We begin where we left off, about to get into a fight with “the glasstaff” as well as Herone (connected to the dragon Pan Calderax, which can’t be good for us) and at least one other. We’ve sent a hapless courier inside, he got caught and is now either being tortured or beaten or otherwise violently interrogated.

The Paladin Marcus can’t really dig that. Presumably others can’t either.

So . . . here we go.


We hear torture impending. so we move rapidly and with little plan into the building. So pretty much par for the course. Carmina casts a quick Guidance spell on Marcus, since she finds him in touch range. 

“Surrender, or be destroyed!” he Intimidates loudly, calling his light as a paladin (and rolling 17, with an additional 4 from Guidance). Two spearmen with spears and chain mail are present; one gives up entirely, and the other actually attacks the first. 

Surprise! it’s actually Sidwin in disguise, 

Through the window, Keyar can see a guy – he’s 13′ up, so he has line of sight, and considers if he can jump the distance. STR 11 on an Athletics Check vs. a DC 20. Ooo, hard fail, but his 20 Acrobatics roll means he takes no damage on the fall. It was worth a shot.

“See what’s going on downstairs,” comes a barking voice from upstairs, and we also hear a gurgling scream as our courier is stabbed. It’s really not safe to join this party in any NPC capacity.

Carmina, waiting to see if anyone comes down the stairs, sees the glasstaff. He flings Hold Person his way, a spell resisted at 15 by WIS, and Glasstaff rolls 14, missing by 1. He’s paralyzed up to a minute; any attack against him has advantage, and any successful melee attack counts as a crit.

Someone grabs him from behind and pulls him out of the way. Leshar runs up and stops immediately behind Carmina, growls “get up the stairs, quick.” Sidwin misses the unarmed, unshielded guy. We mock him a bit.

A guy with spear and shield barrels down the stairs at Marcus; Keyar, who was waiting for such an eventuality, shoots at 1d20+8 and hits once with a 20, misses with an 18. Hunter’s Mark plus 1d8+4 hits for 11, but Second Wind brings 5 HP back. Still decent.

The guy hits once for 9 HP, and takes an action surge to attack twice more, hitting one more time for 8 HP. The unarmed guard stabs at Sidwin for 4 HP; he also takes an action surge and crits for a bunch of damage on Sidwin; he’d picked up a spear.

Marcus smacks his foe for 18 HP, expending a first level spell slot for an extra 2d8 (and rolling badly). Someone flings a healing spell at Marcus, restoring him to 36 HP in the process.

Fosco climbs up the window (stealthily) and gets a good view of three bad guys and a poor courier, bleeding profusely on the table in the middle of a couple of death checks. No one notices him, The glasstaff is obviously paralyzed. 

Herone moves to the top of the stairs, and goes after Carmina, as an obvious Mitran, with two bolts of dragonfire, one eldritch bolt hitting for 4 HP.

Keyar shoots at the guy engaged in melee with Marcus on the stairs, hitting with a crit and a regular hit for 24 HP; he goes down. 

Glasstaff fails to break free of the hold person; another guy whips out a heavy crossbow and shoots at Marcus, missing him; he dodges back out of the way to reload.

Leshar charges at the rearmed spearman and Sidwin – neither of which he knows. We joke +Tim Shorts may wind up fighting himself (Sidwin being Tim’s old character). Leshar strikes the mercenary twice, hitting solidly twice for 30 HP damage, hitting him. He snarls at Sidwin, looking menacing. Sidwin shouts (at himself) “I’m on your side! Watch for Kytherak, the rogue – he’ll be hiding in the shadows somewhere!”



Marcus charges up the stairs and hits twice; on the first Marcus suffers 15 HP because of some magical armor thing, while doing 32 HP of nonlethal damage in turn. Then she gets a reaction attack and hits me for another 22 HP of damage, rendering Marcus unconscious. I took more damage by attacking my target than I did as a fighter hitting her.

This is bullshit. The fighters seem to have the lowest damage output of anyone.

Keyar shoots Herone and brings her down. Fosco casts or throws some sort of smoke, and obscures the local area. Glasstaff wakes up, the bad guy thief is trying to climb out of the window.

Sidwin climbs the stairs into the pipesmoke, and drags Marcus down the stairs. When he comes to, he casts Protection from Evil on himself. 

Marcus, feeling pissed off, runs upstairs into the smoke. Despite disadvantage, he hits twice and deals 35 HP of damage, bringing Glasstaff down. In order to do this, however, he spends the last of his 1st level spell slots that add extra damage with Divine Smite.

A servant revives Herone, but falls at the hands of a spell cast by Carmina. Fosco feeds the courier a healing potion; he revives, and Fosco drags him under the table. He puts his hand over the courier’s mouth and tells him “Shhhh.”

Herone gets to go, of course, having been revived by her minion. She . . . does something inscrutable. 

Keyar jumps up to the top floor. He sees a little girl weeping over her fallen mother, but no sign of the newly ambulatory Herone. 

The thiefy type hits Sidwin for 16 HP total, twice with a mace. Sidwin is down to 8 HP.

Leshar runs up the stairs, and the smoke clears. Herone’s nowhere to be seen, Keyar is climbing in the window, and points at the door where Herone went inside and locked herself in. 

Sidwin casts magic missile on his foe, 2 missiles. Marcus runs to the door and kicks it down, making a critical success and shattering the door. Fosco gags and searches Glasstaff.

Herone says “you’ll never take me alive!” and hits Marcus with a firebolt of some sort for 10 HP. She gets hit for 3 HP by a poor damage roll by Carmina. Keyar invokes Colossus Slayer, and hits for 13 HP damage. She falls to the ground and breaks her neck, losing any information we could have gotten out of her.

Sidwin, the last combatant outside, finally fells his opponent. 

We’re out of combat.

Glasstaff stabilizes. Leshar is disgruntled because he only got to kill one person. Fosco finds a wand (of Magic Missiles), a Staff of Defense, Glasstaff’s arcane focus, his spellbook, and 120sp. He gives the 120sp to the courier, and tells him to say nothing to anyone about anything that happened here. 

Carmina Spares the Dying on the servant girl. Keyar and Marcus search the house. We find a summary of Herone’s notes:

  • Hony from the Twilight Company dropped off Maud, sent her off to Orsal in Byrny. The Master will be pleased with the leverage over Mori.
  • Eraban of The Revelers was asking too many questions, the Diamonds took care of the problem.
  • Alderman Hakon the Merchant tipped me off about another one of Alderman Merin the Jewelers deals. Confirmed with with Hony of the Twilight Company. Sent the Diamonds down the Rorstone Road and they successfully intercepted the shipment and passed it along to Orsal in Bryny in the Kingdom of Thunderhold. The Master should be pleased with the magic items.
  • Talked to Yelnoc two days ago about the situation, he and the rest of Twilight Company are uncommitted, through Hony I was able to remind of all the vacant seats. He is will visit the Sheriff tommorrow, must remember to cook Hony another dinner and ask what happened.
  • The Melorian Order are a pain in the ass, the Diamonds unable to find them in Dearthwood. Told Kitherak that he must not fail next time. Kitherak suggest planting edivence that the Melorians were behind the death of Eraban. Told him the The Revelers would never buy it. 
  • The Oaken Woods are so easy to manipulate, the Bloody Moons are not going to be an issue. 
  • Pardan is overdue. Will send the Diamonds out to look for him in Phandalin if he is not back this week.

Keyar actually finds, grasped in Herone’s hand, a “familiar” sword, with a stylized Hawk hilt – a +1 Longsword.

We start the interrogations with the little girl. “Mommy works for the bad lady, who fell out the window.” Fosco offers the girl a “big lunch,” and asks if she heard any secrets. A lot of important people came in and out. Those Diamond guys are bad. 

The Revelers are an adventuring group. The Diamonds are some sort of group or guild. Kisserak or whomever is a Diamond. The Bloody Moons are a orc tribe; we bagged (incarcerated) Pardan in Phandalin.

We search the rest of the building, finding 3,000sp, 20 gold crowns (worth 320sp each). 


Kisserak had a +1 Mace. There are two horses and two full sets of tack downstairs as well. We also find, among personal effects, ritual books and scrolls about somethng called the Pact of the Dragon. 


Sounds Warlocky. It’s similar to the Pact of the Archfae, but with less illusion, more dragonfire. Planning to extract more power from Pan Calderax. 

The Merc captain had a heavy crossbow, a potion of healing, and a few suits of chainmail.

We spend a lot of time talking about Hony, a somewhat dull guy with dreams of ruling over a kingdom of burning people. The Twilight Company is somewhat factinoalized. Herone may have been using Hony for local control or in direct action on behalf of Pan Calderax.

We ask about the lay of the land with respect to the other adventuring parties on the board, most of which seemed to be mentioned in Herone’s note:

  • The Melorian Order led by Willissa Entemoor a priestess of Dannu and her second in command the half-elf fighter Devin Arkeel. Averages around 3rd level or so.
  • The Brotherhood of Oaken Wood led by Zantar of Cromly. With Erevan as a fighter and fanatical orc hater. Ariel is their healer. Shae is a spaced out half-elven mage. The groups take killing orcs very seriously. ARound 3rd level or so.
  • The Black and White Diamonds, a hard core group of treasure seekers. Pretty much willing to do anything also long there is a penny to be made. Pretty sure that their leader Kitherak is in league with Herone. Includes Syl Long a member of the Brotherhood of the Lion, Tinare a mage, and Riker a bruiser type of fighter. Around 5th level or so.
  • The Beggar Bunch. A group of Beggars in Tain, more prosperous than most. Lanar is their leader and seem honorable as Beggars go, Nanosh however is the leaders of the adventurers in the group. His buddies are Char and Vorn. Around 3rd to 5th level. Lanar is far more eperienced than he lets on.
  • The Revelers. A group of treasure seekers, as first glance similar to the Diamonds but definitely have a moral code. Pretty much in for it for the good times. One of their members recently died Eraban in Dearthwood. You think the Diamonds had something to do with it. 
  • Twilight Company. The most experienced group in Tain. Yelnoc is more of designated spokemen than their leader, other members including Vander a fighter and two mages Gillis and Hony who constantly bicker with each other. Hony has been seen a lot with Herone but you think he just flattered by her charm has loose lips. Around 9th level.

