The level 11 Silvers for this session
In order of Initiative
Vernon von Longsington, human wizard/Conjuration, wielding Surtr’s Scathe;
Dain Frostbeard, hill dwarf bard/Lore;
Richlen Ilineiros, high elf paladin/Glory, wielding the longsword Alagondar;
Garth Ironhewn, mountain dwarf fighter/Battle Master, wielding the Ungart Hammer
Ably guided by Murcomb, half-orc ranger/Hunter
The Silvers begin 100xp below level 12 and end on 60
How Fast is Too Fast?
Ebondeath – the dracolich they have been fearing – is inhabiting the body of the ancient green dragon Claugiyliamatar! Their wily arch-nemesis Ularan Mortus must be laughing up his sleeve!
But while the dragon is flying faster than a galloping horse towards the Mere of Dead Men, Ularan himself may not be able to move quite so quickly… so even as they shake their heads and stamp their feet with anger, the Silvers plan as swift a riposte as possible!
Murcomb’s expert opinion is that there are two possible speeds out of the Kryptgarden:
- Best speed: DC17 Survival (which takes account of periodic Bardic Inspiration, Paladin support, and healing). If all goes well the return trip may be only half a ten-day. If things go awry, the horses will founder and the Silvers will exhaust themselves.
- Due caution: DC12 Survival (again taking into account the same). If all goes well the return trip may come in under a ten-day. If things go awry it will be more like a ten-day and five.
“Why not do a bit o’ both?” Dain proposes. “We march like the clappers tae the forest edge, then as ye say Murcomb, ye send a warning tae Leilon, then we move wi’ more safety.”
The others vote aye to this. Murcomb looks doubtful but promises to do his best.
Leg 1: Only 1 character makes DC17, all horses save for Beans2 take 4 levels of exhaustion, and all characters take 1 level of exhaustion.
Day of Rest: while Murcomb uses his Animal Messenger ability to send two birds to seek Grizzelda Copperwrought in Leilon. They bear the same message:
“Big scary dragon approaching! Protect Leilon!”
Using the day’s rest, the Silvers are able to relieve themselves of their exhaustion, find fodder for the mounts, and get ready for the next stage, which lies mainly across rather barren hills.
Leg 2: This time 2 characters make the gentler requirement, meaning that Murcomb can make the difference. The mounts (save for Beans2) return to their previous 4 levels of exhaustion and the rest of the full ten-day elapses.
Follow those ravens!
As they swing out onto the High Road, with the Mere hard by their left and the old bandit hill-keep behind them, ominous signs are evident to all.
Vern, the strongest in Arcana, sums the evidence up: undead are moving on Leilon!
To this point the Silvers have had sneaking thoughts that they may be able to contact Taba and tackle Ebondeath directly in the Mere but now Richlen rallies his fellows:
“Set aside thoughts of the Mere! We need to get to Leilon, to rescue as many as we can!”
The wind gusts significantly before them as they ride into the dusk. Rain will be falling by about the time they reach Leilon!
South Gate: the Ghastly Horde
Murcomb takes the foundered horses back into hiding as the Silvers dismount and peer into the midnight rain. A mountain of undead is swarming the wall – but perhaps not across it?
They have been wondering about getting round to the east gate, but this looks far too urgent.
“I shall summon my highest-level Spirit Guardians,” Dain plans. “If ye jist keep ’em off Vern and me, we’ll be through them in a minute!”
They march! Garth Ironhewn hammers his shield in a marching beat, as Dain’s sonorous bardic tone gives them all heart!
Rich’s lip curves in a sulky arc: “Ilmater, why don’t your paladins get AoE?”
At about 150′ Vern opens the ball, flicking a Fireball as deep into the mass as he can. Ghouls disintegrate! He follows up with a second, deeper one as they get within about 100 feet. At this range the Silvers can all pick out torches along the wooden wall, and defenders thrusting ghouls back down, using spears.
“I can hear the soldiers yelling – their commander is a lady Seraphina” – Vern
“Means nae a thing tae me…” – Dain
Three ghasts hurl themselves through the fey spirit barrier, then 12 more. The stench makes Vern hurl, but he recovers to sear some of them with Chain Lightning! Alagondar and Ungart Hammer smash the others into oblivion.
Dain makes a fine Performance to announce the arrival of allies to the gate
With a final gout of Scorcher from Surtr’s Scathe Vern clears a charred path for them to the gate. The defenders lower spear-tips and all four are helped up and over the gate!
Hearty thanks and welcome! Much back-slapping! And wondering how and where they came from!
Docks: Talos is in Town!
Lady Seraphina Bladewalker is a short, strapping, rather cute-faced veteran of the Neverwinter Guard. Time is too pressing for her to explain how she came to be here ordering the South Gate defense. She urges the Silvers to contact the Council and organize defense.
Underlining this, cries for help come from the docks, where the Council has, or used to have, its meetings.
The Silvers try to take stock of things, but with such a confusion, all they can do is gather that Puck the Tymora priest may have supplies, and the north gate may also be under attack. Vern also catches the sound of drums, somewhere north.
They push on towards the Umber Hulk Inn:
Surging up out of the swamp, a horde of zombies pushes aside the makeshift defense there and frightened townsfolk take cover behind solid doors where they can. The Silvers’ erstwhile landlady, Mistress Malwyn, gestures to them to do the same.
