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Session 23 – Intermission

29th of Mirtul of the year 1492

Setting forth in the late morning, they used the directions they had gotten from Pell to make their way to what they were told was a tomb with a ghost in it.  Upon arriving, they were able to see the partially collapsed hill and the stone door entrance into the hill.  The stone door was cracked open.

Pushing it open further, a piece of metal, something from a wagon, fell to the ground making a loud banging noise.  While the party was surprised at the noise, nothing jumped out to attack them.  Moving into the dark corridor it led to a staircase heading downward.  It stopped at another stone door. Pushing it forward again, they were able to see the room ahead of them.

Inside the mid-sized room, they could see a 20-foot-tall statue of a dwarf holding a large maul.  The ceiling was 20-feet high and was held up by four pillars. One was a large horned demon as tall as the room, but appeared to be getting squished by the weight of the ceiling pushing him down, another was a giant grimacing in pain as he too attempted to hold up the ceiling, the third was a large pile of orcs, some dead and mashed on the bottom, while all the others were climbing up and preventing the ceiling from falling, and the last was a large dragon roaring in defiance, but still stuck holding up the ceiling as all the others were.

The party moved into the room and began investigating all the features of the room especially the intricate carvings of the pillars.  They were very lifelike and frightening at the same time.  There was another door in the room in which Vladimir approached. Angelica was able to identify the dragon statue as a red dragon, and was at least an adult one, if not older. A soft wispy voice filled the room.

“Don’t, don’t go forward. You can look around here, just do not go any further.”

“What are you? A ghost?

“I’m not a ghost, just a guardian here.”

“Do you have a name spirit?”

“I do not remember.”

“What are you guarding here?”

“A tomb of a mighty warrior. I failed in my duty once; I will not fail it again.  Do not go any further.”

‘What happens if we go further.”

“Then I will have to stop you. Don’t test my patience either.”

“I am sorry to hear you failed before, what did they do?”

“That is why I am guarding now.”

“These columns are very intricate; do you know the story behind why they are holding up the ceiling?

“The master wants them all to feel pain. He has hunted them all.”

“Who is your master?”

“You have already seen the statue.”

“Who is it though?”

“I do not remember.”

“Guardian, would it make any difference to your master if we are also hunters of some of these creatures? We’ve slain orcs.”

“You should not compare yourselves to the master, all of you are pathetic in comparison.”

“Is his tomb behind the door over there?”

“That is the space you should not go, and you would never have met my master, he died over a millennia ago, several.”

“Did he task you with guarding this?”

“My penitence for having failed him once. There used to be more of us, but I am the only one left now.”

“Besides the little girl, has anyone come by recently?”

“None have entered, the other stone door has opened and closed, and something might have attempted to peek in. but, as long as you do not try to continue, I will not bother you.”

Wanting to strategize outside the earshot of the spirit, the group went outside to determine what their action should be, and if they wanted to delve further in or not. For a while they discussed whether the tomb was related to the cultists or not, but in the end they decided not. There was some talk that perhaps the spirit guardian was fake because of the alerting trap they triggered. Attempting to use some Mold Earth to dig around the tomb, all they managed was to move a lot of mud and expose a lot more clay rock which Fogo’s spell could not effect. They finally decided that tomb robbing should be their goal, and off they went to confront the spirit.

“I see that you must have made your decision. Do you really want to do this?  Do you really want to be my foe?”

“I mean, not really.”

“Then you can turn around go back.”

“We do not want to do that either. We have questions that we are searching for answers and are hoping we can find them here.”

“I have no answers, I barely remember that I am here.”

“Does the last war mean anything to you?”

“There were so many, so many wars, trolls, giants, orcs, so many wars.”

“How about the elements?”

“The elements always strike upon you in war.”

“Any Drow?”

“Not any, any that I remember.”

It was at that point that Vladimir moved fully into the room and he could see the guardian standing next to the door waiting for him, and combat began. It was a brutal combat with an opponent that was incorporeal and was able to move through any of them, any object, and was able to fly fast enough to reach anywhere in the room.  The most terrifying aspect was that it was able to drain their health and make it unrecoverable except through time and resting.  Fogo was brought down into a coma losing many patches of fur over his body.  Its hateful glare was enough to send both Vladimir and Angelica running at different points, but they did finally defeat it.

Guardian Spirit

After the arduous battle they camped and rested hoping to regain the health losses almost everyone had suffered. The rest proved to be the best medicine they had, although Fogo was still very spotty with his fur as none of it grew back yet. Moving on to the next room, they found another medium sized room covered in five-foot tiles.  Each tile had a different number of brass medians upon them, and another stone door at the opposite side of the room.  Pain filled and grotesque carvings of orc heads covered all the walls as well as the ceiling leaving not a single open space.  There were hundreds of carved heads.  Dancer took a closer look and realized, that much like the other Dwarven tomb, every one of these mouths had an opening of some sort.

With several of them running in and out, they finally figured out that they had to take a specific route with a specific number of tiles and then pause to finally unlock the door.  Any deviation from that caused crossbow bolts to shoot from several of the orc mouths at them.  It was Fwoosh that came up with the solution and was almost able to execute it through.  Once the correct path was taken, the door unlocked and opened itself leading to another hallway.

In the middle of the hall was a set of double doors, and down some stairs there was a cistern.  The party debated on going through the doors and investigating the cistern, and Fogo persuaded them to dive into the cistern first.  Or at least, Fogo did.  Using his wild shape to become a giant frog he dove in to explore. The cistern was 90 feet deep and had a diameter of 50 feet with the opening at one end.  He could see a faint light on the ceiling of the other end.  Otherwise, it was filled to the top without any breathing pockets left open.

Swimming to the other end, he could see a hatch with some faint light coming from it, and a large lever in the wall.  Thinking that this was the way to open the hatch, he pushed the lever down hoping for the best.  When the water began draining rapidly and creating a giant whirlpool, he was sucked down through the false bottom that had collapsed into a put filled with jagged rocks causing his frog form severe injuries. With the water drained, and him changing back to his bedraggled form, he could communicate with the rest on what had happened.  Tossing down a rope and pulling them back, they trudged forward to the double doors.

Feeling optimistic, Vladimir pushed the doors open with the help of Angelica and they found another corridor with a set of stairs heading down, and at the bottom four alcoves, two on each side, stood a set of full plate armor.  Another set of double doors were at the other end of the hall.  Excited at the prospect of gaining some real armor, Vladimir ran forward to fondle the standing armor.

Unfortunately for Vladimir, the armor objected, and all four sets began attacking. With limited room, the party had to frequently switch positions to support Vladimir and Angelica.  The fight did not hold many surprises until some of the animated armors were killed, and one of the ones in the back absorbed the fallen armor making itself large, bulkier, and most likely much tougher. But even that one was eventually beaten down by everyone.  As each of the armors were defeated, they could see that within them was a mummified orc chieftain that had been stuffed inside to rot there indefinitely. Vladimir was very saddened that all they he could recover was a pile of rust and ash from the armors and his dream of parading around in a loud clanking set of full plate was burst.

Animated Armor

Hoping that there would be some sort of treasure ahead for all the work they had gone through, the party forged ahead.  The double doors led to another corridor with two more sets of double doors, one to the south and one to the east.  Choosing the closer southern doors, they burst them open looking for some loot.  This room was very large and narrow with stone table lining the walls of the room.  Upon each table was some sort of large creature’s skull.

They could see a Minotaur head, that was at least three feet across, not counting the horns, a horned demon skull that looked like it came from the demon pillar from earlier, a dragon skull that also appeared to match the one they had seen earlier, and finally a pair of giant human looking skulls, clearly from large giants.  A shatter giant sized great sword sat upon a table adjacent to the giant skulls.

Fogo was able to see that all the tables had a faint amount of magic that encompassed whatever was sitting upon them, but that magic was fading, and would most likely end within a few years.  Reaching out to touch one of the skulls, the magic popped, and the skull collapsed into dust.  Deciding to leave this trophy room intact, they moved on to what they hoped was the last set of doors of the day.

Behind these doors, which were the last ones, they could see a huge sarcophagus floating five feet off the ground resting on top of some white clouds.  The sarcophagus was 12-feet in length, and at least three feet high and wide. Fogo started to step in but jumped back just as a lightning bolt struck out at him from that cloud.  ISAC was next hoping to use the protections from the statue to weather to lightning bolts, but even he had to retreat as there seemed to be no end to the lightning.

Again, it was Fwoosh that helped solve the problem.  Using his newly acquired dagger, he turned invisible, trotted inside, and attached a rope to the sarcophagus and the party pulled it from on top of the cloud causing it fall and smash open. Out popped a mummified dwarf body holding on to a large maul and a small chest. Grabbing both, Fwoosh made his way out, but not before the lightning now having a target, shot a few bolts at his retreating back.

