Reign of Winter — Game Session — 006

Game summary for October 25, 2016, Reign of Winter campaign, for Phoenix Gaming Club. Session included: Deska Starseeker (Half-Elf Druid played by Kaliegh Belda), Kenwrec Battleglaive (Dwarf Slayer played by Peyton Harmon), Magnus Erlingsson (Human Cleric played by Chris Harmon), and Tulvur Xandersen (Dwarf Fighter played by Taylor Averdick). Game Master for this session was Charles Plemons.

The team charged out the doors of the lodge to engage the zombies and the bandit leader Rokhar Cindren!  Deska cleverly cast entangle and impeded several zombies and the cleric too, allowing the team to close the distance unscathed.  Ten-Penny proved her worth by flanking and backstabbing a zombie to death.  Tulvur and Kenwrec engaged two other zombies while Deska and Magnus moved in toward Rokhar.  The evil cleric cast hold person at Deska to no effect.  She retaliated by hurling a dagger over the ensorcelled ground to strike him in the ribs.

The zombies proved ineffective combatants, but they did force the team to slow down and bunch up.  This allowed Rokhar to blast members of the party with channeled negative energy!  The continued barrage nearly killed Kenwrec, collapsing him in a heap.  The team was able to cut down the zombies, and Deska realized she had to dismiss her entangle spell to allow her team to get in close.  The moment it dropped, Magnus charged with his greatsword and cut down the priest.  The team looted his body and divided the spoils, with his bizarre magical cloak of the yeti going to Deska.

The group returned to the lodge and unlocked the mystery chest using the keys found on Rokhar’s body.  They went upstairs and discovered a captured sprite, Vrixx, enclosed in a cage.  Magnus healed his wounds, and Deska tried to befriend him.  Tulvur continued to nurse his distrust and dislike for Ten-Penny while Magnus debated how attracted he was to a half-orc.  After talking to Vrixx they discerned Lady Argentea was in a cellar.  They found a trapdoor beneath the bearskin rug.  The noblewoman was dirty but unharmed.  She was grateful for rescue but uncontrollably haughty.

The team rested the frigid night in the lodge and prepared to leave the next morning.  They went outside and realized they forgot to stable the horses, and all three froze to death.  Fortunately, the did discover three more in the stable.  The team rode out and returned to Heldren.

Once outside the winter circle, Vrixx told them the source of the cold was a magical winter portal deeper in the woods.  In exchange for freedom, he agreed to divulge what he knew.  He let them know the portal leads to the land of Irrisen.  He expressed great fear of the portal guardian, a troll named Teb Knotten.  Vrixx wished them luck and hoped Teb did not eat them.  He then flew off to parts unknown.

Lady Argentea awarded the party a purse of 500 gold coins for her rescue.  Meanwhile, Councilor Ionnia Teppen voiced her concerns for the continued winter storm just outside the town.  Tulvur went about trying to find someone who may know Ten-Penny or something about her past or trustworthiness.

Halloween Hootenanny XI — Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition — Death House

Game summary for October 15, 2016, Death House Ravenloft adventure, for Phoenix Gaming Club. Session included: Byril Nmembe (Human Barbarian played by Chris Harmon), Cecil Smirth (Human Bard played by Parker Harmon), Grigor Ivanov (Human Fighter played by Preston Harmon), Michna Passler (Half-Elf Warlock played by Casey Scruggs), Monera Soom (Human Paladin played by Andrew Renfrow), Popin Hillhorn (Halfling Cleric played by Shane Bradley), Rategar Greenleaf (Elf Ranger played by Taylor Averdick), and Thoradin Brawnanvil (Dwarf Rogue played by Kaliegh Belda). Game Master for this session was Charles Plemons.

This was a one-shot game for our six-hour Halloween Hootenanny gaming event.  We played the Death House adventure set in the Ravenloft campaign setting using the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition ruleset.

The party awoke in their wooded camp to discover overnight they had transported to an unknown section of woodlands.  They stumbled through the fog until they entered a small village or town with the fog closing in on all sides.  Ahead they saw a pair of children, a boy and girl, who appeared distraught.  The children told them a monster was in their house with their parents and baby brother.  The team carefully entered the house to investigate.  They entered and found strange images hidden in the artwork as they explored the area.  In the kitchen, the team discovered a dumbwaiter and sent Popin up to explore.  He found a servant quarters and what he believed to be the master bedroom.

The team advanced up the stairs eventually encountering a suit of haunted armor that viciously attacked!  They likewise found a broom in a closet that beat them brutally as well.  In a bedroom they found a nursery and were attacked by a specter of a servant woman.  Popin drove her back with his turn undead as the team swarmed in and cut her down.

