When last we left our intrpid band of heroes, they began the first leg of their journey in search for a possible treasure horde that might help to fund their future plans. After supplying, they ventured south from Waterdeep along The Trade Way, eventually stopping at a small hamlet known only as Wayside (based off an old Goodman Games adventure I tried to run them on in the past) over a week later. At Wayside’s inn, then met an older man who wished to purchase the map they were carrying, offering a tidy sum.
They decided to wait on that decision and, as the session opened, they would realize the consequences of their hesitation.
Deciding to retire for the evening, most of the the group made their way to the room they rented while Haman and his cat decided to venture outside, prefering to sleep outdoors. Suspicious of the gentleman they spoke with earlier, the group chose to take a few magical precautions, setting alarms and sleeping nar their weapons. A precaution that was well taken.
As the night wore on, Xyphael, who had magically warded the room, was snapped awake as his spell went off, indicating someone unexpected had entered the room. Taking a subtle glance, he noticed several shadowy figures slip in through the window and begin to rumage through their packs. Raising the alarm, the group sprung into action (as fast as a sleeping person could). As they began to deal with the rogues in their room, Valithar, who chose to keep watch in the adjacent sitting room, was engaged by a number of heavily armed men breaking in through the front door.
The group easily dispatched the warriors and rogues, keeping one alive for further questioning. However, their real trouble began when they realized the leader behind this group was some sort of wizard, currently invisible (Greater Invisibility) and dishing out damage with his spells. Though challenged by not only his invisibility spell but also by his apparent ability to polymorph into a small red dragon, they eventually slew the wizard and discovered that that decision was also a near costly one.
As the group surounded him, the druid brought him low with the remains of a Call Lightning spell, breaking the polymorph and revealing the man they spoke with earlier. However, there would be no time to ask him anything before his passing as a contingency style spell went off, causing the mage to explode in a firey burst, catching all but the druid in the blast and igniting the old inn’s balcony.
As the blaze began to spread, several members of the party began to evacuate people and their belonging while Xyphael tended to Valithar, who took the worst of the blast which nearly cost him his life. Once the archer was up and about, a little more creativity with magic on the bard’s part extinguished the blaze before the entire inn became a raging inferno.
Once everyone was safely evacuated and the folks of the hamlet began a small fire brigade, Gahn and Azim (Haman’s cat) began an interesting interogation of their prisoner. They discovered that he was part of a mercenary company known as The Guilded Blade of of Iriaebor. He is not aware of who they were working for and why. That was handled by the guild’s leader. Realizing they got all the information they could out of him, Gahn informed the mayor of their prisoner and joined the others to determine their next step.
As Xyphael, Hadoriel, and Gahn convened to determine what to do, Valithar chose to keep vigil should another attack be attempted while Haman decided to aid the townsfolk in slavaging the inn. As he was moving rubble, he came across a dagger he recognized the mage carrying and noticed an odd symbol on the pommel. When he showed it to Valithar, the elf’s eyes betrayed his knowledge of the symbol but he remained silent until he brought it to the others, flinging it into the dirt at their feet. That dagger revealed they had an even bigger issue.
The Cult of the Dragon was involved.
Summary: All in all, this second session worked out well, even after a 3 month hiatus. Though mostly combat, the RPing after the session was well done, especially with the arguments between Xyphael, Gahn, and Hadoreal about what to do next. One thing I’ve been having a few issues with is dealing with challenging a higher level of players than I’ve ever dealt with in D&D. I’m not fond of 3.5’s Challenge Rating system as it is. When I did adhere to it in the past, the challenges were never actually challenging. the players just ripped through them with ease. Eventually, I did away with it and just used it as a guideline.
However, I’ve never had a D&D campaign last long enough to reach higher levels like this. So, trying to make a combat challenging is proving to be a bit tough, as my next session proved.
Next Session: Ambush! Is this mysterious new person friend or foe?