Thinking that this was everything in the tomb, the party was happy to make their way out into the dark night to escape back to Red Larch.  As they stepped out of the tomb, arrows were shot at them catching them all by surprise.

And this is where the session ended.

Maps

History Lesson

Good evening gentlefolk, this is your host David Bourgh-Ettin.  Last week we reviewed the history and condition of the Kryptgarden Forest, and this week we will be moving further south and look at the Westwood. Westwood was a forest on the Sword Coast North on the eastern edge of the Sword Mountains. Welcome back to our program looking into the history of the savage frontier.

Description

Westwood, as a general term, is used throughout the North to describe the western edges of a forest. This entry, however, details only the Westwood Forest south of the logging town of Kheldell. It’s said that this forest used to extend easterly to the High Forest, north to the city of Yartar, to the Delimbiyr Route in the south, and along the Sword Mountain range in the west. If this is true, Westwood once stood as proud and as large as the High Forest of today. Some sages believe this forest’s been shrinking since the destruction of Netheril.

Geography

The closest settlement to Westwood was Kheldell, which sat on the northwestern edge of the wood at the bottom of the Sword Mountains. This forest covered part of the eastern slopes of the Sword Mountains south of Kheldell. Amphail lay to the south of Westwood.

Westwood was part of a group of forests that were referred to by some as the Other Woods and others as the Moonwoods. The forests in this group were Lurkwood, Southkrypt Garden, Southwood, Moonwood, and Westwood.

History

Notable Locations

Elven Castle

Local legend claims that the ruins of an elven castle stand in a dell at the heart of the Westwood. Much magic exists in the ruins, and they’re supposedly haunted by owlbears and wild trees (probably evil treants preying on intruders). The way is best sought at night, for the route from Kheldell is marked by ancient spells that cause floating moonglow symbols to shine in the darkness.

Shrine of Mielikki

Mielikki is venerated at a hidden shrine in Westwood, and only rangers are guided to her temple. It’s said those who kneel and place fermented seed or newly sprouted oak trees at the altar are rewarded with a healing, neutralize poison, or remove curse spell (whichever is most needed). Those of evil alignment or who venerate evil deities that kneel at the altar are cursed with either a curse, a reversed neutralize poison, or a reversed cure critical wounds spell (whichever is most dangerous).

Campaign Notes

The haunted tomb was fun, a different puzzle appeared for them to solve.  The specter was a much tougher fight than they thought it would be, mostly because they were not able to get into a better tactical position.  The room was a perfect set up for the specter that was able to move through anything in the room including objects and people able to appear anywhere it wanted and attack.  Being intelligence, it was able to focus on one character at a time, meaning that the possibility of death was much greater.

And of course, something was waiting for them on the outside.  Afterall, who placed the warning trap that they triggered when thy entered?

Sword Mountains

Description

North of Waterdeep, the Sword Mountains march north toward the Neverwinter Woods. Although not militarily significant, this range shields the Dessarin river valley and the High Forest from the
worst of the storms that blow in from the Trackless Sea. The western flanks of the range are home to
orcs, bugbears, kobolds, leucrottas and other dangerous creatures. Self-styled bandit lords, such as
Amalkyn the Black and the wizard Helduth Flamespell, have long-established holds in the region. The
southern peaks are home to stone giants and more fearsome menaces, as well as sylphs on the high ledges and peaks. The Sword Mountains is littered with ruins dating back to the orcish empire of Uruth Ukrypt and the dwarf and gnome clanholds that preceded it.

Geography

With an arc-like shape, the mountains were located northwest of Waterdeep and east of the Mere of Dead Men. Their western slopes led to the Trackless Sea in rolling foothills.

History

The mountains were home to orcs and trolls, but after the orcs were united by Wund and the Brotherhood of the Scarlet Scourge in the Year of the Red Rain, 927 DR, a shaman named Wund arose among the orc tribes of the Sword Mountains. On the eve of the Feast of the Moon, as Wund had prophesied, blood red thunderclouds engulfed the Sword Mountains. For three days the slopes ran wet with blood, leaving behind the sickening stench of rot and decay. All manner of plagues quickly swept through the region. Many orcs (and other folk) died by the White Hand of Yutrus, including every tribal chieftain, but the spawn of Gruumsh who survived the crucible of plagues grew stronger.

In the immediate aftermath of the Blood Plagues, Wund established a monastic order known as the Brotherhood of the Scarlet Scourge. Members of the order organized the surviving orc tribes into a united realm under the spiritual guidance of the brotherhood. The most powerful chieftain, a massive, unintelligent tusker named Uruth, was crowned king by Wund. This was a contributing factor to the Trollwars.

In the Year of the Sky Raiders (936 DR), the armies of Uruth Ukrypt swept down the eastern slopes of the Sword Mountains. The armies of Waterdeep battled the orcs of Uruth Ukrypt in a series of pitched battles known as the Orcfastings War. Early orc victories in the Battle of Whirling Blades, the Battle of Sarcrag, and the Battle of Withered Fields drove Waterdeep’s forces back to the gates of Nimoar’s Hold. However, a timely feint by the Duke of Calandor enabled Nimoar’s forces to break the orcs’ siege of the hold in the Battle of Burning Cliffs. They hatched another plan to attack in the Year of the Cold Claws, 940 DR, but this plan was ruined by the gold dragon Palarandusk.

Due to a raid on Ukrypt’s crypt by a human adventuring company called the Dawnbringer Company in the Year of Lathander’s Light, 1024 DR, the orcs of the Brotherhood of the Scarlet Scourge formed a horde called the Broken Bone with the intent of destroying Waterdeep. Their plans were once again ruined by a dragon; this time Lhammaruntosz. Still determined to exact their revenge, the orcs formed another horde, calling it the Black Claw, and in the Year of Crimson Magics, 1026 DR they came from the mountains to attack Waterdeep. This attack proved unsuccessful, and they were defeated, causing the orcs to lose their unity and plunge into a period of tribal conflict and the orcs of the Sword Mountains disintegrated into warring tribes.

Session 11, Prelude

15th of Mirtul of the year 1492

The mid-morning started off some serious dialogue among the party.  ISAC had to get some information off his chest about what had been happening to him.  He explained that he is never asleep nor has ever needed to breath, but when the giant bug had ambushed him, his thoughts vanished for a period time, and then there was the dream.  A dream that made him feel suffocated and unable to breath, a unique experience for him.  And he too heard a voice speak out.

“I shall tear the breath from all of you, I will give you unending agony of being torn asunder and spread your blood and flesh over the wind”.

It was clear that the party had now dreamed of the four different elements, and something dire at the same time.  The conversation then veered around different tactics that they might want to employ the next time they got into combat, especially trying to control Sky’s need to run forward, something he himself did not seem to really understand why he did that.  Something deeper within him was the cause and anxiousness of that.

The discussion also covered the need to start using the members of the party to take care of the actions that they were best at, such as searching, trap finding, and other aspects of general exploration and adventure. Once the talks were complete, the group began moving forward again.

Sky was able to notice that the eastern most doorway seemed to have had the most amount of traffic.  Working carefully to not set off another alarm Vladimir and Fwoosh worked together to ensure a smooth and quiet entry into the area behind the door.  No trap, nor alarm was found, but a long corridor that went south and had a branch that went southeast just a bit passed the door.  They could feel cold air come from the southern passageway.

Hoping that this would lead to the exit, they skipped the southeastern passageway, but Avery did notice that it went about a hundred feet and ended in a door. As they creeped south, they found another junction in the corridor, this time one heading straight west into additional hallways. They were also able to see a staircase that would take them further down and south. Fwoosh was able to hear the faint sound of water splashing coming from the southern direction.

Wanting to be more thoughtful and careful with their actions and movement, Vladimir and Fwoosh headed down the stairs leaving the rest of the group further up the corridor and safely out of the way. Just past the stairs to the west, the passageway opened into a room.  It was not too large, but it was mostly filled with a large pool of water.  The pool was large enough to almost reach all the walls of the room.  The more horrifying sight was that there were 30 to 40 skeletons scatters around the room.  All in different positions, none had any remnants of clothing or belongs, as if they had been tossed into the different limited open spaces around the pool.

Thinking that whatever that was in the room, was not going to be pleasant, Vladimir decided that retreating was the best option.  While coming to that conclusion, Vladimir was able to notice that something very large was swimming in the water.  As he attempted to look closer, he noticed that it seemed to be a person on the top part and a long fish body on the bottom.  Nothing he had ever seen, nor heard of before. The swimming figure seemed to be chained to something in the water.

As they both turned around and began to depart, they heard a young woman’s voice calling out to them.

 “Can you not leave; I am trapped here. I am afraid they will come back and kill me. Can you please help.  I can help a little bit, but…. I am chained here by magic and cannot escape.”