 We divvy up the magic items.

  • +1 Hawk sword goes to Keyar
  • +1 Longsword from prior adventure goes to Marcus
  • Staff of Defense goes to Chubb
  • +1 Mace goes to Lesahr, to ensure he can be effective against magic-only stuff
  • Vognur already wields the Sheriff’s old sword, a +2 weapon
  • Aevin Steelhand already has a +1 longsword, and a hand-axe

We pick up immediately after a fireball and a command to cease fighting.

They ask which of us in charge, and we muddle. We decide that the paladin has the most moral authority, Keyar the arrow-happy elf is the most decisive, and Carmina tries to keep us from getting killed a lot.

They tell us the town is under their control, but they don’t want to fight us. That’s a nice change, really.

The Bishop of Tain says that they’re in charge, on behalf of Dracolindes and Mitra.

We’re pretty much being dictated to, so we go with it. We’re told in a week a forest of orcs will come to Tain, after the column of smoke signals a ready victim.

We come to an agreement that the Twilight Company is in control of the town, but that they’re going to leave and the Bishop will be allowed to rearm and reassert normal order in Tain.

We think that quitting the fight here is by and large a good idea, and if that means getting our noses rubbed in it by an NPC mercenary company, so be it.

We try and figure out how we’re going to untie this knot.

The hostages (the sheriff’s family) are free to go – they were just swept up in the fighting. We try and explain that to them. The seven guards, the steward, and four ladies form up and march through the gatehouse.

We ask for a quick word with the Steward, and pass on the warning about the orcs. We note he’s welcome to stay to discuss the defense of the town. He agrees, with some (deserved) skepticism. The other guards leave.

Rob accidentally calls my character Marcus instead of Mark. We all agree that would be a hell of a lot easier to remember, because Mark sounds like a player, not a character. We rename him on the spot as Marcus Bludiell. Yay.

Sildar Hallwinter comes over; we last saw him back outside of Phandalin with the miners. He notes that the PCs in a prior adventure had crushed the trollguard or something like that. The orcs are not likely to come soon.

Sildar and Sir Halleck the Steward represent the City-State faction

The sheriff is dead. The constable (his son) is dead. The steward is part of the sheriff’s household, but not a formal office. So the Sheriff of Tain is up for grabs, and the Twilight Company is claiming the office.

There are no takers in our party.

A new PC, Fosco Chubbs the halfling, notes that the Twilight Company is the closest thing to neutral as we have here, and the area is teeming with violence, which settles that we need to have a military presence here.

We actually have the writ authorizing the appointment of the Constable, but they’re not willing to accept a (probably false) transfer of authority. So Twilight Company sends the Steward packing across Varius’ Bridge.

Out of game, we get a refresher. We walked through Veylon, with the Therians holding the burned-out keep.

We get grilled by the Twilight Company asking why we’re here. We try and explain. Herene was influencing the minions of Set through Heria, and Herene is directly connected to the dragon Pan Calderax.

The new sheriff(s) agree to keep people away from Herone, giving us time to take a Long Rest.

Looting the Settites finds 1,034d, four potions of healing, and a +1 Longsword.

During the long rest, and some meditation, Veritas confirms that the new direction, the focus on Herone, feels better. Carmina hands over some money; she was a courier from the principality of Modron, and they’re funding the Mitrans trying to set up the dominos to fall.

We start the next game day, which only took us four adventures to play out.

The day dawns bright and crisp. The Temple of Set has been looted, supervised by the Twilight Company, and rounded up the Settites.

Keyar goes to talk with the sylvanites (Ranger elf-friends, I think).  Pan Caulderax has been more active. Something has angered the dragon and his agents are more active, and he’ll be meeting a druid this afternoon.

Leshar heads over to the Troll Path Inn to bust some Settite heads. He finds some miners they’d encountered previously, and the guy whips up his head when his name is called, and starts a fight. It ends quickly and badly for the thugs. One of the Twilight Company is on hand to threaten us. Leshar threatens him back. They almost come to blows, no, no, they DO come to blows.

Leshar goes for his sword. Vognur goes for Leshar, trying to knock him down and prevent yet another out-of-control spiral of violence.

So, Vognur actually out-rolls Leshar, and grapples him. So Leshar’s speed is zero, and Vognur drags him away by 15′. Vander the Twilight Company guy doesn’t move. Leshar starts laughing. Situation diffused. Our heroes take the Settites back to the barn, and Leshar notes “I didn’t escape one master just to serve another.” He then shows Vognur the official seal of the City State, taken from “inside the Steward’s chest.”

“Um, his chest cavity, or a box? With you, one never knows.”

Marcus chats with the Bishop of Mitra. He explains the lay of the land and what we know. Marcus gets the lowdown from the Bishop of Tain on the aldermen who consort with Herone.

Fosco, our spy, notes, a merchant, two craftsmen, a wealthy craftsman, and someone from the Jug Inn all come. Seemingly everyone in town came to chat with Herone at one point or another.

Ultimately, we decide to use the seal of the City-State that Leshar took to summon Herone to a fake meeting with the new Sheriff of Twilight. We’ll search her place in her absence.

But on the way to tell the Sheriff of our plan (why are we telling them?), a few memeber of our party swear they see an important NPC, the Glasstaff, is vaguely headed in Keyar’s direction, thanks to a crit on the Perception roll. Vognur decides to shadow him . . . and we see Glasstaff enter Herone’s house.

Vognur beats feet back to the Twilight Company and let them know what’s going on. But we have a new wrinkle, Glasstaff (who the hell is he?), the Wizard responsible for all the trouble in Phandalin, is a killer and nothing good will come of this.

Writ? What writ? After we’re done, come talk to us about this writ/forgery thing.

So Fosco sets out, rolls Slight of Hand for the forgery under the influence of Guidance, and rolls 16. (“Mitra says I before E, except after See!”)

We find a reliable courier, and we set up around Herone’s house, then dispatch the guy. The messenger goes in, and naturally, Herone detects the forgery and starts beating the hell out of our messenger. A merc walks past, the glasstaff walks past, the messenger disappears, and here we go.

We end there, as the fight is about to begin.

We pick up in media res, as we always do. The team at the gatehouse is first up in the list, and they managed to pick up three hirelings. One medium infantry with a crossbow, and two light infantry with spears and shields.

They nab the knight-killer crossbows that are “spare,” with 10 bolts each, and otherwise loot weapons from the gatehouse. They also find 6 arrows.

They beat feet after Mark Bludiell, who is busy escorting the bishops, and as they pass a Charcoaler, and as they do, they see a secret sign used by the Rangers of Silvanus discreetly marked on the sign.

But after this bit of conversation, things heat up very rapidly . . . 

As the group mills about in a bit of confusion, Keyar strides over to the charcoaler. Mark is striding towards the Temple of Mitra with the two clergymen in tow. A small crowd, many with clubs, have gathered in his wake, and I think are generally being swept along by interest and curiosity.

Over towards Varius’ Bridge, we see a porticullis go down, with a guard taking advantage of the crenelations to not get shot. Any river escape is cut off. 

Mark is leading a crowd and the priests to their temple, guarded by four guards, in two sets of two. He blows an Intimidation roll, so I shout “Get the f**k out of the way!”

Who’s that? A paladin? Crap! Close the gate!

The gate near us is closed and locked, so I use the Command spell to order the closest one to Flee for their lives. Random townspeople start taking kids off the street. I rush in, and drop two with two solid blows. He’s still got his light going on, so he’s in full Wrath of God mode. In fear, the two remaining miss badly. 

Mark demands that they both surrender, one tries to bull through me, and bounces off as he rolls 7 and I roll 21. I drop him with one miss and one hit. The last fellow has knelt in submission, and I inform him he’s chosen wisely. The townsmen look for a battering ram to open the temple. 

I check the overall map; I’m in the wrong place, and the townspeople are busting down the correct door. Still, at least I’ve driven off the guards.

Keyar goes to chat with the charcoaler, who informs Keyar that the Settites had nothing to do with the dragon Pan Calderax, but that the merchants under Herone have been the instigators. She has been visiting with a known associate of the dragon, Pardan Malorn. 

He relates that we set Pardan straight and six feet under, that we have killed the sheriff and his son, and scattered and disorganized the soldiery. We mighty um, eight or so, will free the town and put the Lords of Mitra in place of the old rulers.

Um, says the charcoaler, we can certainly provide some force of arms.

No, no, we need you where you are.

Leshar is standing outside making sure that no one violent comes knocking. Well, other than us. Since we’re not exactly forces of stability here.

And now there are two guys on the gatehouse looking over the edge and keeping a low profile. Mostly people are trying to stay off the street.

Keyar fills up his quivers, grabs some more torches (pyro!), and generally re-equips to the extent they can be.

Oh – and some are priests, with ability to heal! A healing potion (2d4+2) is handed off, and 9 HP are restored. They wave off an offer of payment, and also Leshar is the beneficiary of an extra 8 HP. So now he’s at 24/45 HP, and so they hit with 18 HP more, bringing him to 42/45. Everyone else is within a few HP of max save Carmina (and Mark, but he’s not there). Carmina gets boosted also to 3 HP from his max, and we in general request that all these guys stay safe and prep more healing spells under the assumption that the townsfolk (and us) will need it.

Back to the Temple. The inner courtyard is the Ostler’s common, filled with horses and people trying to (badly) hide. I march my captive over to the main gate to the temple, and arrive in time to meet up with the other characters as the door to the temple is broken down. 

We meet eight or ten Mitran acolytes or clergy, who are glad to see us, and us them. They fling a couple of healing spells at us and bring the entire party up to full health. 

They’re mostly poorly armed or unarmed, though. 

