Thursday, June 28, 2018

Sessions 62 & 63 (13 June and 27 June 2018)

Note to readers: This is a session re-cap of an ongoing D&D 5th edition campaign set in a loosely adapted version of N. Robin Crossby's Hârn. A journal of sessions 1 through 54, beginning in February 2015, can be found here.

In-world dates: 5 Ilvin 720 TR [first week of winter]
Moon: waxing crescent (full moon in 9 days)

A chaotic battle erupts on the ice tower's parapets as Gil'Doren and Cade engage the guards. Juan, meanwhile, maintains his subterfuge, lugging his burden down the stairs leading into the tower as if he were a peasant bearer. Dracul, previously deposited in the rookery by bird-Cade, opens the door and sees Juan as he passes by pretending to be a stevedore. The mighty warrior decides to follow.

On the parapets, things get wild: Druid Grove and Storm Sphere spells transform the environment even as new foes join the fray: several mechanized metal constructs from the flying ship and the rookmistress Oxana, who is not only able to fly, but apparently can also speak to her ravens in their language.

Fireballs explode, lightning flashes, auras of ice come and go... Gil'Doren and Cade hold their own until the tentacle-fingered aliens (the Lengese) on the flying ship conjure a barrage of Hypnotic Patterns that incapacitates the two heroes!

But Oxana's ravens obey the order to attack Cade, unintentionally freeing him from the charm with their painful pecks. He in turn wakes Gil'Doren who wreaks more havoc on the constructs with his spells. The flying ship begins to withdraw, but the heroes fly over, land on its decks, and continue their assault. Another wave of Hypnotic Patterns again renders the heroes helpless, and Cade cannot resist as one of the constructs uses its pincer arm to draw him into its internal processing machinery, a combination of metal-toothed blades guaranteed to process him to mush. Gil'Doren's familiar is already in the air and pecks his master back into consciousness, sparing him a similar fate. Surrounded by the tentacled aliens and seeing that he cannot free the druid, Gil'Doren casts a parting Fireball and leaps off the ship, Feather Falling to the ground below.

Meanwhile, Juan and Dracul explore the winding passages spiraling downward through the interior of the ice tower. They find several unoccupied guest rooms; three guards appear, but they are quickly dispatched by Dracul. Having descended several "floors", they discover a room hidden behind a secret door; it provides a concealed position from which to spy upon the goings-on in a massive round chamber — apparently some kind of throne room. A vizir-like fellow, one of the bearers, and a Drow can be seen talking to a someone who is out of sight on a dais below you. Juan fits an arrow to his bow, takes aim, and shoots the Drow! The two heroes then backtrack to investigate a strange, frost-rimed door, only to discover that the bas relief of a bearded man's face over the door conceals a deadly trap: a chilling gust of cold that freezes you to the bone and turns the floors into an ice rink. Even worse: it's also an alarm! Crawling doggedly up to the door despite the withering blasts of cold, Dracul hacks it to pieces, but it takes several rounds.

Clearly, something of great importance must lie within...

Session 61 (2 May 2018)

Note to readers: This is a session re-cap of an ongoing D&D 5th edition campaign set in a loosely adapted version of N. Robin Crossby's Hârn. A journal of sessions 1 through 54, beginning in February 2015, can be found here.

The Dream, part 2

You continue your exploration of the maze-like corridors, heading in the direction the yeti cook said was north. A variety of weirdness ensues: rooms in which you can walk on the walls and ceilings; a room full of fireflies; a glockenspiel that moves your minds into someone else's body. You also meet a lascivious female version of Juan who tries to kill you. (She winds up polymorphed into an orca and securely bound.)

At last you find a cellblock of sorts and within, a jail cell occupied by a speaking mouse who claims to be Baba Yaga. She explains that she has been captured by her daughter Elvanna and imprisoned in some of cell that prevents her from using her magic. She retains, however, the power to shape the dreams of others, and this is how she has been able to contact you. The dream you are in is in part created by her, in part created by your own minds. She urges you to find her, or find her hut; her hut can lead you to her. You already have the keys! Baba Yaga will defeat Elvanna. But you must hurry: she is weakening, and the dream will soon end.

You hear footsteps. Turning, you see a pale dragonborn warrior approaching. It is Dracul's father, Malevix. He is terrifying. You know that you are powerless before him. He will slay you and drink your blood. You try to scream, but it is too late....

You wake in a cold sweat. You are in your camp in the elven forest. The pale light of dawn is beginning to show in the east. It was just a dream... but then you learn that you all had the exact same one. Perhaps Baba Yaga was indeed speaking to you through it?