“What are you?”

“I am a mermaid; these water worshipers summoned and trapped me here.”

“What is with all of these skeletons here?”

“There is a priest here, he sacrifices people here to his water god.”

Vladimir was strongly doubting her words and determined that there was just something wrong with her and what she had been saying but was not able to figure out anything specific, the mermaid seemed to be honest with him.

“Hold on, we will be right back”.

“Don’t leave me, you are the first non-worshipers I have seen here.”

“We will be back in just a second.”

Moving somewhat quickly, Vladimir and Fwoosh rushed up the stairs.  Discussing the issue with the group, Angelica was able to remember about other primitive god worshiping that might have had sacrifices like what was described.  The green glowing chains that held her there were an interesting point. Maybe if they could be removed, she would be able to return from wherever she had been summoned from. As a result, Vladimir pulled out his broken dagger to ask it for an Augury about trusting the mermaid.

“WOE.”

Getting an answer that did not bode well, he suggested they just leave her there. With the rest of the party ready to drop her like a bag of dirt, they began discussing where to go next, when they heard another different voice behind them, from down the stairs. A haggard, creaky, and just old sounding female voice.

“Oh, my little lambs, you could have made this so much easier.”

What Vladimir and Fwoosh were able to see was an old woman approaching them. She looked like she was covered in ice, and as she approached, a freezing cold mist spread out over 30 feet from her decreasing the already cold temperature to something well below freezing.  Cold enough to start causing them pain and damage.

As battle broke out, anyone that entered or stayed in the misty area took damage.  The battle raged further up the stairs with the hag first engaging them with different ice spells and finally closing in to attack them with her claws.  With a fair amount of effort, the party was finally able to kill her.  Upon her death, the freezing area dissipated, and she melted into a pool of water.

Exploring the now unoccupied room, they were able to find a fair amount of coin, and using his innate Detect Magic, Fogo was able to find a magical stone lantern as well as what appeared to be a scroll case.  Avery looked at the scroll inside, and it was evident that what was contained on the scroll was some sort of arcane writing, but Avery would still require a fair amount more training and experience to be able to read or utilize that scroll.

Moving on to the southeastern angled corridor the party made their way to the door at the end of it.  While all the doors in this basement had been replaced with new and reinforced door, this was the first time they came across one that was so heavily banded in iron.  Even though there was a locking mechanism, the door itself was not locked.  Taking a cautious method of opening it, they group could see another door immediately to the north with the same reinforcements as this door, and a very long somewhat straight corridor heading directly east.

After a quick listen to the door, the party decided that going down the long corridor was a much better idea.  They began walking down that hallway, but it proved to be much longer than they expected.  After traveling over 400 feet and a slight slope upwards they stopped.  The party could feel that the further they walked the colder the temperature became.  Figuring that this was probably the exit, they then went back to that last door to ensure no one would be ambushing them from behind.

After preparing for entry, they opened the door to a group of soldiers who all immediately opened fired with their crossbows.  Attempting to position themselves more intelligently and tactically they cast several spells, while the group hoped that the soldiers would advance, but that would be in vain.  The soldiers, much better trained in tactics compared to the bandits, kept their distance and moved in and out of the far room for cover and only exposed themselves to fire their crossbows.

Knowing that they needed to close, the party rushed forward and engaged in melee with the men.  A slaughter ensued except for one brave soldier that managed to hold out for well over a minute.  The men in front were replaced as quickly as they were killed, and then the sergeants replaced them, finally a lieutenant entered the fight, and finally their boss who stood in the back tossing out damaging spells at the party.  At one point, he even managed to Banish Angelica to some remote realm.

But, even the heavily armed, armored, and spell casting boss was defeated but not before causing most of the party to have been wounded and several to be knocked out. Angelica at some point transferred back to this world without any difficulty except for falling on a large pile of dead soldiers.

With the battle over, the bodies looted, and everyone gathering in the room at the end of this hallway, they were faced with another heavy door to the east.  After a lot of chatter, they decided to start resting right here and not open that beckoning door.

This is where the session ended.

Campaign Notes

The group managed to get to the local boss in time before he departed this base for the next one.  If they had spent just a little more time and they would have missed out on a lot of things.  The ice hag was obviously feeling under the weather and did not fully execute all her powers but made for an interesting encounter.

Session 34 – Chapter One

21st of Kythorn of the year 1492

Several hours was used to discuss when and how they were planning on crossing the river again.  They were concerned about the pirates coming back and figured that daytime would be the best so that they would all be able to see any ships approaching as they crossed.

After storytelling and truth and consequences completed, they party did their normal routine of watches, except there was a problem.  It seems that Yllanys and Dancer had wandered away from camp and did not come back in time for the first watch.  Angelica did a Sending to Yllanys hoping to find out where he was.

“So, we are getting ready to do our watches and uh, we cannot seem to find you anywhere, um, but Fwoosh was kind of walking…”

The incomplete message as a shock to Yllanys who was not familiar with this magic and was not sure why Angelica’s voice was in his head replied out loud.

“Woah, what, what is this going on. Um, I’m, I’m just about done with what I’m doing I’ll be back as soon as I can…”

Angelica informed the group that he thought that Yllanys was being polite and had wandered away from the camp for a huge poop. It was not until the end of the first watch that first Dancer arrived and shortly afterwards from a different direction Yllanys also arrived, but with a warm pot of stew and mystery meat.

The rest of the watches all passed without any issues.

22nd of Kythorn of the year 1492

Getting an early start the group started across the wide river. Angelica cast her Water Walking twice to cover everyone in the group. The party was very careful in watching for any coming ships or any other threats that might be approaching. It was wise to be wary, but unfortunately the threat that did approach can from below them.

The 12 of them were moving carefully across when a 40-foot wide electrical struck knocking out all the dwarves, and almost taking out a couple of the party members. Large shadows approached from below and fish-type of people began attacking from below.

Fish People Warriors

Fish Person Caster

The battle was fast and dangerous.  With many members of the party falling unconscious at different times, they all managed to survive, although one of the five Dwarves that had been accompanying them took too much damage and died while floating on the water near them. The group was able to murder what appeared to be the four fish-men warriors, but the caster fled at some point.  Combat was difficult, particular when the opponents were underwater, and the caster was able to come and go from their visibility while staying deeper under the water.

 Angelica pulled out a scroll of Revivify and brought the dead Dwarf back to life before the body had time to cool. Trying to move more quickly across the river carrying the Dwarven members that were still not recovered, they managed to make it somewhat safely across the River Dessarin once again. It was not difficult to find their old trail back to their wagons and Vladimir was very surprised that their four horses were all still alive, hungry, and thirsty, but still alive.

Harnessing up the wagons and starting the journey back to Red Larch, the group began to find their way home. Traveling to an area just passed where they had found the shallow graves, they found a nice place to camp that was off the main trail hopefully hiding themselves to a certain extent.  The only item of interests was that at some point during the day, they were shadowed by flying creatures high above them.  Not knowing if they were just large birds, or perhaps the Feathergale Knights the group showed an overall lack of interested.

It was during the trip that Yllanys brought out the diary he had found in the church at the pirate keep.

Diary from Pirate Keep

Diary from Pirate Keep, Part Two

ISAC also used this time to discuss and describe his dreams of the portal, and how he thought that the statue had somehow locked it.  There was also the disconcerting thing that seemed to happen when certain creatures died nearby ISAC, and small colored balls of light floated from the dead bodies to the statue.  In this case, small blue balls of light floated out of the dead fish-people.

While the discussions were going on, Fwoosh and Ace repeated loss at cards to the Dwarves leaving them a couple of gold less than they started.

With something that had specific dates, they tried to start correlating different pieces of information and places they had been to attempt to get a better idea of the bigger picture of what has been happening.

And this where the session ended.

Equipment

Equipment

The Marketplace of a large city teems with buyers and sellers of many sorts: dwarf smiths and elf woodcarvers, halfling farmers and gnome jewelers, not to mention humans of every shape, size, and color drawn from a spectrum of nations and cultures. In the largest cities, almost anything imaginable is offered for sale, from exotic spices and luxurious clothing to wicker baskets and practical swords.

For an adventurer, the availability of armor, weapons, backpacks, rape, and similar goods is of paramount importance since proper equipment can mean the difference between life and death in a dungeon or the unclaimed wilds. This chapter details the mundane and exotic merchandise that adventurers commonly find useful in the face of the threats that the world of Dungeons and Dragons present.

Starting Equipment

When you create your character, you receive equipment based on a combination of your class and background. In this campaign your character will always start with the given set of equipment that your background and class might give you.

