Saturday, July 26, 2014

WH2 The Ruined Village of the Goblin Lord

This is the second part of my home brew D&D 5e campaign. The last time the player characters found a troubling letter that previously belonged to a dancing devil "merchant" which they could not decipher.

Note: This session was based on D&D Basic and monsters from The Lost Mine of Phandelver.

Cast of Characters:

  • Grandor, male dwarf cleric (acolyte)
  • Karsal Kesh, male stout halfling rogue (acolyte)
  • Khelben, male human wizard (soldier)
  • Mab, female human fighter (soldier)

Two weeks earlier: Khelben meets with his superiors in the ducal capital of Mirena. He shows them the letter captured from the dancing devil (a species of Tiefling that can only procreate with human females) Malzurban. It turns out that the letter contains a treaty of cooperation from the Walyran bishop of Taronn to the goblin tribes of the Weathered Heath in case of an attack on the mining outposts of Thoran in the heath. It is addressed to someone named Archibaldus. Khelben is entrusted with the mission to find Archibaldus and stop him. Grandor is hired to accompany him and Mab joins them as a bodyguard. Together they travel to Griffon Rock, a keep in the borderlands.

Now: As the trio approaches Griffon Rock, the attract the attention of Karsal Kesh, a rogue travelling to the keep as well. With some difficulties the party enters into the keep, as Karsal seems to be bend on alienating the guards at the gate.

Khelben immediately seeks an audience with Baroness Deirdren of Griffon Rock, but is met only by her husband. Apparently, the baroness is in deep mourning ever since her two sons passed away in the war against Walyra. Khelben tells Baron Padraig in secret about his missions, and asks him what he knows about this Archibaldus. Apparently, he was the apprentice to the resident wizard Peredur.

Meanwhile, the others go shopping at Shea's Warehouse, where Karsal again causes trouble as he really tries to rob the half-orc proprietress of the store. With some difficulty, Mab and Grandor get Karsal out of trouble.

Later on the party decides to spend the night at the Green Dragon Inn. There Mab has a run in with Geoffrey, the stable boy. They talk and Geoffrey promises her to go with them to Peredur in the morning. Apparently, Geoffrey knows the wizard from some favor he performed for Geoffrey.

In the morning the heroes seek out Geoffrey and after a short delay, because he has to fasten his belt, he leads them to Peredur. They get the old wizard to talk and he tells them of a ruined village and the former wizards' guild located there. Apparently, it was quite an illegal guild devoted to dark arts. The troubles with Archibaldus started, when the apprentice looted parts of the wizards' guild hidden knowledge. He turned down to a dark path and split with his former master. Peredur tells them the location of the ruined village.

Before the adventurers move out of Griffon Rock, Mab gets into a verbal fight with Geoffrey. She smacks him in the face for a perceived insult. That really seems to hurt Geoffrey, as he is really looking up to Mab as a female fighter. Apparently, women aren't allowed to practice the fighting arts in Griffon Rock. Mab doesn't understand at first, until Geoffrey shows her what he got from Peredur: a belt that changes her gender to male. Otherwise, (s)he would never have managed to become a stable boy. Mab is deeply moved by that revelation and promises Geoffrey to take him with her, when she leaves after the mission.

Then the party gets moving to the abandoned village. There, they get into various fights. Unfortunately, a chance encounter with twig blights gives them away to the goblins way too early. They get into an extended battle at the towers of the wizards' guild that they barely manage to survive. Then, they break into the tower and discover an excavation site in the cellar. A bugbear, a hobgoblin and two goblins try to break into an ancient sarcophagus. After defeating them, the heroes loot the sarcophagus themselves and find beautiful plate armor of the Order of the Dragon (Khelben's order). Khelben decides to allow Mab the use of arms and armor in order to complete the mission. Then the four adventurers barricade themselves into the tower for a long rest.

During the long rest, Mab dreams of past glory. She kneels before the first king of Thoran and his elven wife to receive arms, armor and a blessing. In a courtyard on the outside she sees a silver dragon rearing its head in triumph as she receives the arms from the king.

After the long rest, things get pretty serious. The evil mage Archibaldus knows that they are holed up in the tower and he has gathered his forces in the courtyard of the ruined castle overlooking the village. When Mab goes scouting, she is discovered by the mage and he sends her plummeting off the wall with a barrage of magic missiles. Thankfully, she survives the fall and Grandor heals her back to full health. Angered, Mab takes her bow and shoots an arrow into the courtyard over the wall. She aims for the position of the mage. He apparently hasn't bothered to move and is wounded. Angrily he orders the offense versus the heroes. A desperate battle ensues. The tide finally turns, when the heroes decide to flee, but Karsal is held by a spell. Mab turns around and attacks again, soon joined by Khelben and Grandor. In the end, the determination of the heroes proofs to be too much and the goblin forces are defeated, Archibaldus is taken prisoner and returned to Griffon Rock. Without their leader, the goblins go back to being disparate tribes again, instead of being a threat to Thoran.

To be continued...

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