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.
Despite the best efforts of the rain to knock out our Internet connection we spent this Father’s Day evening back in the world of Eberron for the further adventures of the DDC.
Our last session had seen dreams and prophecy mix with nightmares and a redemptive struggle that ended with Caeluma losing some of their infernal heritage and instead growing feathered wings.
By contrast this week saw a brief couple of hours layover at the Lightning Rail station at Passage, where Valenia got lucky and Thorin was discretely quizzed by an Inquisitor from the Silver Flame about the whereabouts of Thorin’s sister and any recent contacts.
And then the journey continued uneventfully for a couple more days. On the second night, a group of assassins landed on the roof of one of the carriages and made their way in. They began trying to separate the front of the train from the rest of it, and seemed intent on isolating and killing Thorin.
The surprise attack was thwarted by Thorin and Valenia both being light sleepers. Thorin grabbed his axe and charged down the orcs leading the assault, while valenia tackled another and kicked them from the train before they could disconnect the carriages.
The rest of the group was roused by the sounds of conflict, and battle was joined. One of the orc assassins dropped a magical darkness in the train’s corridor and a brief but frenzied exchange of blows followed…
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
The last three or four episodes of ‘Well That Just Happened have seen my usual introduction spiel and recap take a more fluid feel through the simple change of my actually writing it out in longhand in my DM’s journal ahead of schedule.
Before this last month or so I’d just been winging it with the occasional glance at my notes from the previous session to remind me of names and places.
It’s the only part of the show that is scripted. I welcome viewers to the show and now include the regular introduction:
“Hello, and welcome to Well That Just Happened: a very queer adventure; where a tired and geeky polycule makes dad jokes and plays some Dungeons and Dragons.”
I then quickly go round the table to let people introduce themselves and their character (and mention what food and snacks they have) before making any announcements and then launching into the recap – a sort of ‘Previously On’ segment as described above.
I started doing it on a whim one afternoon when bored, but have found it a good structured way to get the session ready and players in the right frame of mind – hopefully it viewers find it useful to.
Sunday’s game was a quiet contrast to the previous session’s conflict. The group had boarded a skyship as it was leaving, and this week found that the owner was going in search of the ship that had been carrying Kemsler when it apparently crashed. If the group agreed to defend the ship, the passage cost would be waived and they could join the search.
Most of the session was spent meeting the crew, adjusting to flying on a ship, taking watches, and getting to grips with the practicalities of raising a baby kobold.
Tiefling horns were teethed upon, a papoose rig designed, wild pegasi seen flying through the clouds, and the peace of the journey remarked upon when the baby settled.
And then, as we ended the session, large flying dinosaurs carrying halfling bandits flanked the ship, and prepared to attack…
A good game this week, less roleplay and more rollplay in as much as it was dominated by a fight scene on the platform of a sky dock some sixty foot up in the air.
Sometimes you just need a simple combat session to contrast with the soul searching and verbosity of the story, and if nothing else this evening was a good illustration of how time slows down. The whole three hour game covered about thirty seconds of an extended brawl and a rapid flight up into the clouds to escape incoming reinforcements.
And that’s where we’ll pick up next week, on a flying ship powered by an elemental, up in the clouds.