You decide how your character came by this starting equipment. It might have been an inheritance, or goods that the character purchased during his or her upbringing. You might have been equipped with a weapon, armor, and a backpack as part of military service. You might even have stolen your gear. A weapon could be a family heirloom, passed down from generation to generation until your character finally look up the mantle and followed in an ancestor’s adventurous footsteps.

In the Campaign we will be using the Equipment option instead of gold.  If there is something additional you believe that your character would have then bring that to the DM.  Swapping some of the packs or kits is also an option if it makes sense for your character.

Selling Treasure

Opportunities abound to find treasure, equipment, weapons, armor, and more in the dungeons you explore. Normally, you can sell your treasures and trinkets when you return to a town or other settlement if you can find buyers and merchants interested in your loot.

Arms, Armor, and Other Equipment. As a rule, undamaged weapons, armor, and other equipment fetch half their cost when sold in a market. Weapons and armor used by monsters are rarely in good enough condition to sell.

Magic Items. Selling magic items is problematic. Finding someone to buy a potion or a scroll isn’t too hard, but other items are out of the realm of most but the wealthiest nobles. Likewise, aside from a few common magic items, you won’t normally come across magic items or spells to purchase. The value of magic is far beyond simple gold and should always be treated as such.

Gems, jewelry, and Art Objects. These items retain their full value in the marketplace, and you can trade them in for coin or use them as currency for other transactions. For exceptionally valuable treasures, the DM might require you to find a buyer in a large town or larger community first.

Trade Goods. On the borderlands, many people conduct transactions through barter. Like gems and art objects, trade goods – bars of iron, bags of salt, livestock, and so on – retain their full value in the market and can be used as currency.

Monster Part Harvesting. Harvesting is the act of salvaging useful parts of a dead creature for personal use and profit.  It can be time consuming, dirty, messy, and weigh a lot depending on the creature.  But it can also be as lucrative as pillaging a small ruin.  See the section under Adventuring for more details.

Armor and Shields

In most campaigns, you can use or wear any equipment that you find on your adventures, within the bounds of common sense.

For example:

A burly half-orc won’t fit in a halfling’s leather armor, and a gnome would be swallowed up in a cloud giant’s elegant robe.

Using this variant, when adventurers find armor, clothing. and similar items that are made to be worn, they might need to visit an armor smith, tailor, leatherworker, or similar expert to make the item wearable. The cost for such work varies from 10 to 40 percent of the market price of the item. The DM can either roll d4 x 10 or determine the increase in cost based on the extent of the alterations required.

Common Material Components Costs

Casting some spells requires objects, specified in parentheses in the component entry. A character can use a component pouch or a spellcasting focus (found in “Equipment” in the Player’s Handbook) in place of the components specified for a spell. But if a cost is indicated for a component, a character must have that specific component before he or she can cast the spell.

If a spell states that a material component is consumed by the spell, the caster must provide this component for each casting of the spell. A spellcaster must have a hand free to access a spell’s material components — or to hold a spellcasting focus — but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components.

The Campaign rule is that the component pouch or arcane focus will only replace components up to a 10gp value.  Any exotic material will have to always be purchased or manually collected.

An example of an exotic material would be Dragon Scales, or Umber Hulk blood.

When the spell gives the specific cost, then that is the cost that will be used, otherwise the characters will need to collect the proper components.

Component Cost Table

ComponentCost
Adamantine, small piece500 gp
Adder’s stomach8 gp
Agate10 gp to 1,000 gp
Alum soaked in vinegar5 cp
Amber, Glass, or Crystal Rod20 gp
Artistic Representation of Caster5 gp
Artistic Representation of Target100 gp per hit die
Ash5 cp
Ashes of Mistletoe and Spruce5 sp
Bell (tiny)1 gp
Bitumen (a drop)5 cp
Black Onyx Stone150 gp
Black Pearl (as crushed powder)500 gp
Black Silk Square2 gp
Brimstone1 sp per arrow or bolt
Bull Hairs5 sp
Butter2 sp
Caterpillar Cocoon5 gp
Chalks and Inks infused with precious gems50 gp
Charcoal, Incense, and Herb mixture10 gp
Chrysolite powder50 gp
Clay1 sp
Clay Model of a Ziggurat5 gp
Clay Pot of Brackish Water1 gp
Clay Pot of Grave Dirt4 gp
Cloak, miniature1 gp
Cloth wad2 cp
Cloth, Tiny white strip2 cp
Club5 sp
Coal1 gp
Colored Sand (red, yellow, and blue)10 gp
Copper Wire1 sp per foot
Cork2 cp
Corn, powdered5 cp
Cricket5 cp
Crystal Bead5 sp
Crystal Hemisphere120 gp
Crystal or Glass Cone25 gp
Crystal Sphere, small20 gp
Crystal Vial of phosphorescent material20 gp
Cured Leather1 sp
Distilled Spirits5 cp
Divinatory Tools100 gp
Dried Carrot5 cp
Engraving of Symbol of the Outer Planes500 gp
Exquisite Chest, 3′ x 2′ x 2′, made of rare materials5,000 gp
Exquisite Chest, tiny replica50 gp
Eyelash in gum Arabic5 gp
Fan, tiny5 sp
Feather1 sp
Feather of hummingbird2 gp
Feather of owl5 sp
Feather, exotic3 gp
Feather, white1 sp
Feldspar1 sp
Firefly1 sp
Fish Tail5 cp
Fleece5 cp
Focus1,000 gp
Food morsel1 cp
Forked Metal Rod250 gp
Forked Twig1 sp
Fur3 sp
Fur of Bat2 gp
Fur of Bloodhound1 gp
Fur, Wrapped in Cloth5 sp
Gauze1 sp
Gem or another ornamental container500 gp
Gem-Encrusted Bowl1,000 gp
Giant Slug Bile250 gp
Gilded Acorn200 gp
Gilded Flower300 gp
Gilded Skull300 gp
Glass Eye100 gp
Glass or Crystal Bead1 sp
Glowworm1 gp
Gold-Inlaid Vial400 gp
Golden Reliquary500 gp
Golden Wire2 gp per foot
Granite5 sp
Grasshopper’s Hind Leg1 sp
Graveyard Dirt (just a pinch)3 gp
Guano1 sp per ounce
Gum Arabic5 sp
Gum Arabic Hemisphere1 gp
Hand Mirror15 gp
Hen’s Heart1 gp
Herbs, Oils, and Incense mixture1,000 gp
Holly Berry1 sp
Honey drop1 sp per ounce
Honeycomb1 gp
Hot Pepper1 sp
Ink5 gp
Ink, Lead-based10 gp
Iron2 cp
Iron Blade2 gp
Iron filings or powder2 cp
Ivory Portal (miniature)5 gp
Ivory Strips50 gp
Jacinth1,000 gp
Jade Circlet1,500 gp
Jewel-Encrusted Dagger1,000 gp
Jeweled Horn100 gp
Kernels of Grain2 cp
Lead, a thin sheet6 cp
Leather Loop5 sp
Leather strap, bound around arm or similar appendage5 sp
Legume Seed1 sp
Licorice Root Shaving1 sp
Lime1 sp per pound
Lockbox of Ornate Stone and Metal400 gp
Lodestone10 gp
Magnifying Glass100 gp
Makeup1 gp
Mandrake Root1 gp
Marked Sticks or Bones25 gp
Mercury5 gp per ounce
Mistletoe1 sp
Mistletoe sprig1 sp
Molasses (a drop)1 sp
Moonseeds20 gp
Oil1 sp per ounce
Oils and Unguents1,000 gp
Ointment for the Eyes25 gp
Opaque Glass5 sp
Pearl100 gp
Petrified Eye of Newt15 gp
Phosphorescent Moss1 gp
Phosphorus1 gp
Pickled Octopus Tentacle8 gp
Pitch, a drop5 cp
Platinum Rings, two50 gp each
Platinum Sword, miniature, with grip and pommel of copper and zinc250 gp
Platinum-Inlaid Vial400 gp
Polished Marble Stone5 gp
Pork Rind or other fat2 cp
Prayer Wheel10 gp
Quartz1 sp
Quill plucked from a sleeping bird50 gp
Quiver, with at least one piece of ammunition1 gp
Red Dragon’s Scale200 gp
Reliquary containing a Sacred Relic1,000 gp
Rhubarb Leaf, powdered1 gp
Rock Chip, white1 sp
Rose petals1 sp per ounce
Ruby Vial600 gp
Sacrificial Offering appropriate to deity25 gp
Salt1 sp per ounce
Sand5 cp per pound
Sapphire1,000 gp
Sesame Seeds1 gp per ounce
Silk Square2 gp
Silver Bar, ornately carved100 gp
Silver Cage, Tiny100 gp
Silver Mirror, small5 gp
Silver Rod10 gp
Silver Spoon, tiny5 gp
Silver Whistle5 gp
Skunk Cabbage Leaves1 sp
Snakeskin glove5 gp
Soil mixture in a small bag5 cp
Spheres of glass, crystal, or mineral2 gp
Sponge2 sp
Statue of the caster, carved from ivory and decorated with gems1,500 gp
Stem of a Thorny Plant5 gp
Sugar3 sp per ounce
Sulfur1 sp
Sumac Leaf1 gp
Sunburst Pendant100 gp
Sunstone20 gp
Sweet Oil, a drop1 gp per ounce
Talcum powder5 sp per pound
Tallow3 sp per pound
Tarts15 cp
Thorns1 sp per dozen
Thread1 sp per spool
Tuft of Fur1 sp
Twig5cp
Twig from a tree that has been struck by lightning25 gp
Umber Hulk Blood80 gp
Undead Eyeball, Encased in Gem150 gp
Vessel to contain a Medium-sized creature2,000 gp
Wire of fine silver1 gp per foot
Wychwood5 gp
Yew Leaf1 gp

Poor Quality of Equipment

When equipment is found either lying in a dusty tomb or off the warm body of a dead bandit, there is also an assumed condition, but there can be variances.  If not magical, that sword in the tomb will probably not last long unless store properly, and that leather armor that the bandit wore is most likely ratty.  Most of the time, we do not care the actual condition unless it is in a less than good shape.