“We’re not here to take shelter – we’re here to help!”
“Well go on to the docks and the Fisher Hall – some of the Council might still be there!”
Already, zombies are beginning to clamber up towards the Fisher Hall. But at that inconvenient moment:
“Send me a real challenge! You soft townsfolk are useless! Talos! Give me a foe worthy of your name!”
Rich pushes quickly up the steps beside the Fisher Hall and onto the same battle ground he once fought Talos-inspired lizardfolk over. Just away east, a hulking figure wields a massive chopper-like sword.
“I’ll lure him into a duel, you all get him as he fights me,” Rich conspires.
Things don’t go according to plan! As he readies to back his comrade up, Garth hears a cry for help from inside the Fisher Hall! He races in – but not before Talos slams all of the Silvers with a spiteful lightning bolt of great magnitude.
(Yep, holds a grudge, that guy!)
Dain backs Rich up with healing as the Blackguard slams past his shield several times in a bruising, ugly fight. Vern has to spin about and drop a Wall of Fire across the gates and steps down to the dock, preventing zombies from ravaging into the town unchecked. At last, the Blackguard, blaming Talos for not backing him up, falls.
“Talos who?” – Rich
Rich gains Inspiration from defeating the Talos champion
Fisher Hall: Boneclaw!
Garth dashes in, taking Second Wind: there’s an up, there’s a down, but the cry comes from a short distance away, on this floor. Valdi Estepaar, half-elf docks supervisor, is prone, a great gaunt figure of bone and sinew looking over her!
Garth’s priority is to separate them, and even as Valdi wiggles away from the Boneclaw again, Garth leaps her and smashes the creature again and again, Action Surges and repeats, throwing in the odd Feinting Attack to get past its bony defenses!
“Big ‘un in here, I’m in trouble!” – Garth
As the doughty mountain dwarf resists necrotic damage, the others thread their way in, and help Valdi get clear. Seeing itself without zombie reinforcements the battered Boneclaw fades… into the shadows and away!
Seeking a better vantage point, the Silvers see Valdi off – she heads for the Town Square – and head up, just ahead of an endless tide of zombies. From the Council Hall, they do have a good view.
Three characters make DC15, not spectacular given the poor conditions, but adequate
Now that the Wall of Fire and Spirit Guardians are fading, zombies are beginning to force their way up off the docks. The Boneclaw has sited itself securely in a phalanx of zombies, beginning to move past it and into Leilon. A long jump might take someone right over the mass, onto the Boneclaw.
“Up onto the roof! You too Vern – I’ll haul you!” – Rich
Below them, the horde is shoulder to rotting shoulder.
“This is what we call a target rich environment” – Garth
Rich announces his plan: a running leap onto the Boneclaw.
“You have that there Dimension Door, dontcha Dain? We can both drop in behind round-ears and Vern can snipe from up here” – Garth
“Perfect” – Vern, adjusting his seat as best he can
Rich runs straight along the roof tree then down the tiles…
and with a great leap plunges down onto the Boneclaw, which taken by surprise at such an attack, cannot use its Deadly Reach to stop the paladin: who crashes Alagondar through the bony ribs and blasts a third-tier Smite in! The Boneclaw explodes, shards taking several zombies down.
Dain and Garth appear and the latter begins laying about with his hammer, crushing bones with each swing.
Ebondeath! Or supplies?
Some minutes later the weary Silvers break all the way through the remains of the zombie horde, and reach High Street. They peer about, getting bearings and trying to sense the flow of battle amidst the noise, dark and rain.
Vern makes 22 Perception
A great dragon-shape is affixed to the most obvious landmark, the wizard’s tower a block away. North, Vern hears the sounds of drums still, and from what he can hear, the North Gate is still being contested. Scattered townsfolk flee hither and thither in the street around them. Some are in fact town militia, pale of face and lacking leadership.
“Here – laddies – get yeselves organized – guard yon dock. We put paid to the undead but there may be more” – Dain
Dain makes DC25 Persuasion
The possibility of succor is here too: aside from what Puck (of Tymora) said, the shrines of Ilmater and Lathander are just to the right and across the street.
“I dunno about you, but I’m gonna stop that dragon” – Garth
Before the gruff dwarf can stomp off that way, an armored man comes fleeing from that same direction. It is Sgt Yorrum: pushing through the soldiery that Dain has just got to pay heed, he yells:
“Retreat! Save yourselves! Leilon is lost!”
Garth growls and with a quick rush, brings his hand up from somewhere down below his own belt, in a massive slap. Sgt Yorrum performs a complete somersault and lands face down in the muck. Garth grabs the town guard commander’s uniform roughly and flips him over to tell him:
“Didja get that outta ya system? Pull yaself together – it’s time ta go!”
Garth takes Rich’s Inspiration and makes DC18!
And as the Silvers decide whether to seek healing and supplies, or to make straight for Thalivar’s Tower and the dragon, the session ends.
At the point where the session ends, I make it two possible Victory Conditions, and not three. The Silvers have 2 out of 2 so far, neither fulfilled “as scripted.” By messing up the Jack Torver script (I was struggling with just introducing lady Seraphina let alone a Councilor they never spoke to) I am fairly confident that I have made it impossible to achieve all of the mapped Conditions. Sorry folks!