And Mark feels a Myrmidon of Set approaching. He strides through the gate, and sees about 100′ away a Myrmidon. Myrmidon challenges Mark with “who are you and why are you here?”

“I’m a Paladin on quest. Sent to prevent the scourge of the dragon Pan Calderax from laying waste to the entire land!”

“So why are you here in Tain fomenting rebellion and death?”

” . . . .”

Well, honestly because Keyar the itchy-bow-hand decided to feather the Sheriff with a few arrows, and well, the crap rolled downhill from here. I believe I’ll start having an existential crisis about my purpose here now, thanks. This is what happens when I forget to take heed of the visions that +Rob Conley provided me at some point. Oops. 

Anyway, we also hear an unfriendly crowd approaching from the southeast.  Plus the six acolytes in two ranks of three, the Myrmidon, a sergeant, and some sort of senior guy – an Archon of Set.

We start trading some spellwork and blows, and we quickly take a few points of damage and vanish the three acolytes in the front rank pretty fast. The battle starts into a larger melee. 

The general melee continues, and a Mitran plugs the Archon for 15HP with a knight killer crossbow, but he’s promply healed. 

He steps up to me, and Mark uses a deferred 2nd attack to hit him (he’s AC 21) for 18 HP of damage, expending one of my two 2nd level spell slot to vastly increase the damage. Myrmidon uses a bonus action to hit me with a Hunter’s Mark. So he’s Mark squared now.

They continue to fire off healing spells at their friends, doing a very effective job at erasing our damage.

Keyar kills one with longbow fire. The immediate field is basically clear of acolytes at this time, but we’re still facing the Myrmidon, an archon, a high archon, and an acolyte. Leshar charges the trio and hits the High Archon for 29 HP of damage in two mighty blows with his 2H sword.

The High Archon casts Hold Person at Leshar with DC 13; Leshar resists. 

Mark swings and misses at the Myrmidon; he nails me back for 21 HP, pushing an attack through my armor with a Channel Divinity ability. 

Leshar crits against the High Archon, followed by another crit by Leshar – massive damage ensues, and the High Archon goes down. 

The throng of Mitrans engages with the miners. Two or three miners go down.

Myrmidon gets surrounded by Mitrans, giving Mark Advantage. He hits again, once, for 25 HP, which ain’t bad. The Myrmidon casts a spell, reappears behind me, and misses twice (phew!). He backs off (but doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity, alas).

Two Mitran townspeople are felled by the enemy.

Keyar fires two arrows at the lesser archon, hitting twice for 28 HP. The lesser archon is much, much lesser – he goes down thanks to the effects of Colossus Slayer.

Leshar charges after the Myrmidon, hitting once for 11 HP (“which does not bounce off his armor”). 

The Mitrans deal with a few miners.

Mark Bludiell strikes home once, for 10 HP, forcing the Myrmidon to use Lay on Hands to heal 30 HP on his turn. “In the name of Set, I declare enmity against you, Paladin!” He now gains Advantage against me. 

The miners continue to be whittled down by the Mitrans, which is good because the lot of us are running out of special abilities. On the other hand, the Big Dogs on the other side are mostly gone. Keyar shouts to ensure that the High Archon stays down, and hits once for 8 HP. I’m guessing Myrmidon has maybe 25-30 HP left at this point. Leshar also hits once, for 11 HP more.

The Mitrans start hacking the downed Settites. Mark hits once, and uses his last spell slot to do 14 HP total . . . he’s down to a single HP left.

The Myrmidon stares at me and attacks twice with advantage. He hits twice for 30-some points of damage, bringing Mark to -11 HP (really just 0). He goes down.

Carmina steps up to flank the Myrmidon, and casts Beacon of Hope. This gives Advantage on Death and WIS saving throws (me!), and any healing thrown at me gets max results.

Keyar misses once, and then hits! The Myrmidon goes down. He turns and screams at the miners and Settites to the south, “Now you are mine!!”



Rob allows him an Intimidate roll; he rolls 14. And six Settites fail morale checks.

Leshar inflicts four failed death checks on the Myrmidon, killing him.

To the south, the remaining archon and many of the guards turn to flee. As do the miners. 

Carmina casts Cure Wounds on Mark restoring 12 HP. He then casts Spare the Dying on anyone who’s failed Death Checks, including the miners. 

Keyar, on the other hand, is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore. He fires at the departing back of the fleeing archon. 

Two guys, one with plate armor and a two-handed sword, the other in plate and shield, step around the corner of a building, and explode a fireball in the middle of the melee. 

“Stop. This. Fighting!” they say. They are two members of the Twilight Company: Yonnoc and Vander.

We end there.

Experience


We all get 600XP for quasi-liberating the town, and the battle.

Parting Shots

Paladins may have nifty spells, but frankly nothing at 1st or 2nd level other than Command seems useful, certainly not as useful as spending his spell slots for crazy damage.

We’ve been hard at this for three or four adventures, and the lack of short and long rests really took its toll. Some of the stuff that I (and others) can do was expended several adventures ago.

All things considered, when we were done, one Archon, three guards, and two miners were all that escaped. On our allies side, we had 17 effectives left standing, Mark took a bad beating, but no one else was seriously hurt.

+Rob Conley +Tim Shorts +Joshua Macy +Daniel McEntee +Ken H +Chris C.

We pick up where we left off, unsurprisingly. We have all captured on the gatehouse roof, Leshar the Lizard Guy threatening to eat the hostages, the paladin ogling a set of +2 armor and being bequeathed with a vision that says we’d best get our butts to the lower levels of the tower that is currently on fire. 

Well, one of the towers currently on fire. 

The clergy of Mitra are chained in the bottom, and they take priority over +2 Plate. Alas.

Vognur: Sucks to be a paladin, heh heh.Mark the Paladin: Being a Paladin has its moments. This is not one of them.

So, we’ve laid siege to a castle without a goal or a plan of any sort, captured two defensible areas and set one of them on fire, and endangered the one set of people that we seem to be here to protect.

Pretty standard way to begin a session for us.


Leshar shoves the hostages to the stairway, and Mark dashes back to the main area, leaving the shiny, shiny, tasty plate armor behind.

He notes that the only way across the the tower that requires his presence is to cross the burning wall, and he sees two warriors charging across. He flings two arrows their way, missing horribly with both, but takes up station in the doorway, gaining Advantage because, as Obi-Wan says, he has the high ground.

The guys on the roof are rolling barrels of oil and water around, to extinguish things that need to be extinguished (us) and set on fire that which needs to be set on fire (them). We’ll see how that plan goes.

Leshar engages in badinage with the dead sheriff’s wife, who notes helpfully that the keep is on fire. Thanks, lady. We knew that.

The fighter on the roof, the dangerous looking one, swings at me and misses thanks to my height advantage. Keyar drills the archer behind Red Dot twice from above, incapacitating him far more effectively than my ineffectual two blows, both of which hit but roll minimum damage. Alas.

Over on the gate, our heroes try and recruit a few gate guards. One professes to be on their side – “Just give me a weapon!”

We all laugh, and switch the scene. Leshar is driving his four female hostages out through the main door, past the fire he set, which still burning merrily, has filled the rooms with smoke.

An aside: a very persistent robin is trying to fly through my closed window. And LO! It is distracting as hell.

A different archer looses at Keyar, which nearly hits but clatters off the battlement. 

Mark and Red Dot try and shove each other ineffectually. If I can push him into the wall area, Keyar will drill him from above. If he can push me out of the way, I lose advantage. Actually pretty dramatic.

Keyar shoots twice at an archer in view, and does “Colossus damage” for having hit this guy before; he goes down. Two foes in two rounds. Thus far he’s our most effective fighter I think.

Vognur sets an area in front of the keep entrance on fire, which defeats the batttering ram but traps Leshar and the women inside. 

We are probably all deeply screwed at this point.

Over on the gatehouse, Carmina casts Zone of Truth, and surprisingly enough Mr. Give-me-a-weapon is actually telling the truth. He’s an honest-to-Mitra follower.

Red Dot pushes at Mark, and wins the Athletic Check despite being disadvantaged, pushing Mark into the room; two attacks from Mark bounce off his armor. Rolling very poorly today. “Allies to me,” Mark shouts again.

Keyar and Vognur both head to the trap door, having lost sight of any viable foes.

Leshar continues to menace the women, but we note that since he hasn’t eaten anyone yet, he’s technically on super-polite diplomatic behavior. The bravest one among the hostages is still the 5yo girl, who will gladly, in ten or fifteen years, turn Leshar into a purse or some boots.

Post-game commentary: She’s going to turn into Arya Montoya. “Hello. My name is Arya Montoya. You killed my father. And my brother. Prepare to die!”

He bursts through the door, hostages in tow, and growls “Meden!”

Upstairs, the melee continues; this time Mark gets in a blow for 8 slashing, while his own plate armor absorbs one hit and the second misses cleanly. Mark continues to shout and make noise – “Allies, to me!” 
Another note: I keep forgetting my Paladin abilities. I also forget when the last time we got a short rest was. 
Up at the gatehouse, Carmina considers preaching: 

“Brothers! Join us!”They respond:“Elder! Provide context!”

The melee continues, with two blows thrown, one ringing off Mark’s plate. The foe looks frustrated. I can live with this.

Leshar demands surrender from Medin (the Sheriff’s son) and his local followers. He has advantage, but rolls 11/12. Meden rolls 13. Meden and two knights and some warriors yell “Attack him!” and charge.

Four misses later, Leshar uses one of his battle master dice to Riposte. Rob notes that he can still use Ripose whenever he wants, just not spend dice on it.

Leshar hits for 23 HP of damage on his riposte. Mark, too, hits and invokes a spell slot from his paladinhood, delivering also 23 HP of damage. His foe staggers.

Keyar and Vognur rush into view; Keyar misses with two arrows, but Vognur uses Magic Missile and brings him down!

Carmina and Aevin continue their spontaneous recruiting expedition. There’s actually much confusion down in the main area of the castle, as people’s loyalty wavers. The sheriff is dead; the Mitrans are on the move, I don’t get paid enough for this crap, etc.