Armor: When armor is in poor condition, its usability is limited, and will not usually survive the next combat.  The armor will start off with a lower AC than it would have if in good shape.  That AC will be one or more less than normal. The exact amount will be determined by the DM based off the condition.  Any hit on the armor that is a natural 20 causes the armor to have a complete failure.  The wearer of that armor still is burdened by the weight and disadvantages, but it no longer provided any defense.

Missiles: Arrows and bolts get shared around regularly, but not all are made equal.  The limitations of a poorly made missile is that it only can be fired in the normal range and automatically misses at long range.  Missiles also critical miss on a one or two and are in capable of critical hits.

Weapons: Handling a poor weapon against a competent opponent is a recipe for disaster.  Any roll of a natural one two, or 20 causes the weapon to break and be useless. On a 20, the critical hit is still valid, but it breaks immediately on impact.

Homebrew Equipment

While the Player’s Handbook is complete in what it makes available, there is always the need for a few other things that would be good to have.

Enchanted Vial

Some creature parts have powerful, yet fleeting, magical energies within them. The motes from elementals for example hold traces of their former essences in them but disperse rapidly upon the destruction of their original form.

An enchanted vial is inlaid with several runes designed to keep any magical resource within from dissipating while the lid is closed and is often the only way of transporting certain parts back to a workshop for crafting.

Items that require an enchanted vial to be harvested are fragile by nature and must be stored inside an enchanted vial quickly to prevent degradation. Any attempt to harvest a material that has an enchanted vial as a requirement must be initiated within one minute of the death of its creature.

This tool can be used a maximum of five times afterwards it disintegrates into powder.  At each attempted use, roll a d20 and if a 1 is rolled, the vial is immediately destroyed.

Harvesting Kit

This kit contains everything the average harvester needs to prepare and harvest a carcass for usable parts including a skinning knife, a bone saw, two glass vials, punches of salt, and tweezers.  Proficiency with this kit allows you to add your proficiency bonus to nay check made to harvest a creature.

Healing Pill

You regain 1d4 hit points when you swallow this pill.  If more than one is swallowed, then all after the first do 1d4 damage instead.

Spirit Paper

Spirit paper is a versatile tool that resembles a square of bleached papyrus. The secrets of its production were only recently discovered, and reverse engineered from secrets brought back from distant necromantic cults. By performing a small ritual with the spirit paper shortly after slaying certain creatures, a copy of that creature’s soul is bound to the spirit paper for later use. These copies are not a true soul and are more akin to an echo. These echoes do retain all the memories from its original body, and a few crafting techniques utilize these echoes to grant an item a low level of sentience or to mimic the abilities of their incorporeal reflections.

Using spirit paper is often the only way to harvest anything useful from creatures with incorporeal forms. Any harvesting attempt made for a creature part that has spirit paper as a requirement is done

using a Wisdom (Religion) check rather than the usual check and is rolled separately for each item. Once a sheet of spirit paper has been used successfully to harvest an item, it cannot be reused, even if the item it contained is released.

Unlike most harvestable materials, materials that require spirit paper to be harvested dissipate very quickly after the death of its creature. Any attempt to harvest a material that has spirit paper as a requirement must be initiated within 1 minute of the death of the creature and takes 10 minutes to successfully complete.

Each Spirit paper can only be used once.

Special Tools Price Table

ItemCostWeight
Enchanted Vial3gp
Harvesting Kit30gp7lbs
Healing Pill10gp
Spirit Paper10gp

Session 24 – Intermission

29th of Mirtul of the year 1492

Already tired and ready to head back to Red Larch, the party was surprised by a nasty goblin assassin and a thuggish half-ogre. The battle, like many, did not last very long, but this one proved to be a bit more dangerous than many of those that came before.  The half-ogre was able to stand fast and weather many blows before falling, allowing him to pin in place several of the characters while the goblin was able to sneakily hide and fire from his hidden positions doing incredible damage with his bow shots and poison. Most of the party fell and were only saved through timely heals and magic.

Goblin Assassin

Half-Ogre Thug

With both ambushers’ dead, the group quickly looted the bodies and made for Red Larch as quickly as possible hoping to avoid any additional hostile encounters. Carrying along the body of the dead Goblin, Fogo seemed sure that this goblin meant something important.  Heading to the constable’s office they found no one there, and after banging on several of the other buildings they finally found one of the butchers who allowed them to store the body in the freezer for the night.

Their current home, the Blackbutter Inn still had the front doors open but the main room was empty. They made their way to their rooms, and everyone collapsed into sleep quickly, except Vladimir, who gleefully cradle the ancient Dwarven maul in his lap to become more acquainted with it before heading to bed with it at his side.

30th of Mirtul of the year 1492

The next morning was as normal as it could be as they all slowly came downstairs and started breakfasting in the main room.  Dhelosk was at his counter, and Delillia managing the tables.  The room had few other customers since most of the merchants who stayed here usually got moving early in the morning. Dhelosk gave Fogo some odd looks since his fur was still patchy and missing large chunks.

“Do you have anything to fix that?”

“I’ve never had that problem. Maybe if Fogo goes and talks to Xaasz maybe he can do something for you.”

Dhelosk Quelbeard

Fogo made his way into the kitchen and saw all the goblins scurrying around, that is until they saw his bedraggled state.  He was then the center of attention by the small group of goblins that seemed to be staring and evaluating his condition. Xaasz did not seem to be happy seeing Fogo in this condition while in his kitchen.  Fogo was told to take a couple of days off and was given a small vial of something to consume that Xaasz claimed it would make him feel better.  Fogo had managed to collect a few common and uncommon poisonous plants that he gave to Xaasz.  Again, it was not anything that impressed the small goblin chef as he just chewed on them without a second thought.

Xaasz

The rest of the group moved to a table and ordered some breakfast. Fogo joined them and his patchy fur seemed to have recovered a bit, but all the new fur seemed to be replaced with something more orange than his previous grey.  Maybe from the traumatic experience, or perhaps from the vial of something Xaasz gave him. Back with the group, Fogo explained about his thoughts and that it seems that he had previously been wandering, but now he feels he has more of a purpose. There was also some discussion around the maul they had found and the fact that Vladimir seemed very enamored with it. It was agreed that his old sword would be given to Angelica once he was able to properly say goodbye to it.

It was midmorning when the constable finally came in and seemed to be grumpy.  He was not happy with a dead body being left in the freezer, and wanted to make sure it was collected before his wife found out and caused him bodily harm. When asked about a goblin and half-ogre duo he only had a little to share.

Harburk Tuthmarillar

“There have been some rumors of some brigands running around doing tomb raiding. Was there something in place you went where they would have had trouble? Where were you?”

“We were investigating the little girl that said she say a ghost and we were kind of looking into that.”

“So, it was a tomb or something and they ambushed you on the way out.”

“Yes, that is right.”

“Yeah, that sounds right for a lot of the brigands. Was there something early in the tomb that was difficult to get past?”

“Yes, that was the ghost.”

“Oh, so you took care of the ghost?”

The ghost won’t be a problem for anyone.”

“Maybe they had difficulty in getting past the ghost or did not want to.”

The conversation continued some more, and Fogo agreed to run over and collect the body and bury it somewhere outside of town. Before grabbing the dead goblin, Fogo asked Dhelosk on what the respectful way was to treat the goblin body.

“They eat each other.”

“Well, we might skip that tradition.”

