Our second session kicked off with a full complement of players, and more, as Dr Mitch could join us. His character, Sir Adon of House Starbright brings with him a retinue of three; a squire, a cook and a messenger.
The party, still Level 1.
- Ser Alys de Rouge (a half-orc Fighter with a soldier background, currently the leader of the town militia of Daggerford), played by Tom (Guvnor). Lawful Neutral
- Kelwarin (Kel) (a half-elf Sorceror flush with the powers of wild magic, an outlander), played by Graham (First Age). Chaotic Good.
- Gaddock Teeg (a halfling wizard and former prizefighter), played by Alex (Doggetay), Neutral Good.
- Roscoe Tosscobble (a halfling Cleric of Life, a follower of Diancecht, god of medicine and healing, former hermit and companion of Ser Adon), played by Jag (Jagusti). Lawful Good.
- Ser Adon of House Starbright (a half-orc Paladin, from a knightly background, with two human retainers and a priest), played by Paul (dr_mitch). Lawful Good.
If you recall the earlier post, we left the party in the early hours of the morning when Ser Alys saw four wolf sized shapes passing through the mist towards the village of Forest Gables.
2nd November Battle was swiftly joined; initially Roscoe and Gaddock were suffering due to their lack of dark vision, but the party engaged with fire bolt cantrips from Kel and Gaddock, followed by crossbow shots from Roscoe. Ser Alys engaged with her battle axe, which is what she does best. Although the first wolf went down swiftly, burning, the others proved more troublesome and forced both the spell casters to unleash their first level spells. Kel witch-bolted the larger wolf, and Gaddock cast sleep but to less effect than before as only one wolf fell asleep. Startled by the swift attack, the larger wolf turned to flee, only to be cut down. Two trees were set on fire (accidentally) providing more than adequate lighting. Ser Adon had been following the party's path, and hearing combat managed to arrive part way through the battle, tipping the balance conclusively. Not a wolf survived and the party escaped unscathed. Ser Adon planted his javelin, which casts a ward around it if anything comes close bearing ill-intent.
[DM note: the wolves never got to their most advantageous as they never closed enough to gain their benefit from being a pack. That changes...]
The rest of the night passed undisturbed, and the spellcasters recovered their spells. Roscoe found the trial, and after some breakfast where Ser Adon introduced himself properly and caught up with his cousin Alys, they set off into the increasingly misty forest edge following the wolf tracks coming from the east.
The mists drew in, and travel was difficult. The pack animals needed to be lead on foot as the fallen branches, treacherous moss and rocks made going difficult. Soon all sense of direction was being lost by the brave adventurers. Eventually, they stumbled upon a red tassel tied to a tree. They soon realised that there were a set of tassels forming a trail. In the eerie stillness of the mists, cold, damp, wet, they spotted three lights which moved just off the trail, eventually swapping to both sides of their path. The decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and not to investigate these. Sir Adon lit the way with light from his javelin.
As they passed through the mists, Ser Alys heard a scream from a child, and wolves snarling. She ran ahead, outpacing the others and saw a young human child up a try, clutching a shield that was far too big for it as four wolves menaced the boy and tried to leap up the trunk. Sir Alys charged in, and killed a wolf in a blow, but was soon beset by three others. They leapt on her savagely and she soon went down, unconscious. Ser Adon charged in to help; Roscoe blessed Gaddock and Kel, and battle was joined. The tension rose as Ser Alys was bleeding out [Death Saves] and through a combination of fire bolts, silvered steel and crossbow bolts, the wolves were dispatched.
[DM note: I made sure that the wolves were working together this time, which makes their attacks have advantage. This escalated rapidly and I feared Ser Alys' days were numbered.]
Kel talked the child down; he identified himself as Dusan, squire to Sir Cedomir Volchykrov, leader of the Hounds of the Borderlands, a group of knights who protected the Graenseskov. Sir Cedomir was the heir to Boyar Borje Volchykrov, Master of the Graenseskov. Dusan had been on his own as he had fallen asleep over lunch and managed to leave his master's shield at the campsite. He had gone to collect it lest he risk a beating.
He showed the party the way through the forests, and out into a low pass, at the head of which was Volchykrov Manor, an old fortified manor house with walls that block the pass and the route of the Old Svalich Road. What was disturbing was that they emerged travelling westward but they had been moving eastward. It was clear they weren't in Faerun anymore.
The party reached the gates of the manor just before sundown, and the squire took them in to see the Boyar. Just before the party reached the gates, the boy let slip that they had been beset by a vicious wolf-like beast for the last year, since the Hag was executed...
Our adventure continues on the 17 December 2019
At the end of this session, the characters levelled up to Level 2, removing some of the fragility.
I'm grateful to have two players who know D&D 5e really well, so it means I rarely have to reference the rules. I'm still some way from being entirely comfortable with them, but it works well and Roll 20 is good. We did have some connectivity problems tonight, but muddled through.
They have now entered the adventure proper... the mists are the boundaries of Barovia and the Graenseskov is a border region through which the Vistani often pass to trade.