The knights press their attacks on Leshar, who suffers two hits. totalling 16 HP.

Things actually become too complex for the first time in three adventures, and we roll initiative to establish a fighting order. 

Leshar rolls a freakin’ 26 and deals 14 HP more damage; he’s badly staggered.

Aevin fires another crossbow bolt at the ‘yellow knight,’ with the potential benefit of the ‘Guidance’ spell from Carmina. He’s recruited a few folks to load crossbows for him, so the rate of fire is pretty impressive.

Mark dashes across to the trap door, ready to head below to the Mitran priests.

Keyar takes up station – somewhere; I’ve lost track on the giant map who’s doing what, but that’s OK. Impromtu Fog of War. 

Leshar drops his yellow foe; and when another one of his foes back away, he gets but misses an attack of opportunity.

Arrows and quarrels rain down on Leshar, one hits for 6 HP. Meden and a spearman rush Leshar. One hits for 11 HP. But they did miss some, so he gets a riposte, which he does for 18 HP.

Aevin lets loose with a knightkiller crossbow, which is +4 to hit and 5d4 damage, and strikes home for 14 HP. 

Vognur dashes down past Mark, and heads into the lower level, finding a pair of cells. Mark follows, and sees two cells.

Keyar shoots at a couple of guys, and hits at least once. Very chaotic, the battle thus far. 

Leshar backs up, and herds the women into a corner.

Morale checks on our foes’ parts are made and failed disasterously. Meden and his spearman are the only two reacting effectively. The first attack misses, and Leshar fails his riposte. The second attack hits for 11 HP, bringing Leshar down to only 7 HP left.

Down in the jail/torture chamber, we pop the bars on the jail cells, and inside are a bishop and deacon of Mitra. 

Come with me if you want to live . . . a life of pious contemplation. Otherwise, you can burn. No, that’s not a metaphor. The building is on fire.

We grab them and help them upstairs. 

Now we all start to run around like keystone cops, seeking to re-position.

Leshar grapples at Meden with his sword, who rolls a 21 on his Athletics check, while Leshar rolls 15. Meden attacks Leshar, misses, and he tries a riposte, which also misses.

Up on the wall, we lower the priests to the outside of the castle wall; Vognur lowers, Mark is on guard duty to ensure no one shoots or stabs us in the back.

Team Paladin continues to fight and do some harm to our foes. A failed grapple but successful riposte later, Leshar staggers Meden with a blow of 11 HP.

Mark descends with the two priests, and tells them that they need to get to a safe place – and he intend to escort them both there. Thus splitting the party even more, but I figure the High Lord Veritas would not have rung my spiritual bell if they didn’t have something important to tell us. So much for the +2 armor. That bites, but mission before reward.

Keyar goes to rescue some of the civilians we left trapped in the burning tower. He gets the trapped ladies out of their pits and confinements, and leads them through the burning hall.

Leshar finally successfully grapples Meden, and carries him over to the fire; Meden tries to break free (rolls 16), but fails (Leshar rolls 18!). Leshar tosses him into the fire to burn. 

Meden and his father, now down. And Leshar exits the building (note this happens over several rounds, but is consolidated because, well, damn – chaotic).

Vognur: The apple never dies far from the tree.

See?! He KNEW that fire would come in handy, and that’s why he set it. Providential. 

Aevin sees a target and shoots with both heavy and light crossbows in turn, dropping his target.

Right now, most of the remaining castle defenders are confused and demoralized. Some are protecting the noble ladies, some are just hiding.

Keyar takes a brief moment to loot, scoring some silver.

Aevin, fed a stream of reloaded crossbows, plays medieval machine gun, and drops a man-at-arms.

***

And that is the end of combat! We managed to survive our mini castle siege, take out most of the opposition and mostly use the keep to our advantage, able to concentrate our attacks on few foes. 

Now we just need to fear reprisals from the overlord, the duke, and his dragon. On the flip side, we picked up two medium infantry and a light infantrymen as men-at-arms. 

Experience are tallied, and we get 950 XP, which is a good haul. The opposition holds one tower still, and who knows who’s coming from the town. But for now, a brief respite.

And to top it off: Vognur notes we can finally deliver that Horse-Lord’s armor to the house of Mitra in ransom.

We strategize a bit (and need to do even more) to try and figure out how to leverage this upset victory to our advantage.

Do you hear the people sing,
Singing the song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!

That’s more or less where we left off, with the bunch of us victorious in the first battle, but winded, wounded, depleted of resources, and facing a very large number of foes of uncertain power but known quantity: lots of them.

We fade away to an inn for a moment, as Elder Carmina chats about the rebellion in Tain with the local clergy. Each person of worth is required to have a medallion to stay in town or do business, and service suppressing the rebellion is required to earn the medallion. 

They leave, passing the local shops, to arrive outside the gates of Caer Tain, within which the rest of the party is getting busy bleeding out, more or less.

In the main hall, there are several levels and a few balconies – the tower goes all the way up to the roof. We agree to clear the keep from the bottom to the top

We head down, check out the arrow slits and find that the troops outside going about their business, more or less. While Keyar is looking out the window, he hears a pot clang to the ground outside once, then twice. Crap. We assume someone’s trying to get the attention of the troops outside, we head up to the second floor, NE tower. We pull open the curtain, and see the cook about to dump more pots out the window. 

Mark uses Command: “Grovel!” and she drops to her knees, cowering . . . but not throwing cookware out the door either. We gently lead her aside and secure her.

We all note, quickly enough, that in the NW corner of the room, some sacks covering (hastily) a trap door. The paladin calls light, and opens the door, and heads down. There’s another serving woman down there, trying to hide. I mean her no harm, and she’s happy to stay in the room, unharmed.

From upstairs, I hear “Quick, come quick! The Sheriff is hurt!” from Keyar. 

He rolls Decption for a 1. A true Han Solo moment: “We’re all fine here, situation normal.” Crap.

Mark quickly climbs back upstairs, as Keyar lets us all know that we’re about to have company. We all rush to a place where we can fight. Keyar is on the third floor, and we hear shouting “The Sheriff is dead! The Sheriff is dead! We’ve been invaded!”

Keyar tries to kick open a door being held closed, dynamic entry style, longbow at the ready. ’cause you can do that crap in D&D. He fails.

Ouside the gate, Aevin ( +Ken H ) and Elder Carmina ( +Joshua Macy ) and the Deacon of Acolytes of the temple of Mitra see and hear the commotion from within the castle. Seizing the moment, they . . . look around. The gate is open for transit, as people come in and out. The gate itself is open – double doors leading to an open portcullis. 

They walk casually forward, trying to fly casual, so to speak – Aevin and Carmina advance nonchalantly, the Deacon moves chalantly.

Across the way, Leshar stands in the door, awaiting trouble. There are two archers with crossbows moving to the gate. There’s a large crowd of people in the courtyard. No one is alarmed or aggressive, yet, but of course that will change quickly once a threat is truly detected. There are also guys up on the wall. 

Gawd. We’re going to try and take this castle by ourselves. 

Leshar decides to take action by closing and barring the main doors into the keep. Mark rushes to the third floor with Keyar, and Vognur helps Keyar bash the door again. He smashes the door, and knocks the guard back and down on his butt. The room is a barracks room, and there’s a fully armed guard on the roof shouting down. A washer-woman flees the scene. We hear confused noises.

“What? The Sheriff is down?”“Go! Go! Move it!”“Out of my way!”

Up at the Northeast doors, Aevin and Carmina and the Deacon pass through the gate and see that the only way into the gatehouse is a currently-open door. Leshar tosses bodies out into the main entrance, then closes and bars the second set of doors, just to make life difficult for anyone making their way into the castle.

Up in the barracks tower, Keyar shoots the guard that is standing outside on the wall twice, with Advantage from a flank attack. He hits both times, for 23 HP of damage. Vognur attacks the prone guy, again with Advantage, using the mighty Sheriff’s sword. I think 11 HP were done.

Outside, the guards start to bark orders, but chaos still reigns. “Get off your ass and shoot them!”

A guard with a “knight-killer” bow shoots and misses Vognur.

Over in the gatehouse, Aevin and Carmina come across five guards, two sleeping, none with armor. Carmina casts Guidance on Aevin (a d4 in addition to any rolls he makes, once), and Aevin demands that they surrender. He rolls Intimidation 6 – and spends the d4, getting a 4. One surrenders, one is confused, the third is confused, angry, and armed. I shall call him Mal, but in an “about to be killed” way. Maybe call him Wash instead.

Aevin chops at the attacking guard, doing 9 slashing damage.

Down in the main keep, someone is trying the door, jiggering it back and forth. A knight is trying to wave at people; a younger knight is trying to figure out what’s going on. The adventurers in the castle square are starting to bustle and look around. Leshar takes a moment to smash open the chest in what was the Steward’s room. There are pouches, letters, seals and wax . . . Leshar gathers up the not-coins stuff.

Mark moves up and shoots twice at the bowman, missing once and hitting once for a piddly 4 HP. Keyar rolls 17 twice vs. AC 18, missing twice. Vognur continues to duel with his half-naked foe, doing 6 HP of damage. The return struggle has his foe hit him for 11 HP, a wound we can ill afford.

The opposing longbowman actually manages to hit Keyar, but for only 3 HP.

Leshar, for some reason, indulges in pyrmaniacal impulses and sets the bottom floor of the keep we’re in on fire. The floors will burn merrily; only the stone shell will be left. 

The Keep, The Keep, The Keep is on fire!We don’t need no water let the . .  

Much confusion is going on, as we’re fighting on multiple fronts and levels. The battle on top of the keep gets complicated because the guys are behind fortifications. Keyar shoots the guy fighting Vogunr for 32 points of damage (!), which only barely brings him down (!!). Mark runs forward and bars the door.

Vognur quickly does a quick search, and finds a chest with a few hundred silver, and (most importantly to us) a bunch of Healing Potions. Vognur swigs one down – common potions are 2d4+2, which has a nice 7 HP average feel to it, and he picks up 6 HP.

