Today we played DnD! I decided I was tired of writing this a week later when I have forgotten half of what happened and what I remember may or may not be accurate, so I started writing it right away! Boyle was tired and we didn’t get much done! But that was more the undertaking of the campaign than anything else, as most of this session was spent in combat. It’s still my longest entry in months. Writing the day of helps you remember details and stuff.
So, after the party finished up with the town of druids, the druids gave the party a guide who took them through the woods to Barrelhelm, and thus they reached the village of Barrelhelm without anything happening along the way. The party said goodbye to their guide, who turned and hightailed it back to Druid Village, and the party began investigating the area.
Between them and Barrelhelm was a large river flowing east out of the western mountains, at a span of about five hundred feet. There was a pair of towers on either side of it, which rose to a height of 100 feet, with a bridge spanning the river at the top level. The towers were each wide open at their base, with an entrance 40 feet high. A turnstile upon the top level lowered through the empty tower a platform that carts could be raised up upon to the top level to then travel over the river. There was also a ring of stairs along the interior of the tower that traveled up to a stone door that one could enter to reach the top level.
The party spent two days on reconnaissance, and saw there were was a cluster of Orcs on the North Tower, as well as some kind of winged beast. This spying was being done by Hannah flying about in Superdragon’s cloak with invisibility cast on her by the Bard, so she wasn’t entirely certain what the winged creature was. On the Southern Tower (that would be the one on the opposite side of the river) there seemed to be a pair of giant creatures, possibly ogres. In the village beyond, all the gnome huts appeared empty. Beyond them, built into the western mountains, was a fortress. And the second day, Hannah saw an Orc riding a giant wolf come up from the south and bring a message to the fortress.
The party decided that attempting a frontal attack on the first tower might be dangerous, since it might call out reinforcements from the fortress, so the party opted to bypass it by having Hannah carry each member of the party over the river with her flying cape. They waited until dark to begin the crossing, and Hannah began with Dragon Man. But! As they reached the halfway point of the river, they saw flying straight towards them, from the opposite shore, the winged creature that was nesting on the North Tower.
It was a Manticore.
Hannah and Dragon Man turned about to fly back to the other side, as carrying a Dragonborn is not that ideal way to fight a Manticore. But the Manticore was flying faster than them.
The night was moonless and cloudy. The rest of the party had no idea what was happening. (Also, we were all failing our spot-checks. Hard.)
The Manticore attacked Hannah and Dragon Man, and after a couple rounds Hannah was forced to drop Dragon Man into the river, where he was swiftly carried away by the current. Flying on towards shore, under constant attack from the Manticore, she called out to the party members on the shore. Eventually, the Bard saw what was following her, and pointed out the flying creature in the darkness to his companions. Nory and Ulfgar unleashed spells at it, and after getting hit, the Manticore turned tail and ran.
The Bard and Ulfgar ran off down the river to try to catch up to where Dragon Man was getting carried by the current. Hannah followed them, but in the air. Nory stayed behind to continue hurling spells at the Manticore until it was out of range, as Nory’s spells have an extra long range. Also, Nory doesn’t really care about people, what with Cthulu ending the world soon and all.
Dragon Man in his armor had been struggling to stay above water this entire time, and was just about to go under when Hannah was able to throw a rope down to him. With the rope as a guide slash Hannah pulling him, he was able to swim easily to shore.
The party regrouped on the riverbank. Ulfgar pointed out Manticore’s are capable of speech, so at this point any element of surprise was pretty much boned, so they just took off for the North tower to, as Dragon Man put it, go HAM.
When they came up to the tower, four Orcs stood on the parapet throwing javelins at the party. They didn’t have much success against the Melee fighters, but neither could the melee fighters do any damage to them, so the Bard, Hannah, and Dragon Man ran into the entrance of the Tower, which led the Orcs hurling javelins at Ulfgar instead. Meanwhile, Nory stayed well back and, with his super long-range Eldritch Blast, succeeded in killing one of the Orcs up above.
The Manticore had by this time ridden back into view, this time with a blue-skinned Orc riding on his back. The Manticore flew in low and hurled spines at the Melee fighters in the entrance of the North Tower. So, Ulfgar encased the Manticore and his Orc-rider in a Fireball.
