Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
 
The Favorites of Selune campaign - Level 1 - Session 2

Normally we play D&D only every other week, but sometimes we have to shift that schedule to fit better with people's real life commitments. So exceptionally we already continued last week's adventure this week. The players are still in Winterhaven, where they recovered a ring of depetrification their temple had lent to a local mage named Arris. But as Arris had suffered a mysterious death and been turned into a strange kind of zombie, the players aren't in a hurry to go back and turn their quest in.

Before they can do much, they learn that this isn't the only problem that the village has: The lord of the village, who was with his counselor-mage and 12 soldiers out to hunt kobolds returns in the morning alone. The soldiers are dead, and the kobolds hold the mage for ransom. The players having heroically aided the village against the zombie, and the lord being short on manpower, the players get invited to discuss the troubles of the village with the lord over lunch.

That gives them the morning free to start their investigation into the death of Arris, having also received the permission to search his tower. In the tower they find the simple living quarters of a common country-mage. Books in the study about local history turn up one cheaply produced book of woodcuts claiming that the stone circle locally known as "The Witches of the Glade" is in reality a group of farmers having been turned to stone by a basilisk. Apparently Arris believed that, which is why he borrowed the ring to depetrify those farmers.

The players also find a cage full of starving rats on top of a chest. In the chest is an equally starving snake, but the players manage to feed the rats to the snake and keep it calm. While the snake was guarding Arris' money, most of that money has been spent on a donation to the temple where he borrowed the ring. So besides a ritual book of comprehend languages including materials, and a healing potion, the players only find 20 gold pieces.

Outside the village the players then examine the stone circle. Originally this were 10 stones in a circle around a bigger 11th stone in the middle. Now one of the outer stones and the middle stone are missing. Besides the tracks from the mage and the villagers who found his body, there are a set of naked human feet and some much larger feet going from the stone circle towards the forest, but not enough to follow them.

Now here is an interesting conundrum for the players: It appears obvious that Arris died as a consequence of using the ring of depetrification on the stone circle. But what exactly happened? And would using the ring again bring even more chaos over the already stricken village? The players can't decide, so they go to Lord Padraig for their lunch invitation.

Lord Padraig thanks the players for their help with the zombie the previous day, and outlines the situation to them: He needs men to help him free his counselor Valthrun from the kobold lair, but would also like the players to continue researching the death of Arris. Not knowing how strong the players are, he leaves it to them to decide whether they want to tackle both of these tasks, only one, or whether they just want to return to Fallcrest.

Feeling that freeing Valthrun is most urgent, the players decide to go with Lord Padraig to the kobold lair on the very same day, attacking it the next morning. The kobolds live in a cave behind a waterfall, which turns out to be a strategic mistake: The water and noise of the waterfall prevents the kobolds inside from noticing what is going on outside. Thus the players manage to attack and kill the kobolds outside without anybody from the cave noticing.

With that first half of the fight against the kobolds the session ends. The grand finale against the kobolds and their leader Irontooth will probably take place in the next session in two weeks. And maybe by then they have an idea on how to find out what happened to Arris.

Comments:
Ohohoh, Irontooth. He's nasty :)

With a bit of bad luck he can easily be a TPK. Especially if the party somehow manages to have him on bloodied for an extended period.
 
I like the variations you're adding to H1. I'm following in your footsteps (returning to D&D and DMing after an extended absence) and I'm preparing something similar. Seems like most of my players are going to play tieflings, so I'm working on a hook based on that.

Perhaps you've already seen it, but I recommend checking out the Alexandrian's remix of Keep on the Shadowfell; it's got a lot of good ideas for modifying the encounters.

Thanks in advance for working through this about two encounters ahead of me; it'll be a huge help! :)
 
I've enjoyed a few of your D+D blogs just from an education standpoint since I've never played. Have you given up blogging about WOW, SWTOR and other on-line games?
 
Have you given up blogging about WOW, SWTOR and other on-line games?

I haven't formally given up on MMORPGs, but I'm sure taking a break until the next good game is released.
 
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