Over in the gatehouse, the troops in the first room are overwhelmed or surrender. Progress. 

Things are complicated and scattered; this is actually highly realistic . . . but hard to transcribe.

Outside on the upper keep, the knights and soldiers are calling for wood for a battering ram. Someone with an axe starts chopping away at the door. “You! Help him! Get my father out of there!”

Oh, crap. Likely the Sheriff’s son.

Mark runs into the northwest tower on the third floor – looks like it might be the Sheriff’s room. He shoots twice through a window at an opposing archer, hitting once and causing them to bunch up and crouch down behind the fortifications. 

We hear the leader type call for a keg, with a blue star. Flammable something, clearly – it’s the equivalent of greek fire.

Over in the gatehouse, there’s no one else there, inside the gatehouse, so they look around and see what mayhem they can wreak. They charge the Deacon to go let the townsfolk know that the Sheriff is dead; the Deacon climbs down a murder-hole, and hustles on his way to raise the alarum.

Keyar finds the stairs to the fourth floor, while Mark smashes the chest at the foot of the Sheriff’s bed. I grab a small coffer of important papers, containing appointment of Medein Curo as constable of the tower, with the Sheriff’s signature: Karvius Curo. The constable is the sheriff’s son.

Leshar and Vognur follow Keyar up the stairs. There appears to be a ladies sitting area, and there are drinks, cheese, and other stuff that’s been knocked over in some haste. There are a bunch of people behind the door. Oh, and there’s a trap door in the ceiling, leading to the roof.

In the courtyard, they bring the battering ram. On the tower, they bring up the cask.
I will note that doing this without any real magical aid is really hard. We could really use some spells – web, sleep, some sort of concealing fog, illusion. Having we five take on an entire castle? Not wise. Awesome, but not wise.
Mark kicks at a locked door, at AC 15; Leshar does likewise, and kicks in his door. Seeing an older woman, a young girl, another woman . . . basically the ladies of the household. They shriek “it’s a demon!!” 


Keyar is up on the roof . . . and he finds an unlit brazier, oil, rags . . . everything required to fling flaming death at foes, and he has a clear view of the keg and the troops below, unimpeded by cover.

Over in the gatehouse, they make a diversion, and one of the guards pokes his head through. One Hold Person spell later, Carmina immobilizes one, and Aevin fires a heavy crossbow at another for 7HP damage, advantaged and with surprise.

Downstairs, Mark keeps working on the door. Two solid kicks (1d20+3 vs AC 15) and there’s 11 HP total done to the door thus far.

Keyar takes careful aim with a few flaming arrows at the barrel of greek fire . . . he has advantage, and hits the barrel twice for 20 HP. The cask shatters, the fire goes up . . . and the three holding it are drenched, on fire, and screaming. They keep their nerve, and run onto the wooden roof of the tower – risking setting the entire thing ablaze.

Leshar gets assaulted by a 5yo with a doll, and he informs the ladies of the Sheriff’s demise, and that he only requires one of them, the rest would make a tasty snack. Except for the little girl, who is brave enough for all of them.

Vognur strives to reach the roof again, and fails again.

Mark smashes up the door, and finds the real sheriff’s room, inside is +2 Plate Armor. A very nice find. Inside the locked chest . . . next turn I guess.

Back over at the gatehouse, Aevin pops up, draws his sword, and smacks the guy, with advantage, for 14 blunt trauma (flat of the blade). He then makes an Intimidate check for 15, and one gives up.

Carmina pops her head out of the trap door, and casts Hold Person again . . . and he is frozen, with his knight-killer crossbow pointed directly at Aevin. 

Knight-killers have +6 to hit and 5d4 damage. Yow.

Keyar, back on the roof. Moves around to look what’s up there.

Vognur proves that Horse Lords can’t jump, failing his third athletics check to reach the trap door in the ceiling. 

Mark kicks and smashes at the locked chest in hopes of finding good stuff. And by that we mean papers and healing potions. 

The battle over at the gatehouse continues, but in the chaos of battle, a disadvantaged shot with a killer crossbow goes awry.

The guards continue to pound on the keep door with a battering ram. When they eventually burst through, they’ll find the area on fire, I think.

Keyar pours oil down on the guys with the battering ram. The guys at the base of the keep scatter like guys with about-to-be flaming oil on them.

Vognur continues to jump like Tigger on crack. He rolls a 23. He finally nails it. 

Leshar continues to threaten the women, and as they are driven to one of the windows, they catch a glimpse of the tower wall, on fire. As Leshar looks, Mark gets a vision of the bottom of the tower, on fire, with the high clergy of Mitra trapped in the basement. 

I know it. I’m going to have to leave the plate armor behind.

****
750XP milestone award. Slayage and capture of bad guys earns us another 425.
We end the session there.

I’ll be the first to say it about yesterday’s game: We got lucky.

The party is not high level. We’ve got a mix of characters from, I think, 4th to maybe 6th level, though it may well be tighter than that, perhaps even only 4th and 5th level. 

That’s a fun place to play in, I think. But we’re limited. Hit Points for fighter-types in the range of 8-10 as a base, probably +10 to +20 for CON bonuses, and then 20 to 25 more for level advancement. So on the order of 38 to 55 HP. 

Case in point: Mark Bludiell, 4th level Paladin at the start of the game, had 38 HP.

But going against a 15th level fighter (or presumably a fighter)? Especially when we didn’t know it? Yeesh. He had about 110 HP, three attacks. But for whatever reason – maybe because it was supposed to be a peaceful negotiation – he was only AC 16. He could have easily been much higher than this. 

He also didn’t make use of special abilities. He could have had a whole raft of nifty stuff. Five attribute bonuses (fine, whatever) or Feats. He didn’t use Second Wind. He seems to have been a bog-standard Champion, but it could have been a lot worse. A few magic items with “smite-ish” abilities would have rocked our worlds.

One of the ways it could have been worse? His lieutenants and guards all died with one or two blows. I mean, when our party hits, we tend to hit hard (10-20 HP per turn). But that’ll still put a level 3 guy down in a blow. Damage doesn’t scale up much in D&D5, but (for example) I think if a Paladin expends a 4th level spell slot on Holy Might or Godly Smite or whatever he’s adding 4d8-5d8 to the damage, which is probably on the order of 1d8-1d10 (sword) +3 to+5 (strength) +0-2 for magic bonus. That’s 1d8+3 to 1d10+7 per hit, more for a critical. Average 11-17 per sword stroke; magic and powers compound this from “bad” to “Ow, my leg is gone!” pretty fast.

Still, our Sheriff, of 15th level? Surrounded by utter mooks. Had he a pair of lieutenants with him, instead of two guards and two foppish nobles, we’d have likely been well and truly fed to the Cuisinart. 

As it was, Mark went down hard, another character got hit for something like 35 HP, maybe, plus a few more desultory wounds. We’re out of healing and need a rest – badly.

And we won’t get it. There are over a dozen guys still at large just within the castle. At least eight to ten of them are armed with what +Rob Conley referred to as “Knight-killer” crossbows, which I assume do huge damage, and our only hope is to be missed a lot.

Worse yet, we probably can’t take ’em down one at a time, though we can probably try. I know Keyar is a hell of an archer; Mark isn’t awful, and now he gets two attacks as well. So perhaps two to four wounded (and because of the D&D HP model, that doesn’t do anything to their combat effectiveness) or incapacitated (which does).

We need to beat feet, rest and recuperate, and then come back. We need to find allies to help take some of the foot soldiers down. We need to prevent word of our little escapade from hitting the road to the City State too soon. We probably need to get word to the gathering led by Baron Theodar of Greenstream, which might net us some help.

And we need to find the clergy of Mitra, free them, and most importantly, figure out what Herone’s role in all of this is. 

Because honestly, for all that this town likely needed a good cleansing, my marked half-elf’s Quest was almost certainly not to overthrow Tain on behalf of Mitra.

Though it’s probably better than the alternative. The Regent of the Overlord, Myrmidon of Set and general bad guy, probably deserves to be overthrown. But I think this is all surface stuff. The deeper currents are something other than power struggles of the human kingdoms, I suspect.

We start off east of the bridge entering the city, and observe from a half-mile away that there’s a knight and three yeoman interrogating those who wish to cross. Based on our familiarity with this area, we know there’s a manor nearby – actually, lots of them. This is thanks to a poor set of Perception rolls by everyone but one character – we decided that +Tim Shorts and my characters were looking at squirrels. 

And thus the first title of the post was decided in the first five minutes of the transcript. Go team.

We decide that a  Paladin on quest isn’t one to be interfered with, and the rest of the PCs are “with the Paladin.” And the reptile man will threaten to eat anyone who says different.

They ride up to us after they spot us, and call “Halt!” 

“I am Mark Bludiell, a Paladin of Veritas on Quest,” I say, rolling a 23 Persuasion check. 

“Um, uh. He looks kinda elvish. Is he elvish? Who’s Veritas? Um, yeah, there’s rebellion and stuff, and we’re checking it out . . . um, please proceed!” they say, to our retreating backs.

(before the fold: +Rob Conley explains what a Sheriff is, and +Chris C. throws down some adventure sound bites of maximum inappropriateness)


In reality, we are dropping off armor at the Church of Mitra. And coming down the Trollwatch road, we run into a band of a half-dozen adventurer types, each wearing a green tabard with an 8-pointed star on it. They point at Leshar, clearly recognizing him. “They finally let you loose, eh!”

“So to speak. You wouldn’t happen to be the Twilight Company, would you?”

They refer us to the Jug Inn, and let us know that business is good. 

As we pass through the town, we see a temple of Set, and a temple of Mitra, with a pair of Overlord’s guards outside. We approach, claiming business inside. 

“The Temple is closed. The priests have been arrested. Who are you?”

