Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, July 05, 2017
Elemental Evil: Session 4

In the previous session the group had cleared out the Redbrand Hideout and killed or chased away all of the Redbrands from Phandalin, freeing the village. In this session, which was short for out-of-game reasons, we played through the aftermath of this, and up to the start of the next location.

So the group came back to the townmaster and Sildar Hallwinter from the Lord's Alliance for their reward. They also suggested a celebration, and that proposal was accepted. As they hadn't really explored Phandalin before tackling the Redbrands, I thought that might be a good opportunity to meet the townspeople they had previously missed. In a somewhat meta-gamish approach the group also decided to look for side-quests, as they were missing 75 xp each for the next level. The townmaster could direct them to Sister Garaele of the shrine of luck, who was looking for adventurers to negotiate with a banshee. They also found out that the proprietor of the Phandalin Miners' Exchange, Halia Thornton , had been willing to offer a reward for getting rid of the Redbrands, a quest they had missed.

Krosh decided that they should ask for the reward from Halia Thornton anyway. Halia was unwilling and explained that she would have offered the reward for the delivery of all documents found in the Redbrands Hideout. The group pretended they hadn't found any documents, and so Halia didn't want to pay them. Krosh tried to intimidate Halia, but what he didn't know was that Halia is an agent of the Zhentarim and had been the only one not afraid of the Redbrands before. In fact the "quest" they missed was basically motivated by Halia wanting to take over the extortion operation of the Redbrands, which is why she wanted the documents. So Halia liked Krosh's brashness, but wasn't going to be intimidated into paying him anything.

During the celebration the group also met the agents of other factions. This is basically an element of the D&D Adventurer's League, where players can join one of five factions in the Forgotten Realms and get some benefits from it. Not overly relevant for my campaign, but I wanted to keep it in as an option. However my players weren't overly interested in joining a faction, at least not as a group.

The next day Krosh bought a chain and spike to attach it for the goblin, Droop, who they had found in the hideout, being harried by bugbears. Then they set of to on the side-quest to meet the banshee. For once they were sufficiently impressed by the possible danger and didn't attack the banshee, but followed the quest to offer her a jeweled comb in return for answering a question. The adventure foresees the possibility that they could ask one question of their own, but instead they stuck to the quest and asked the question Sister Garaele had wanted, which didn't have anything to do with the rest of the adventure. So they returned with the answer, got 3 healing potions and 100 xp as reward, and got up to level 3 with that.

Sildar Hallwinter reminded them of the urgency of rescuing their former employer, Gundren Rockseeker, from the goblins. As they didn't know the location of Cragmaw Castle, they finally got around to seek information on how to get there. They learned that somebody who could know that would be a druid named Reidoth, who lived in the abandoned village Thundertree. Furthermore Droop, who wasn't bright enough to understand maps, said he would be able to find the way from Thundertree to Cragmaw Castle. So they traveled there, still not with much haste, sticking to the safer and longer way over roads via Neverwinter.

Arrived in Thundertree they found the village in ruins, having been destroyed a long time ago by a volcano eruption. They entered the first building that still had walls and a roof, the tavern, and found the interior covered in ashes. While searching the building from those ashes rose four ash zombies, surrounding the group. Which meant that Popée, who had selected to be at the back of the marching order for safety, was again in melee contact. Fortunately in 5th edition the rules regarding casting spells in combat are much less restrictive than in 4th edition. The zombies however turned out to be difficult to kill, as they have a saving throw every time they are reduced to 0 hitpoints, with a difficulty depending on the power of the blow that killed them. So in spite of the zombies having a low challenge rating and never doing much damage the fight went on for a while. So that when the zombies were finally beaten, we decided to end the session there.


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