Vladimir explained they were trying to provide more transparency to the constable and perhaps fewer surprises. Harburk told them that at this point, everything was a surprise.  He was not trained for this; he was only a retired soldier.  It was the elders that appointed him to this position, and it seemed that they were already in some sort of conspiracy which every now knows how that ended. Finally heading out to do their body collecting, the group split up into different directions.  Vladimir went to his room to say goodbye to his old sword, Angelica went to her room and wanted to get some additional sleep, Avery headed to the market, and Fogo and the rest went to collect the dead goblin. With the constable leading the way, he opened the freezer and allowed Fogo to carry out the frozen solid goblin.

“How far out of town would you like me to take it?”

“Somewhere the children cannot find it…. Like Amphail.”

Walking about 20 minutes outside of town, they buried the goblin, and then they all came back into town. Everyone headed to the market while Fogo made a stop at the Allfaith’s Shrine. He was greeted by Imdarr and Lymmura. When asked about why Fogo was so patchy looking, he explained that he had survived a near-death experience and that he now felt closer to Mystra, the goddess of Magic.  While training to explain his vision while almost dying, it seemed to confuse Imdarr since the whole party seemed to be having vision, and Fogo had been dirt, but now was fire, or something like that.

For a moment, there was just darkness. Hmm… darkness isn’t quite right. We have been in the dark underground where no light can penetrate, but this was darker. It was blackness.

After some unknown time, from the edge of my awareness, an orange glow started to grow. It soon became bright enough, though still very faint, that I could see myself. I appeared thin, like a threadbare sheet, barely together. I was so thin in fact, that I could feel myself floating down. I had so little substance that I was but a feather on the wind.

As I fluttered down, I twisted to get a look at the glow coming from down below. I saw a ring of fire. It was small, like it had just been lit. As I slowly fell towards it, I could see that there was much unlit fuel. But! I also saw something heartening, a banner with an oak leaf, the sign of Silvanus, in the center of the fiery circle.

I continued floating down towards my fiery demise, the threads of myself now becoming visibly undone. I landed squarely on Silvanus’ banner. My body did not have enough form for me to move. When I tried to move my body, the few strings left holding me together would snap. Helplessly, I laid on the banner and I watched as the fire encroached.

Finally, an edge of the banner ignited, then another, and another. The flames approached until the fiery tongues licked my frayed edges. A part of me felt ready to succumb, to give up. But the seed of a thought rapidly blossomed in my mind: the fabric of my life was becoming undone, but I had learned of Mystra, now on her third incarnation, who was the Tapestry of arcane magic. Died and born again, she held together, taking new forms as she needed.

The flames ignited me right as the last remnants of mind that wanted to give up were pushed out by this revelation. I put every ounce of my being into holding my shape, feeling each individual thread of myself, and moving them, weaving them back together, even as they were engulfed in flame. I cannot fully convey the mental exhaustion that I went through in these moments.

I simply refused to let the fire take me. The memory of the passage of time in this space feels hard to remember, but it felt like it took ages, and yet by the time the fire calmed down to a smolder, you could have convinced me no time had passed. I felt my body, once again with shape, and I stood up. I looked down at the banner, which I knew had been burned, yet it remained. Though it had changed: the oak leaf was now wreathed in flame. I looked at my body and noticed a change as well, a fiery orange emblazoning my fur.

And I laughed. I had made it. I picked up the banner and wrapped myself in it and continued to laugh. I sat down in relief at having come through the flames and out the other side.

It was then I noticed the ashes of my former self. It may sound strange to be able to recognize ashes, but if you have ever stared at your own ashes, you may know the feeling. I scooped them up, suddenly feeling the loss. I survived, I changed, but something else was also lost. I cried, tears falling into the ashes I had cupped in my hands. It was when I felt lost in the pain and joy of loss and rebirth that I saw a large hand appear from above me. I realized that I recognized that hand. By the time it plucked me from ground, I realized it was ISAC’s hand, picking me up and taking me back from where I had been before.

Imdarr Relvaunder

Lymmura Audarhk

Explaining that he was interested in knowing more about Mystra and wanted start a more focused worship and Imdarr was willing to assist as much as possible. When asked about any priests of Mystra, Fogo was told that he would have go to Waterdeep, but Imdarr was willing order a book of worship of Mystra for him. Before leaving shrine, Fogo spent a bit of time at the statue of Mystra and offered his prayers. He then joined the rest of the party at the market.

It was during this time that Vladimir was able to say goodbye to his sword and deliver it to Angelica so that she would be able to attune to it and be able to use it for the next time they needed to stab something. Angelica seemed sad about something and while Vladimir attempted to find out what might be bothering her, she was not willing to share at this time. They went ahead and walked to the Market to join the rest of their party.

Looking for paper for scrolls Avery hunted down any deal he could find to acquire a few sheets that he could use later. Getting a snack of meat on a stick, Avery hung out until the rest of the group arrived.  Dancer and Fwoosh joined Avery at the market.  Making their way to the booth where the Farrowvale family were selling their different cuts of meat. Dancer was interested in hearing about the health of their horses and found out that they were much better would be ready to pull a wagon within the next couple of days.

In their wandering, they passed Grund who still seemed to be in a bad mood but was very instant on giving Fwoosh a bowl of Grund’s Special Pickles. The party moved away quickly before they had to actual consume them in front of Grund. When looking around they were able to hear some of the rumors that were going around town.  There was a lot of talk of the elders and what had happened in town. There was also some surprise that someone had bought the Wheelworks. There was also someone trying to purchase Gaelkur’s. There was also a lot of gossip about a bunch of crazies that had jumped down the sinkhole to save the children. Some had mentioned that there is giant Dwarvish Temple under the town that is the size of the entire town.

Grund

Trying to cause additional confusion, Fwoosh started speaking out loud about something about large dumb worms underground, rampaging through the tunnels. It did not seem that anyone paid attention to his attempt at starting a new rumor. Looking for Feng, Fwoosh approached a random stranger wandering around and when he started asking his questions, the stranger seemed surprised at Fwoosh and his overly shiny cloak.  Fwoosh was asked if he was a performer which got the show started. Doing some card tricks and a few acrobatic stances earned Fwoosh a hand full of copper and a round of applause. When Vladimir asked if performing is something he enjoyed, Fwoosh did not seem to really understand.  It was explained that he should also seek out things that he wants to do for himself, not just do what others tell him to do, become more of a free agent while still support his family.

Fogo finally joined the group at the market and with ISAC leading them to Feng’s booth to help Vladimir shop for some plate, but there was not any to be purchased.  There was a new allotment of Iceshield Orc axes on the wall, but no plate armor.  When asked about the plate armor, they were told they would have to go visit the smith for something like that.  They then sold the arms and armor they had collected from various dead bodies that they were responsible for and were able to collect a few more coins.

Feng Ironhead

When asked about Aerego Bethendur, they were told that he does not usually come to market. They learned that the storage spaces he rents out are expensive and only some of the larger merchants use him, or those that need more protection for their cargo.  He even has magically protected spaces available there.  He mentioned that some merchants use him as a third-party transition point, where one will drop off and their buyer will come by and pick up the merchandise. They asked if he knew who had purchased the Wagonworks, but he only knew that it was someone recently that came to Red Larch, and it was not a name he knew. He further elaborated that the Wheelworks is an important shop in town since any merchant spending the night would need to store their wagon and horses.  The town had seized the property after Ilmeth’s death and were anxious to get it sold and running again.

Still wanting some plate armor, Vladimir led the group to Tantur Smithery hoping that some might magically have been left there. While they headed there, Fwoosh stayed at the market in a bit of a daze of being free and Dancer and ISAC headed to the Wheelworks to see if they could find the new owner.

At the smithy they were greeted by Laefra Tantur. Asking about some plate armor, Vladimir and Angelica were disappointed in that there was not any available, and it was going to be a large amount of gold for it to be made, and all the coin would need to be paid up front. They were also curious if the maul they had found could be repaired, which required her to call out her husband out front to look it over. Eldras was impressed with the very nice Dwarven antique work, but he did not have the skill nor the knowledge to fix something like the maul. He told them to seek out a Dwarven smith to appraise it for repair.

Laefra Tantur

Eldras Tantur

Back at the Wheelworks, Dancer began knocking on the door hoping for an answer and it was, by Grafaerd Ulamoira. He was happy to see his rescuers and let them know that he was the one that purchased the Wheelworks, but he would not be open for a week or two.  He was waiting for friends and family to come in from Bargewright Inn to replace all the workers that had left. He had purchased this place because he had decided that treasure hunting was too dangerous, and they it would be better if he settled down. In finger talk, Dancer introduced himself, but Grafaerd seemed to already be aware of Dancer from Jepos. Asking about getting some space for their wagon, he offered to store it for free, but suggested that he charge some nominal amount to not arouse suspicion. Dancer was also curious of the Zhentarim had also purchased Gaelkur’s, but Grafaerd said that it was a different person they had rescued, Alfred the merchant.  He seemed to also want to settle down here.