I tell him I’m a Paladin of Veritas again; I make another good Persuasion roll, and they tell us that we can check with the Steward at Caer Tain. We decide to go get a room at the Jug Inn; on our way there we pass an apothecary, a merchant’s hall, and the millwrights . . . a chandlery for supplies, etc.

I ask Rob if he’s making all this up as we go, building by building. No, he says. That’s the advantage of using Harn fan-made stuff. Lots of detail.

As we continue, we see a merchant’s shop, and we recognize the name Herone. 

Dun dun dun!!

Unsurprisingly, across the street from the Jug Inn is a brothel. 

The innkeeper asks if we have our Tokens. We were supposed to check in with the Sheriff. She can’t let us in, but we could stable our horses while we check in. Mark pays the two days minimum to stable our horses and gear; he has no use for money anyway.

Between the Paladin in full armor and the lizard man, as Tim notes, “we don’t do subtle.”

While it is against my better nature as an RPGer, we decide that this group is of the “Hey, diddle, diddle, straight up the middle” strategy.

We head off to the Sheriff’s office at the main castle, Caer Tain. We get to the gate, walk through without being stopped. There’s a bunch of adventurers in line, and we debate whether to wait in line or play Paladin on Quest.

We decide to wait . . . and Leshar the Lizard Man yells out “Make way, the Paladin’s coming through!”

All the guards ready their weapons, the guy manning the table stands up as if he’s been shocked, and stuff is about to get real.

Mark Bludiell calls his light; “I am a Paladin of Veritas on Quest. There is no need for violence here.”

They tell us that we have to check in, and if we do anything, check in with them. 

I go all Holy Might on him, rolling Intimidation of 22, “You wish to get between the High Lord Veritas and the object of his quest? I know not what I am called to do, but I brook no interference.”

They look shaken, and bring food, egged on by Leshar the Lizard Man asking for food, ale, and cheese. “Don’t pay too much attention to Leshar,”  Vognur says. “Leshar gets this way when he hasn’t eaten anyone for a few days.

Food is brought, we eat, and then we’re escorted to the Sheriff.

We have a very animated, hostile confrontation with the Sheriff. I score a few points, but eventually he invokes his right as minister of the law to kick us out of the city. That’s within his right, so we start to depart.

I start to try and pry out the source of his trouble so we can find an amicable solution, but he’s having none of it.

So Keyar Nailo shoots him. Twice. For 21 points of damage. He’s still up. Leshar, who has been planning this bit of inspired violence with Keyar for a bit, slashes at, and kills, one of the guards.

Oh, it’s on now. There are only two guards inside the room. So that shouldn’t be too bad, but when we try and leave, we might find it a tetch more difficult.

Since we surprised the GM too, everyone rolls initiative.

Mark tries to Command the Sheriff to “Yield!” But he rolls a 23, and does not. He then attacks me three times, hitting me once for 12 HP. I guess I can defend myself now. 

Keyar uses Colossus Slayer and hits twice, adding but 2 HP using the ability, for 20 HP more. Vognur also attacks the largest threat, trying to clear the table (Athletics check at DC 10, rolls 7), but attacks at -2, hitting for 14 slashing, and then second attack for 11 HP. That’s 25 more.

He’s now taken over 60 HP of damage, and he’s still up. Yeesh.

Leshar takes another shot at a guard, and hits for 14 HP, and he goes down. Leshar jumps up on the table (rolls 26!) and gets in the faces of the two noble dandy-boys and smiles like a Kzin.

Mark hits, on his first attack, for 19 HP, invoking Divine Smite to do so. 

This guy is still up. 

And he hits me three times, hitting me for a total of 51 HP of damage. Yowch. I’m at -25 HP.

Keyar does slight damage (6 HP), and Vognur does 9 HP more. He’s still up. 

Mark fails his first death check. He gets a lingering injury, a minor scar that won’t be removed without major magic. Guess Veritas was displeased.

He steps over to Keyar and smacks him twice for 35 HP. We have to deal with this guy.

Keyar adds Hunter’s Mark to his roll, hits for 12 piercing damage, and our 111 HP foe finally goes down (he was 15th level!).

Tain is now under new management.

Vognur does Second Wind to pick up a lame 6 HP, bringing him back up to 20 HP. He then tries to stabilize Mark Bludiell with a Medicine check, rolling a 10, which stabilizes him. Whew.

One of the nobles tries to flee, the other hits Leshar for 7 HP. Leshar sneers, misses, and we hear “The Sheriff is down! The Sheriff is down!” from below. Sigh. 

The second noble breaks and runs, provoking an attack of opportunity which hits for 13 HP. He’s badly wounded, but escapes down the circular staircase; Keyar gives chase. The Sheriff also fails his first death check, picking up a minor scar on the roll. Mark and Sheriff match now.

Keyar runs down the stairs closest to him, and takes out a guard down there.

Vognur takes a moment to kill the Sheriff, and takes his sword – which turns out to be a +2 sword, a very nice find in D&D5. 

Leshar makes a Perception check, and hears the guys below complaining loudly about being trapped in a room filled with nothing but arrow slits. “I can help you fit through the arrow slits!” snarls Leshar – which would have been much cooler had he not blown his roll. But he still gets an Intimidation check; they’re going to stand their ground.

A guard rushes Keyar, and misses. Keyar backs off to shoot (attack of opportunity misses), and shoots him twice for 22 HP, finishing off everyone upstairs.

Vognur heads down the spiral stairs, and attacks with the new longsword pillaged from the Sheriff. He hits for 18 slashing damage, and the injured guard goes down.

The final guard begs for his life. That leaves Leshar the Lizard Man, who grants him mercy this day, and the stale stench of urine hits Leshar’s nose.

That’s the combat, for now. Keyar closes and bars the double doors, while Vognur ties up the surviving guards.

Keyar enters a room, and gets surprised and stabbed by a bunch of guards laying in wait. He gets tagged for 3 HP. Keyar backs out (provoking attacks of opportunity, which miss), and he marks and shoots both, killing one. They slam the door shut, and bolt or block the door. Keyar picks up a dead body from the floor and uses him as a battering ram (+1 damage!) to slam into the door. A roll of 13 (net) is sufficient to open the door! 

Vognur and Leshar hear the fighting through the arrowslits. They run upstairs through the hall, passing Mark’s unconscious body.

Keyar’s turn, and he once again takes a step back, provoking a failed attack of opportunity, but misses both times. One of the guards hits Keyar, for 9 HP.

Keyar pulls his rapier, misses twice, and he’s struck in turn for 5 HP.

Vognur arrives, and quickly dispatches the two guards. 

We’re out of combat again, so we decide that we’re about done for the night. Keyar applies Cure Light Wounds to Mark B. We note that the guys outside were carrying Knight-Killer crossbows. 

We’re in a world of hurt. We expend most of our healing magic. Three Cure Light Wounds and all of Mark’s 20 HP of Lay on Hands later . . . and we’re still in a world of hurt.

Good news is that Mark sneaks over the border to Level 5. This will net him +3 instead of +2 for proficiency, an Extra Attack, an extra 1st level and two second level spell slots. I also realize that I’ve been doing my Paladin spells wrong – but no worries, easily fixed if I live to get another Long Rest.

+Rob Conley +Tim Shorts +Joshua Macy +Daniel McEntee +Chris C. 

We pick up after a two-week hiatus, and we’re joined by Leshar, a lizard-man former gladiator and fighter on behalf of Mitra.This is +Tim Shorts‘ new character, and he seems a fighter of some ability.

We learn from him that the revolt in City State was quite real, but that the Regent has pretty much got the City-State buckled up, but he’s turning his attention to fighting Dracolindis.

That pretty much leaves us on our own. 

To interrogate, we have Halia Thorton, Settite and the person that runs the miner’s guild, and Sir Varius, general thug and horse lord of Highgarden.

The mayor, Arno, left behind something that might prove useful. It’s 2′ long, 8″ high, filled with writing implements. And the Seal of a Magistrate of City-State.

Hrm. We talk about fake credentials, but hey – Paladin. We have a hungry lizard man, a priest with a thirsty blade, and a Paladin whose idiom is pretty direct. What could go wrong here?


We eschew obfuscation, and make a beeline to the Highgarden Manor. We elect a pathway to enhance our sneakitude . . . but fail miserably on a series of awful rolls. 

“AM I STEALTHY YET?!”“Nope.”

As we go, we pass an inn covered in turtle skulls. The innkeeper asks us what’s going on, we say we’re headed to the Manor. 

“Sir Varius isn’t there,” she says.“I know,” says our Paladin. Not necessarily a master of the reassurances, is he. Truth, not comfort.

There are people going about their daily lives inside the Manor. We knock. A bar is lifted, and a woman says “YEEEP!” and flees in terror.

No worries, we say. The reptile man comes in peace. Really. Vognur rolls a 1, and Leshar notes that he could  have bit off her hand and ate it and gotten a better reaction. We speculate that Vognur may have met that maiden before, explaining the reaction.

The whole place is run-down, like Varius’ armor. We follow her, and she’s shrieking “They’re warriors!” 

The Paladin shows his holy symbol, “we mean no violence here.” She finally sees Carmina, Elder of Mitra, and breathes a sigh of relief – “please tell me that awful knight is dead!”

“Who dares enter here? You’d best be gone or you’ll be in no end of trouble.” There’s some shouting and a scream, as the people inside engage in a vigorous religious discussion.

We kick in the door. There are three women huddled over a trap door leading down. They see us and they back away. There appears to be the steward of the manor, laying in the basement with a broken neck, dead. 

The eldest woman says, defiantly: “I do not regret his death. He was a bad man.”
Leshar the very violent reptile-man says: “Was this your first kill?” He sounds very approving.

We go in, and see the broken body of a priest of Mitra; he’s barely alive. The paladin lays on hands, and he revives, says “Praise Mitra!” and falls asleep.

The household gathers, and we get it sorted out. The manor servants and occupants do not look healthy or well-off. The stores, upon examination, shows food of middling quality for Sir Varius, and utter crap for everyone else.

We encourage the remainder to make a meal of Sir Varius’ stores, for themselves. The priest awakens, and we find he is Elder Gefgist.