Hannah and Dragon Man took this as a good sign to not be in the entranceway and started running up the stairs to the tower top, but the Bard stayed behind. Meanwhile, Nory killed his second Orc javelin-thrower.
The remaining two Orc soldiers decided that maybe standing up high while a gnome warlock picks you off from out of javelin range wasn’t the best idea, so they backed away from the parapet. But, the Blue Orc hadn’t appreciated that Fireball none too much, so he dive-bombed the Manticore straight at Ulfgar, and hit the dwarf hard while rolling past him.
Ulfgar was stuck between a blue-skinned Orc badass and a giant Manticore. So, he cast Fireball on the Manticore.
And the Manticore died. Ulfgar moved straight back from the Blorc (as John called him), and called out the the Blorc that he was surrounded by spellcasters now, so he should probably surrender.
The Bard noticed that Ulfgar was pretty messed up at this point, so he ran out and cast healing on him while Nory hurled more spells at the Blorc. The Blorc, noticing Nory the Gnome Warlock, exclaimed that he hated Gnomes, and ran off to mess Nory up. And did, pretty much straight away. Nory was able to get off another attack, as was Ulfgar, but on the next attack the Blorc took Nory down hard like it wasn’t no thing.
Thankfully, Ulfgar was able to kill the Blorc right after that with a Scorching Ray, and then the Bard was able to run over to heal Nory and loot the Blorc’s corpse. (He found a pair of waterskins not full of water. One was all foul-smelling alcohol, the other seemed to contain about seven doses of healing potion. That’s 350 gold worth of healing potions! Sweet!)
The Bard, Nory, and Ulfgar than ran into the tower and up the stairs, to find Hannah and Dragon Man ineffectually trying to open the stone trap door, as the remaining Orc pair laughed at them through the stone. Try as they might, the door wouldn’t budge.
The party decided on a plan. Hannah and Dragon Man would travel down to the base, and then Hannah would fly up the side of the tower while Dragon Man, with Spider Climb cast upon him by Ulfgar, would walk up the tower’s side. They would jump over the side and kill the Orcs, then open the trap door and let the rest of the party in.
But when they stormed the side, the Orcs were running down the bridge! And far too far way to catch!
Thinking quickly, they opened up the trap door and ushered in the others, and pointed out the two fleeing orcs to Nory the Boss of Long-ranged Spells. Nory strutted down the bridge while casting Eldritch Blast until the two Orcs were dead.
The party took a short rest to recoup, then continued on across the bridge over the river. As they got closer to the South Tower, they heard what they quickly determined was indeed a pair of Ogres, who were arguing over who had to cook the dead gnome they were waving around. So, Nory cast thoughts into their heads suggesting they kill each other, and the Ogres, who are very dumb and can’t really distinguish between their own thoughts and ideas beings whispered in their heads, started fighting each other.
The fight was pretty evenly matched, but finally one of the Ogres succeeded in killing the other. He barely had time to enjoy his bloodied victory when Dragon Man walked into the tower and used his breath weapon on him. And the Ogre was so worn out that (even though he made his saving throw) he died.
So the party took out a pair of Ogres without taking any damage.
As the Towers were ancient Dwarven constructions of the finest engineering, the party opted to spend the night there, closing up the turnstiles and weighting the trap doors with Ogres corpses, and took a long rest.
The next day, they ventured into the village, and found no signs of life. They made their way to the place that the gnome back in the river village said his treasure was hidden, and it was there! And they dumped it all into Nory’s bag of holding.
While they were moving about the village, finding little sign of supplies, an Orc riding a giant wolf left the fortress, heading towards the village. The party set an ambush, and killed him and his wolf. They found he was carrying a letter, sent to some strange leader figure. It stated that all the gnomes had finally been killed (so much for rescuing anybody), and that they would soon revive the corpse of the Copper Dragon who had guarded village.
Were the Orcs creating a Zombie Dragon?!
Dungeons and Dragons Cliffhanger!
(Really that’s as far as we got. Boyle was really tired. He had like three hours sleep total all weekend.)