Grafaerd Ulamoira

Fogo went to the baths since he still was still losing fur and did not smell the best. When he got there it was closed because today was market day, and most businesses in Red Larch were closed on market day. He decided to search for some of the rare plants he had learned about from Xaasz but even with his strong druidic magic, none were within range. Heading back to the Blackbutter Inn he met up with the rest of the group. Avery went up to his room to work on some scrolls, Angelica wanted to spend some time with her new sword to attune to it, and everyone else sat at a table in the main room.

Fwoosh hunted down the baker at the market and bought a dozen bear claws and while purchasing them he asked about Jepos and was told that Jepos would be available tomorrow afternoon. Going over to the Sundry booth, he shared all those bear claws with the kids which made him the hero of the day to the kids in the area. He also asked Endrith about if any pocket watches were available. Unfortunately, it was not an easy to come by item, but Endrith promised to send out word with the merchants to see if one could be gotten and brought to Red Larch for Fwoosh.

Endrith Vallivoe

The two also talked about how the business was at the market and Endrith was satisfied with it and was happy that those in town are starting to talk to each other again, and the air of suspicion that had been over them seemed to have disappeared. The people of Red Larch were enjoying themselves once again. Fwoosh mentioned that he knew Dwarves were going to come to town because of the temple underground.  Endrith had not thought about that and started planning on how to get more goods the Dwarves would like, especially ale.  He told Fwoosh that if this turned out profitable, he might get him that pocket watch free, or at least at a heavy discount. With that, Fwoosh went straight back to the Blackbutter Inn.

Once there, he could see his friends, but he headed over to the mantle to get a better look at the maker’s mark on the mantle clock. Fogo wanted to discuss the group’s plans, if they were going to stay in town, if they wanted to explore, or what.  Fogo was interesting in staying in town and finishing his chef apprenticeship. That discussion would have to happen later since Fogo needed a bath and used Vladimir’s room for that while Vladimir ran to the Thelorn’s Safe Journeys to see if their wagon was reason from being repaired and modified.  Again, another shop was closed on market day.

Mantle Clock Maker’s Mark

With some time before dinner, they went to one of the rooms to open the chest from the sarcophagus in the haunted tomb.  Inside were more platinum and gems of such high value than they had ever seen before.  Hidden in a false bottom, there was a gold chain with a locket with the etched figure of a half-elf. With such a large collection of gems and jewelry, they needed to find a buyer, but in this small town they did not know who could.  Dancer offered up his contacts but mentioned that it would be 50% to 75% of the face value for him to sell it, but that he could probably sell it quickly and get the coin to the party. Everyone seemed happy with that, but Fogo wanted to know more about the contact and how Dancer would be able to sell these things. Dancer answered that almost any town of any size would have a black market, and that he knew how to find it and would be able to sell things there.

Agreeing that selling the loose loot would be good, then they would be able to purchase more things that they needed, specifically the plate armor for Angelica and Vladimir. Everyone was also very interested in getting their wagon outfitted better, with windows, a hatch, and maybe even beds.   It was then since everyone was together, they also discussed their plans and what and where they might go next.

And this is where the session ended.

History Lesson

Another weekly episode of the Savage Frontier with your host David Bourgh-Ettin.  We have covered a few of the places around the valley, but none stand as tall as the Sword Mountains.  Today we will be continuing our review of the history of this area.

Description

North of Waterdeep, the Sword Mountains march north toward the Neverwinter Woods. Although not militarily significant, this range shields the Dessarin river valley and the High Forest from the
worst of the storms that blow in from the Trackless Sea. The western flanks of the range are home to
orcs, bugbears, kobolds, leucrottas and other dangerous creatures. Self-styled bandit lords, such as
Amalkyn the Black and the wizard Helduth Flamespell, have long-established holds in the region. The
southern peaks are home to stone giants and more fearsome menaces, as well as sylphs on the high ledges and peaks. The Sword Mountains is littered with ruins dating back to the orcish empire of Uruth Ukrypt and the dwarf and gnome clanholds that preceded it.

Geography

With an arc-like shape, the mountains were located northwest of Waterdeep and east of the Mere of Dead Men. Their western slopes led to the Trackless Sea in rolling foothills.

History

The mountains were home to orcs and trolls, but after the orcs were united by Wund and the Brotherhood of the Scarlet Scourge in the Year of the Red Rain, 927 DR, a shaman named Wund arose among the orc tribes of the Sword Mountains. On the eve of the Feast of the Moon, as Wund had prophesied, blood red thunderclouds engulfed the Sword Mountains. For three days the slopes ran wet with blood, leaving behind the sickening stench of rot and decay. All manner of plagues quickly swept through the region. Many orcs (and other folk) died by the White Hand of Yutrus, including every tribal chieftain, but the spawn of Gruumsh who survived the crucible of plagues grew stronger.

In the immediate aftermath of the Blood Plagues, Wund established a monastic order known as the Brotherhood of the Scarlet Scourge. Members of the order organized the surviving orc tribes into a united realm under the spiritual guidance of the brotherhood. The most powerful chieftain, a massive, unintelligent tusker named Uruth, was crowned king by Wund. This was a contributing factor to the Trollwars.

In the Year of the Sky Raiders (936 DR), the armies of Uruth Ukrypt swept down the eastern slopes of the Sword Mountains. The armies of Waterdeep battled the orcs of Uruth Ukrypt in a series of pitched battles known as the Orcfastings War. Early orc victories in the Battle of Whirling Blades, the Battle of Sarcrag, and the Battle of Withered Fields drove Waterdeep’s forces back to the gates of Nimoar’s Hold. However, a timely feint by the Duke of Calandor enabled Nimoar’s forces to break the orcs’ siege of the hold in the Battle of Burning Cliffs. They hatched another plan to attack in the Year of the Cold Claws, 940 DR, but this plan was ruined by the gold dragon Palarandusk.

Due to a raid on Ukrypt’s crypt by a human adventuring company called the Dawnbringer Company in the Year of Lathander’s Light, 1024 DR, the orcs of the Brotherhood of the Scarlet Scourge formed a horde called the Broken Bone with the intent of destroying Waterdeep. Their plans were once again ruined by a dragon; this time Lhammaruntosz. Still determined to exact their revenge, the orcs formed another horde, calling it the Black Claw, and in the Year of Crimson Magics, 1026 DR they came from the mountains to attack Waterdeep. This attack proved unsuccessful, and they were defeated, causing the orcs to lose their unity and plunge into a period of tribal conflict and the orcs of the Sword Mountains disintegrated into warring tribes.

Notable Locations

Hills & Peaks
  • Mount Araddyn: Located just north of Mount Sar, Mount Araddyn is easily accessible only from the High Road.
  • Icespire Peak:  The tallest peak of the Sword Mountains situated just east and a bit north of Phandalin.
  • Mount Galardrym: the peak that was home to the dwarves of Clan Forgebar.
  • Mount Sar: The second most southern peak of the Sword Mountains, was named for one of two great fomorian giants who lived in the southern Sword Mountains before they were slain by an early warlord of Waterdeep. Mount Helimbrar, the southernmost peak, was named for Sar’s twin.
  • Mount Helimbrar: The southernmost peak of the Sword Mountains, was named for one of two great fomorian giants who lived in the southern Sword Mountains before they were slain by an early warlord of Waterdeep.
Landmarks
  • Mountain’s Toe Mine: a successful gold mine owned by a Neverwintan business consortium.
  • Wave Echo Cave: the labyrinthine caverns that housed the fabled Forge of Spells.
Settlements
  • Axeholm: an abandoned dwarven stronghold that was haunted by a banshee.
  • Gnomengarde: a minor kingdom of rock gnomes that was in caves at the base of the mountains.
  • Ieirithymbul: another gnomish settlement nestled in the valley of Felrenden.
  • Kheldell: a rather small human logging village.
  • Nasaqh Estates: East of the High Road, in the valley between Mount Sar and Mount Helimbrar, lie the Nasaqh Estates. Eight generations of Nasaqh lords have ruled this valley, but the current Lord Nasaqh (LN male Illuskan human aristocrat 9) may be the last of his line, considering that he is growing older and has not yet produced an heir. The Nasaqh holdings are known for producing “seawine,” a potent liqueur popular among Waterdeep’s merchant elite.

Within the holdings of Lord Nasaqh lies the Agrivar estate. Consisting of more than 100 acres of fertile fields, old woodlands, and a stone manor house set on a rise overlooking the land.