“Forgive me for not getting up.”

We get his story. The messenger came. Elder Gefgist was listening with the other townsfolk. Some of the peasants, in league with Sir Varius, informed. The visiting elder escaped, but Elder Gefgist was taken, and tortured. But Sir Varius couldn’t even get torture right.

We then search the rest of the house, looking for papers and information. The rooms seems to be of common size. It looks like Varius tried to get involved in a lot of things, but not even the bad guys wanted him on his team.

We look for ties to Hilda, and find it – but she’s not that interested in this thuggish knight as a partner either. 

There is one thing of interest – there is one connection to a Master Palad – a mercantyler (merchant) in Tain – about an interesting proposition. But alas, no details on the proposition itself. But a list of five people, including Herone. Ah, ha.

We continue to search the manor, and our eagle-eyed Lizard rocks it. As we’re searching, Leshar wanders out carrying a large box, for which we find a key on the dead body of the Steward. It contains 500d and 10 gold crowns, plus the charter for the manor.

Elder Gefgist gives us each 1 gold crown, worth 320d each. We eat, offer blessings to Veritas and Mitra, and then we have to decide what to do.

There’s one yeoman left, who promptly surrenders and joins us, and six militia. They all have harvest to bring in. We also remember that Tormar is the village/manor of the knight we captured and ransomed. But wait – we still need to drop off the gear in Tain. We probably have until mid-month before we have broken any pledges.

But watch out for trolls to the northeast, orcs to the southeast in the woods, so these villages must stay protected. And of course, there’s a dragon at Thunderkeep (T), and the keep of Valion between us and Tain.

We have several missions, all of which seem to take us to Tain. 

Sir Melius, though – his rep among the people of Highgarden is better than Sir Varius, and way better than Sir Colin. We decide to head over to Lervin, where there’s Sir Tunnon, who is known to be Mitran, and so we try and chat him up, hoping to enlist him and delegate settling Mardan, since the loss of Sir Colin may have upset things.

We see more-alert militia at Lervin, and they’ve set up a barricade; troops file on the bridge. We approach openly, and by the time we hit the ford, Sir Tunnon and four militia approach. The townsmen in the field seem mostly organized.

He recognizes Leshar, but not Elder Carmina. He asks us what we want, and we tell him it’s to chat. We accept. 

We tell him that Phandalin has revolted against the Overlord and declared for Dracolindes ad Mitra. This caused Sir Varius and Sir Colin to try and take Phandalin. They fell in battle, killing Colin and taking Varius prisoner. And oh-by-the-way, Sir Melius of Tormar attacked us and ransomed his armor. Carmina is on his way to Tain, with messages to the Bishops and to drop off the armor. 

Sir Tunnon says that the magistrate of Valion must have screwed up; there’s a lot of fighting up that way. There were a bunch of troops tried to march to Lervin (oh, that was us too), and so the Lervinites were prepared for trouble.

He thinks that this is all good news. He holds out a message from Baron Theodar of Greenstream. He wants to gather those sworn to the cause of Mitra to join him there.

Hrm. Well, our desire is to see that the people of this area are at least safe, and so it occurred to us that whatever we could offer up for mutual defense and protection would be good. He asks us who we left in charge – the Elders of Mitra in Phandalin and Highgarden. 

Tunnon is heading down to Greenstream. The reeve has things well in hand. We could come with him to Greenstream.

We decide to head to Tain, deliver the armor, and deliver the Bishop’s messages. Tunnon reminds us that being caught in Mitran robes. He also advises us that as a group, we’re a major military force.

We head off to Tain. We crest the ridge on the way to the keep of Valion, and see a pillar of smoke rising above the valley. The keep itself is burning, and there are other buildings on fire or burned (B). There are people around, tending chickens – any battle is quite over, perhaps.

The keep is just a burned-out shell. Vognur walks up to the first peasant he sees to ask what’s up. Mostly they back off, but two stand firm, and we come up holding out empty hands. We ask what happened, other than the obvious – a battle.

The magistrate said that we are now under the authority of Dracolindes; the local horse-lord knights took exception. The horse-lords are at the gate, and the harvest must continue. 

What happened to the forces of the Dracolindes? He received a message from the Baron of Greenstream, so they left. They hope that the guy that freed the starving village (Leshar ducks his head) will save them too.

The question is do we slip across the river in the night, and not get entangled in a fight? We take a wide berth to direct line-of-sight to the keep. As we approach the bridge and ford, a single guy on horseback rides out to investigate us.

Leshar starts walking directly at the horse lord. He fires two bowshots at Leshar (and rolls a 1!) and we decide not to return fire, and move along.

“A shot that bad is its own punishment.”

***

We pause here, having done the entire session without smiting anyone. We’ll have to make u for it next turn. Tain awaits. 250xp were awarded.

Players this session: +Tim Shorts+Chris C.+Joshua Macy , +Ken H , +Rob Conley 

Preview map:

***

A lot of plot development this time, but still, we had to decide which of many forks to take. Tain seems the best bet, as we have concrete things to do there. Still, the manor of Sir Colin and the meeting with the Baron at Greenstream loom large on our minds.

We see action coming out of the manor as we start out. Ten spearmen, a couple of men-at-arms, and a few carts and wagons. We decide to anticipate them heading to Lervin, so we can set an ambush at the bridge (B) from Lervin to Phandalin – the route with the best road.

We guess correctly, and high-tail it first down the same road as they will take, but then cut cross-country to come at the bridge from the south.

We wanted to set a Rune of Boom on the bridge, triggering it when the bad guys are on the bridge, but the Glyph is not that easy to set up. We estimate it’ll only take 1-2 hours to get there for them, so we’re going to have to move it move it to get set up and prepared.

The good news is that we can probably move several times as fast to cover the roughly 2 miles from Highgarden to the bridge at Lervin. Even at 10 mph, that’s about 12-24 minutes. So we’ll have anything from abut 35 minutes to as long as 1 hour and 45min to get ready for them. Most likely is something like a bit more than an hour – just enough time to set up the Glyph of Explody Bits and then have a bit of time to wait for them to come.


We set up behind as much cover and concealment as possible, missile weapons at the ready. We figure if we can down the two knights first and foremost, the “host” will likely be ineffective even if we don’t destroy them all. 

The Glyph of Warding explodes in a 20′ radius, so we steer clear of that. Keyar Nailo sets up a very concealed trap (natural 20!) at the south end of the bridge. 

We set up . . . and wait. We decide anything fancy is not in the cards, and (potentially against my better judgement) fail to set up a classic L-shaped ambush. 

The small force approaches; the knights are riding to the east and west of the short column, with ten spearmen and a man-at arms.

They walk right into the spell trap. BOOM. The stone-plank bridge is on fire.

Sir Varius is up front, and he takes 23 points of damage, as he fails to save. The man-at-arms takes 9 HP; the seven spearmen each take 25 HP, wiping them all out.

We’re instantly down to a wounded knight, a less-wounded man-at-arms, three spearmen, and an unharmed Sir Colin. Keyar takes aim at Sir Colin; Mark at Sir Varius, and Aevin Steelhand shoots Sir Varius for 7 HP. Mark’s arrow ricochet’s off his armor (AC 18). Sir Colin is spared a similar impalement by his armor. Vognur whiffs as well.

Markbludiell continues his streak of poor initiative rolls, nearly at the bottom of the heap with an 11. The spearmen on the other side rock it with a 20, so they go first. we’ll see.

Aevin goes first, and shoots with advantage at Sir Varius, which also glances off the armor. Sir Varius snaps out of it, and charges at Markbludiell. His horse takes a tumble, and we hear the ugly snap of a broken leg as Varius hits the pit trap that Keyar set. He takes 10 HP from the fall; the horse is down, screaming.

Sir Varius is on the ground, and Vognur draws his sword and moves to the attack; Vognur has advantage due to his being prone.

The spearmen start to break and run, but Sir Colin strikes one down; the rest are well motivated, and charge the PCs. Sir Colin himself runs up next to Aevin, striking once for a crit, and missing a second attack. He hits Aevin for 23 HP!

Ouch.

Markbludiell casts Sacred Weapon, but misses Sir Colin with a sword attack anyway. The yeoman sergeant moves up and shoots Markbludiell with a crossbow, rolling 19 but bouncing off of his armor and shield.

Aevin invokes Second Wind to heal 1d10+4 HP, getting 9 HP back. He also does Action Surge for two attacks to Sir Colin, who was paralyzed by a spell in the prior round; Colin is hit twice for 27 HP of slashing damage. 

Sir Varius gets up (!) and attacks Vognur twice, hitting once for 16 HP. 

Vognur attacks Sir Varius, but misses. Keyar is up, and crits on Sir Colin, which we need, for 22 HP, and Sir Colin goes down. The horse goes into a frenzy and attacks Aevin, and +Rob Conley rolls another crit, doing 20 HP to Aevin. 

Even the f**king horse rolls 20s. And an attempt to use Animal Handling on the horse by Mark fails. Carmina attacks Varius with burning hands for 10 HP.  Kayar hits Varius for 21 HP, and with an arrow through his throat, goes down hard.

The sergeant at arms breaks and flees. Sir Varius passes a death check.

Vognur pursues the sergeant; we want to take him captive. Sergeant can’t run without disengaging. The horse critically misses against Mark, which gives him the opportunity to Dash after the sergeant without provoking an attack of opportunity or disengaging. 

Carmina casts a healing spell on Aevin for 7 HP. Keyar snipes a fleeing yeoman, dropping him. The yeoman sergeant snarls and says “I’ll die fighting, rebel scum!” He attacks twice, rolling 9 and 21, hitting Vognur for 8 HP. 

Aevin moves over to Sir Varius to tie him up as he bleeds out; Sir Varius survives another death check. One more and he stabilizes. 

Vognur swings and misses. The yeomen flee for their lives. The horse bolts away, and Sir Colin fails a death check, his first one. Mark Bludiell misses badly again, despite Sacred Weapon. 

