brightly coloured packages in it that were vaguely egg shaped. Caeluma stepped over to inspect it – and that triggered a series of deadfall traps set by fey bandits led by a harengon with a long blue scarf.

Harengons appear to be humanoid rabbits – and this one was armed with a rapier and a hot branding iron. Accompanying him was a hobgoblin mage, a korred (who looked like a stoneskinned dwarven satyr with huge bushy hair), a malicious redcap, and a small host of darklings who promptly rushed out of the bushes to harass the adventurers.

Only minor injuries were inflicted by the darklings in their first rush, while a fireball erupted in the middle of the group – cast by the hobgoblin. His control of his magics was sufficient to spare his allies while harming the DDC. Caeluma was felled by a large rock thrown by the korred, while Thorin engaged the redcap in a furious exchange of blows.

The harengon sped through the melee, branding Caeluma and Valenia on the way. To their eyes he promptly faded from view although everyone else could see him. Kerne intimidated the darklings into fleeing by claiming the group was under the protection of the Winter’s Knight, and Valenia quickly felled the hobgoblin with her bow. Arwan was able to rush to stabilise Caeluma – who then discovered that their paired magical daggers had been stolen by the harengon as they lay stunned on the ground. Thorin quickly finished the redcap – whose corpse turned into a spread of red mushrooms – and the korred saw the harengon and darklings fleeing and followed suit, melding with the stones below to escape. The harengon narrowly escaped back through the hollowed oak and the battle was done.

The erstwhile bandits’ stash of loot was at least nearby in a chest, but that was small comfort to Caeluma. Arwan loaned them their magical boomerang for the time being, and Caeluma told everyone that the bunny was theirs to kill next time. Meanwhile, the path ahead awaited.

We’ll find out where that leads next week…

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.

DDC Feywild Dreams: 1

Thorin dreams of home, growing up at his father’s knee as he leads the local tribal defences against raiders and beasts. He feels the heat of the forge soften to that of the hearth – and at every turn his father is there with advice, his axe always to hand, or propped nearby. “Remember that you inspire as much at the knee as you do at the front of an army.” He says. Then he lays down his axe and the warmth of the hearth becomes the warmth of the dawning sun on Thorin’s face as he wakes.

Coal dreams of war and death. He sees the living struck down and raised again in undeath. He and his fellow soldiers march from forge to destruction in rigid locks top nonetheless. In his dream he flees and finds his own path, his own friends, his own family – but everywhere he looks he is reminded of the war. He sees elements of his fellow warforged soldiers rebuilt into new forms and with strangers’ faces. Surrounded now by his adopted family he is confronted with the serried ranks of a phalanx of rebuilt and misshapen fallen warforged. They beckon him and call out: “Come back to us. Rejoin the Triumphant Dead.”

Feywild Nights

The game returned last night and – what do you mean there was a missing week? Can’t be! Well, time does flow strangely in the Feywild, so maybe it spilled over into our world a little.

Anyway, a Midsummer’s Night’s set of dreams got underway – also known as the DM having an opportunity to throw foreshadowing, prophecy, insight, and just plain teasing into the mix. It provoked thought and controversy, but also some chuckles – and then they went on their way along the path and found themselves back in Eberron in the swamps.

The obligatory battle came courtesy of more clockwork horrors made by the artificer they’ve been pursuing – in this case spiders and a troll – and these were relatively swiftly dispatched, but not without some serious injuries along the way.

I’ll do some additional posts detailing some of the dreams, as I rather like some of the writing.

Spiders and Manticores and… the Feywild?

The game last night went really well, keeping a pace and direction that many, I suspect, would see as traditional adventuring. We completed the fight that we’d had to leave halfway through last week against spider and spider-themed opponents and then as they pressed on, the DDC found their way barred by a manticore and a wyvern.

Under other circumstances this might have felt like a random set of monsters, but a bit of flavour (branded sigils relating to the current BBEG) led to a feeling among the players that these were deliberate attempts to block their path

Just As Planned

The last few weeks has generally been a series of medium difficulty encounters in quick succession to both use up limited resources and spells, and to reinforce that the adventurers are now pretty experienced and competent.

It seemed only right, with the timing of the session, to therefore allow them to rest in a quiet bower in the Feywild before closing in on The Coven of the Blinded Eye. They’ve just been warned that approaching the hags will take them through the territory of a wicked dragon, so there’s that to look forward to.

Great Game Night

Another fun games night just finished, continuing on the DDC’s pursuit of a missing alchemist which has led them to helping sprites with a spider and ettercap problem in return for passage to the Feywild.

We had a lot of character moments too, with Valenia assisting dryads in repairing damaged forest land, and young baby Odif spontaneously beginning to crawl, and to begin to talk.

More than a mascot?

As everyone has generally been speaking a mishmash of Common, Sylvan, and Draconic around him, the baby kobold is mostly calling people and objects by single-syllable names to accommodate his jaw structure. This can’t possibly end in tears…