The team discovered a library and a hidden door.  They learned of some kind of group or cult mocked by some man named Strahd von Zarovich.  The group continued upstairs through a secret passage into the attic.  Behind a padlocked door, they found two dead bodies… children.  The spirits of two kids appeared and possessed two of the party members.  The team learned of some of the horrors that occurred in this house including the abandonment and starving of the kids.  The team carefully packed up of the skeletal remains with hopes of finding a way to lay them to rest.  In another room, stuffed in a trunk, they found the body of the kids’ nanny.

With information they gleaned examining the dollhouse in the kids’ room, the team found a secret door and went down a spiral staircase into a dungeon beneath the house.  Down here they found several crypts and were able to lay all the children to rest.  The team then encountered a roaming grick and killed it in a pitched fight down in the dungeon.

The team was later ambushed by ghouls in the darkness.  The creatures were unable to paralyze any of the team, but they landed a few good shots.  The group discovered a shrine with a statue of Strahd.  They also found a secret door leading back up into the house.  The team roamed around to find a bedroom occupied by the ghastly undead remnants of Gustav and Elisabeth Durst!  A harsh battle erupted, but Monera Soom’s divine energy ended up putting down both ghasts.  The team scraped up the remains and buried them in the crypts.

Eventually the team made it down into the bowels of the dungeon and found a huge partially flooded chamber.  Rategar threw Popin into the water!  The angry halfling stood up in the 2-foot water.  Byril jumped in and climbed up the dais with Rategor to examine a sacrificial altar at the top.  Ghostly figures surrounded the party demanding a sacrifice!  The team refused, and Grigor toppled the altar!  A massive creature began to arise from the muck, and the team fled back up the stairs and into the house.  They found the windows boarded up, the house filling with poison smoke, and scything blades protecting every exit!  Several of the team were able to leap through the blades to safety.  Others were grievously wounded!  Two of the party were trapped inside and dying when Rategar uttered an old gypsy charm against hexes and temporarily stopped the blades long enough for the team to extract their friends.  As they left the house, the sun rose, fog lifted, and the house seemed to age and get decrepit.  They turned to look at the town around them and noticed a sign in the grass.  It read “Death House.  Don’t talk to the children.”

Reign of Winter — Game Session — 005

Game summary for October 11, 2016, Reign of Winter campaign, for Phoenix Gaming Club. Session included: Deska Starseeker (Half-Elf Druid played by Kaliegh Belda), Kenwrec Battleglaive (Dwarf Slayer played by Peyton Harmon), Magnus Erlingsson (Human Cleric played by Chris Harmon), Tiswichtt (Orc Witch played by Casey Scruggs), and Tulvur Xandersen (Dwarf Fighter played by Taylor Averdick). Game Master for this session was Charles Plemons.

Bloody brutality erupted as the bandits charged to kill the intruders.  Kenwrec leapt forward and cut one down with a single swipe of his mighty dwarven axe!  Magnus and Deska darted across the field toward the archer.  Tulvur gutted another bandit as Tiswichtt spun her orc double axe in a mighty arc to decapitate the bandit assaulting her!  Deska mortally wounded the archer while Kenwrec cut down the last of their foes.

The team swept into the lodge and began searching rooms.  They discovered four sick bandits coughing with flu-like symptoms.  The team managed to intimidate them into leaving the lodge!  They then moved into the kitchen and found themselves facing the loaded crossbow of a powerful young half-orc woman named Ten-Penny Tacey.  After some negotiation, she agreed to join them in the search for Rokhar in exchange for a full share of the loot.

The group moved upstairs and found a room occupied by two frost skeletons empowered by winter’s fury.  The frigid creatures possessed a damaging aura anathema to most life.  Kenwrec jumped up on a table and ran toward a skeleton, only to miss in his attack.  Deska closed in and narrowly avoided a deadly swipe by using her windy escape spell.  Tulvur noticed something brush past him and heard the stairs creak.  Magnus channeled positive energy to disrupt the undead and moved to the balcony to watch the doors to see if anyone was trying to escape.  Tulvur cut the leg off the table with an errant power attack while Deska tried to bull rush a skeleton through a window.  Ten-Penny emerged from the shadows and dealt a lethal sneak attack to one of the frost skeletons.  Tulvur managed to cut down the other.

Meanwhile, Magnus darted downstairs and went out the front door in pursuit of someone.  He found tracks in the snow and discovered four of the bodies of slain bandits rising up in a mockery of life!  The zombies turned and lurched toward the lodge!