Mark has not done a single effective thing the entire fight; Keyar drills the final yeoman, who is slain.

Yeoman Sergeant draws a shortsword and attacks with two weapons, hitting with the shortsword for 4 HP.

Vognur finally connects, much to his player’s relief, doing 9 HP.  Sir Colin passes a death check, so he’s not out yet. Mark Bludiell finally connects, doing 11 HP, plus 3 HP for Divine Smite, which is so puny he takes Veritas’ name in vain. Come, on, really? Nothing is going well for Mr Paladin today.

Mr. Yeoman Sergeant misses three times with two longsword attacks and another shortsword attack. Keyar makes a Medicine roll for Colin thanks to a Bless ability. Sir Varius misses another death check. 

Mark actually hits again, and does 13 HP of damage, again most of it’s due to spending a spell slot for more juice.

Carmina plays horse whisperer, rolls 20 on Animal Handling thanks to Guidance, and calms a fleeing angry warhorse. Go him.

Keyar hits the sergeant with an arrow in the throat, and he finally goes down. He yanks the arrow out of Varius’ throat, which kills him. 

Mark stabilizes the yeoman sergeant for later interrogation. 

We loot the bodies, finding 100d on Sir Varius; another 50d on Sir Colin. Sir Colin’s armor is actually worth something – his full panoply and the warhorse is worth about 4,000d. Not bad. The carts hold 1,000d worth of supplies, which we can take back to Phandalin. Plus a pair of mules.

That just about makes up for the diamond dust we spent on exploding runes.

We get a short rest in, and Sidwin comes walking up the road from the South. He was supposed to be in Tain. 

We head to Phandalin, it’ll take us about two hours to cover the 4.5 miles to the town. Keyar goes to scout out Lervin to see what was going on there, why no one came to see the fight, nor the explosion. Sidwin was delayed in his journey to Tain when he had to fight off some ghouls, losing his henchman but saving some commoners in the process.

He did find a courier’s sash, though, as well as an iron rod, with a dragon’s claw holding a broken glass orb. We hand it over to Keyar; we inspect it, and it was clearly once magical. But the real treasure was the courier sash, which came from a fresher body; the orb came from a skeleton. Wands in that style were used by elven mages involved in creating magic items. You are not sure exactly; it’s definitely not a traditional wand. Maybe it’s a focus for creation, control, or focus. It’s definitely from 400-1,000 years ago.

We arrive in Phandalin between 3-5pm. We see the barricade manned by two militia. We introduce ourselves, and while being cheered for our victory, we head back and incarcerate Sir Colin and his Sergeant at arms. 

We take a Long Rest, and chain up the Sergeant and Sir Colin. 

Sir Colin eventually wakes with a grunt, spitting out some half-congealed blood. “Nice bit of spell work; only way you would have taken me down. You’re lucky we had a pretty little lady to cast these spells for you.”

We ask if Sir Colin is willing to give us his parole, as a properly captured knight. He says he can’t speak, he says. 

Yeah, right.

“Hrmph. You’re smarter than you look. Your best bet is to kill me here where I stand. I’d never give my parole to scum like you.”

Mark asks about the priest captured and tortured back in Highgarden. Last time Sir Colin saw him he was just blubbering. 

Markbludiell slams a sword through his chest, ending the life of a brutal, evil thug (he asked Vertias first. Sir Colin was the very definition of evil). 

Sidwin shakes his head, walks out of the building, and keeps walking. Night falls as Sidwin heads for Tain.

***

That’s the session. 

“The only bad time to cast explosive runes is inside a room of less than 20′ radius.”

We chat for a bit, trying to figure the next move.

OK, we jump right back in, waking up in Phandelver with the town still intact, and us heading out to Tain via Highgarden Manor. We look to see if we could bring a few fast riders, that we could dispatch in case we need to send a “LOOK OUT, VIOLENCE” warning back to Phandelver. We look around, and there are no horses, let alone fast horses, to be found anywhere. Only mules, oxen, and other mining-friendly beasts. We decide on runners instead, and Devan and Tomas step up. One of them brags he brought a midwife to town – there and back – in the time it usually takes to get just there.

He’s hired.

We head out to Highgarden Manor, crossing a ridge along the way. As we crest the ridge, we see a knight and a couple spearmen. We decide to approach. Mark’ s a more “Hey, diddle diddle, straight up the middle” type. Keyar Nailo, our resident elven ranger, sneaks through the underbrush, while the rest of us approach openly.

We get to about 500yds away before we’re noticed. They stop abruptly, then ride closer, readying weapons cautiously. They take out weapons. So do we. Mark reminds Tomas and Devan, our “spear-carrier” messengers, that their job is to carry messages, not fight.

We are challenged by a knight – not Sir Varius – who demands that our Elder of Mitra surrender her weapons, as the Mitrans are unlawfully in rebellion against the overlord.

Hmm. Well, that’s true, but we’re not giving up weapons for nothing. Carmina tried Hold Person, but our foe resists easily, recognizes that an attempt to bewitch was made, and orders an attack.

Our ranger misses with a surprise bow shot (grar!), while Aevin steelhand crits with a crossbow shot and nails him for 8 HP. Carmina herself casts Sacred Fire, and our target fails his saving throw, taking another 9 HP. 

The knight delivers two blows to Carmina, hitting with one of the blows for 14 HP. So if he’s a fighter, he’s level 5 or higher. So this guy could easily have 40 HP or so. Keyar fires again. Mark steps up, using Sacred Weapon to add his CHA bonus to his strikes attack rolls, and spends a spell slot to increase damage. He barely hits rolling 15+4, and does 16 HP total, badly injuring him. Aevin hits again for 8 HP, and the knight falls to the ground.

Now it’s just the two Yeomen, one seems likely to run, but the other calls out “We must save Sir Melius!” and hey stand firm. One hits Aevin Steelhand for 9 HP, which ain’t bad for him.

The horse (!) is a tough foe as it is; it goes into a blood frenzy, but stumbles (critical miss). 

Carmina casts Spare the Dying on Sir Melius; we have no wish to see him dead, we just aren’t going to be giving up our arms to anyone.

Mark casts Command: “SURRENDER!” at DC 14, and the final yeoman surrenders, and drops his weapons. Aevin tries to use Athletics to grab the reins of the horse. Naturally, he crits, rolling 26. He tugs it down, and the horse stands trembling, quieted.

Aevin passes the reins to Mark, who makes a nice Animal Handling roll (he’s got skill in it) to pacify and hobble the horse. We set to work making our foes safe.

The ransom of arms and armor of a defeated foe is part of the social structure. What we know about this guy is that he’s a horse barbarian. Full of honor, pride, and duty – but with more “modern” gear and a really nice horse. Fully trained warhorse.

His holy symbol is that of the Lars; a traditionalist. He’s not a threat from that perspective. He is a full supporter of the Overlord, and Phandelver is not normally part of his responsibility. 

We wake him up, restoring 10 HP via Lay on Hands. He wakes and gives his ransom amount (500sp), and being told his men are alive, gives the parole for the bunch of them. “I’m in your power, maiden,” he sneers in a derogatory way. 

“I’d prefer to be addressed as Elder,” Carmina says gently. “You may not believe this, but I have no quarrel with you. I was reacting to the injustice of your demands.”

“I didn’t seek it either, but you won, so I have no choice but to ransom myself, my arms, and my horse.”

Mark grills Sir Melius a bit, and says he was just out and about patrolling his land after some messengers from the Church of Mitra caused a rebellion on his lands. He’s heard that the regent has draconic support. He’d also been requested to join Sir Varius at Highgarden, but Melius thinks Varius is a twit, so he had better things to do.

We huddle up, to discuss.

We make Insight rolls, and know that we can leave horse and armor with the Temple of Mitra, in escrow. 1500sp to the Temple, in exchange for the parole and that’ll keep him off the playing field for a few weeks. 

We move on, and proceed on to Highgarden. Keyar will scope out the place, using a bit of subterfuge and looking like a wandering hunter. Which he is. He grabs some dead rabbits and goes to look around. As he gets closer to town, he draws curiosity but not alarm.

In front of the main manor, Keyar sees weapons, arrows, arms, and provisions being stacked in wagons in front of the main manor. In the center of the area, to the west of the center of town, is a burning or burned temple of Mitra. There is weapons practice going on, loudly, near the town center as well. There are 36 4″ turtle shells tied up in an odd bundle in front of the tavern. 

In the manner of one transacting business, Keyar asks to sell the rabbits. A garrulous trader want to buy, and tells him that the Mitrans have truly overthrown the City State. The Dracolindes will save them all, kegs of mead, happy times are hear again, etc.

About fifteen minutes after that, Various chased him out of the village; he returned without killing the guy, then burned out the temple. 

They keep transacting, and chatting, and Keyar provisions himself up. Varius is offering a silver a day to go beat up Phandelver.

Because the Phandelver guys are raising an army to attack the Sheriff of Tain.


Sir Colin brought his troops over the other night; he’s the guy to talk to, but he’s a hard man. Fair, but hard. The magistrate is on his way to Tain with the miners. The troops planned to leave at noon, but that won’t happen. They’ll be leaving this afternoon at the latest, though. There’s about a dozen fighters, two knights. Mitra go with you. And Keyar has concluded a spectacular recon foray.

We write the messages and intel out, and immediately dispatch our two runners back to Phandelver. It’s about 2 hours walking, 4-6 by wagon.

Oh, and as the missing priest of Mitra is mentioned, the area next to the manor is darkened by the hand of Veritas. Evil has been committed within. Markbludiell starts to get all twitchy; he really wants to get into the manor house, and bring out either the body of the priest, or his healed and talkative self. Plus any records that might be in the place.

We decide, though, that the two knights are primary. They’re the fulcrum on which a lot of pain may arise; stopping them 

***

We break there. We all get 200XP for gaming, and we give 100XP to +Daniel McEntee as MVP. +Ken H , +Joshua Macy +Chris C. , +Peter V. Dell’Orto +Rob Conley