Structures
  • Icespire Hold: the mountain-top fortress that was claimed as a lair by the young white dragon Cryovain.
  • Marune’s Stronghold: The infamous necromancer who seeks to rebuild the Shadow Thieves Guild in Waterdeep has laired for more than three decades beneath the base of Mount Helimbrar, undiscovered by Waterdeep’s city guard. Although he spends the bulk of his time in the City of Splendors, Marune still returns to his longstanding lair from time to time, usually to craft new magic items or research new spells. The lair is always well defended by a variety of undead, and the spell trigger traps that Marune has placed there summon all manner of monsters to battle intruders.
  • Melairrin: High on the slopes of Mount Sar lies a warren of caves leading deep into the mountain’s heart. Gulyaikin Dzrund, “the Mad Dwarf,” dwelt therein nearly nine decades ago, and some believe that he lives there still. Gulyaikin was noted for fits of berserk glee during which he delighted in killing all sorts of passersby by rolling large rocks onto the High Road below and catapulting boulders at fishing boats offshore.

The warren of caves is now home to Harshnag the Grim, a frost giant and member of the Gray Hands. Harshnag’s caves are linked to Blackstaff Tower via a large-sized, two-way, keyed portal.

The deepest caves of Harshnag’s lair lead down to a dwarf-built citadel in the heart of the mountain. Once known as Melairrin, the complex fell to the orcs of Uruth Ukrypt early in the history of that realm, giving them a secure base from which to dominate the southern Sword Mountains. In the Year of the Dracorage (1018 DR), the caverns of Melairrin were taken over by a black Wyrm named Shammagar, who claimed it as his lair. The black dragon dwelt therein for several centuries before Asilther Graelor, longtime companion of Mintiper Moonsilver, stole much of his hoard. Fearing further thefts, Shammagar abandoned Melairrin and relocated to an offshore island.

The caverns of Melairrin still retain traces of their various owners, but they are now home to a wide variety of monsters that have crept up from the depths below. Harshnag reports encountering small bands of half-black dragons of orcish ancestry from time to time, suggesting that Shammagar’s progeny may still dwell below. Older reports speak of a vampire lairing in the depths and a one-way portal linking the Sundered Throne to the dragon’s lair in the depths of Melairrin. The vampire Rorrina, dual, (daughter) of Tuvala of Clan Stoneshaft, does indeed exist and is a servitor of Artor Morlin

  • Olothontor’s Lair: Olothontor the Minstrel Wyrm dwells on the western flank of Mount Araddyn, high above the High Road. His lair lies behind the ruins of an old stone mansion originally built for the brother titans Endrigul and Roevryn Taluth, and later taken over by the self-styled Gnome King Karlus “Goldgoblet” Dlinshoulder as the seat of his court. In the wake of repeated orc raids, the place was abandoned. The rear rooms of the mansion are now open to the sky, allowing the Minstrel Wyrm to fly in and out. A cavern in the cliff face behind the mansion leads into the dragon’s lair, which lies on the far side of a deep chasm heated by a volcanic flow. Olothontor is entranced by music, and he demands regular visits by traveling bards, from whom he commands repeat performances.
  • Temple of Abbathor: another site abandoned by the dwarves, later uncovered by a mining excavation.

Rumors and Tales

There have been many rumors of older civilizations hidden under the northern part of the Sword Mountains.  The stories range from old Drow ruins to a buried ancient Gnomish city of lost technology.  These are all said to date back over four thousand years. There were stories about a young lad from Westbridge who had found a key to enter these secret passageways and had found the entry somewhere in the northern part of the Kryptgarden Forest in the foothills of the Sword Mountains.

Campaign Notes

The party continues to rest up and start looking at selling their massive pile of loot.  There was some discussion on what to do next, and several of those will start up Chapter One.  Now we will see how long they can hold off before the main story takes over.

Customization Options

Customization Options

The combination of ability scores, race, class, and background define your character’s capabilities in the game, and the personal details you create set your character apart from every other character. Even within your class and race, you have options to fine-tune what your character can do. But this chapter is for players who-with the DM’s permission – want to go a step further.

This chapter defines two sets of rules for customizing your character: multiclassing and feats. Multiclassing lets you combine classes together, and feats are special options you can choose instead of increasing your ability scores as you gain levels.

Multiclassing

Multiclassing allows you to gain levels in multi pie classes. Doing so lets you mix the abilities of those classes to realize a character concept that might not be reflected in one of the standard class options.

With this role, you have the option of gaining a level in a new class whenever you advance in level, instead of gaining a level in your current class. Your levels in all your classes are added together to determine your character level.

For example:

If you have three levels in wizard and two in fighter, you’re a 5th-levei character.

As you advance in levels, you might primarily remain a member of your original class with just a few levels in another class, or you might change course entirely, never looking back at the class you left behind. Vou might even start progressing in a third or fourth class. Compared to a single-class character of the same level, you’ll sacrifice some focus on exchange for versatility.

Multiclassing Example:

Gary is playing a 4th-level fighter. When his character earns enough experience points to reach 5th level, Gary decides that his character will multiclass instead of continuing to progress as a fighter. Gary’s fighter has been spending a lot of time with Dave’s rogue and has even been doing some jobs on the side for the local thieves’ guild as a bruiser. Gary decides that his character will multiclass into the rogue class, and thus his character becomes a 4th level fighter and 1st – level rogue (written as fighter 4/rogue 1).

When Gary’s character earns enough experience to reach 6th level, he can decide whether to add another fighter level (becoming a fighter S/rogue 1), another rogue level (becoming a fighter 4/rogue 2), or a level in a third class, perhaps dabbling in wizardry thanks to the tome of mysterious lore he acquired (becoming a fighter 4/rogue 1/ wizard 1).

Further details are in Chapter 6 of the Player’s Handbook.

Feats

A feat represents a talent or an area of expertise that gives a character special capability. It embodies training, experience, and abilities beyond what a class provides.

At certain levels, your class gives you the Ability Score Improvement feature. Using the optional feats rule, you can forgo taking that feature to take a feat of your choice instead. Vou can take each feat only once unless the feat’s description says otherwise.

You must meet any prerequisite specified in a feat to take that feat. If you ever lose a feat’s prerequisite, you can’t use that feat until you regain the prerequisite.

For example:

The Grappler feat requires you to have a Strength of 13 or higher. If your Strength is reduced below 13 somehow-perhaps by a withering curse- you can’t benefit from the Grappler feat until your Strength is restored.

All the possible Feats are available for Players to choose for their characters except the Lucky Feat.

Homebrew Feats

As the Campaign progresses more Homebrew feats will be discovered and made available to the characters.

Blindfighting

Extensive and continuous training in complete darkness or in some cases with the aid of blindfolds, have allowed you to hone your remaining senses to a razor’s edge. This specialized combat training has granted you the ability to perceive your surroundings in ways others couldn’t begin imagining. Must have proficiency in Perception.

  • You develop blindsight up to a range of 20 feet.
  • Your blindsight can only work in a setting where your character can use his other senses, like hearing and smell.
  • You gain advantage on Perception checks relying on hearing and scent.

Eldritch Empowerment

You learn two Eldritch Invocation option of your choice from the warlock class. If the invocation has a prerequisite of any kind, you can choose that invocation only if you’re a warlock who meets the prerequisite.

End Him Rightly

You have mastered a little-known sword technique. As an action, you can unscrew the pommel from your sword and throw it at a creature within 20 feet of you. When you do so, you make a ranged weapon attack against it using your Strength modifier (you are proficient in this attack). On a hit, the target takes bludgeoning damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier and must make an Intelligence saving throw with a DC of 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier or be stunned by the impracticality of your tactics until the end of your next turn. The pommel lands within 5 feet of the target, and you have disadvantage on all attack rolls made with the sword whose pommel you unscrewed (due to it being imbalanced) until you pick it up and use an action to screw it back on.

Requires proficiency in at least one kind of sword.

Gastronomy

You have taken the art of cooking to a new art level.  No longer will you look at ingredients like a normal person.  You now have new eyes and a mind that always churns thinking of what could be turned into a recipe and a meal.  This path is not one followed by mere chefs, but those whose life of adventure and search of new and unique food allows you to excel beyond “just cooking a meal”.

You immediately gain the following abilities:

  • Increase your Constitution or Wisdom score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • You gain proficiency with cook’s utensils if you don’t already have it.
  • As part of a short rest, you can cook special food, provided you have ingredients and cook’s utensils on hand. You can prepare enough of this food for several creatures equal to four + your proficiency bonus. At the end of the short rest, any creature who eats the food and spends one or more Hit Dice to regain hit points regains an extra 1d8 hit points.
  • With one hour of work or when you finish a long rest, you can cook several treats equal to your proficiency bonus. These special treats last eight hours after being made. A creature can use a bonus action to eat one of those treats to gain temporary hit points or heal equal to your proficiency bonus.
  • You can cook what would normally be poisonous dishes and make the editable.  The DC for success is eight + the CR of the creature to be eaten.  Success means the specific meat or vegetable is no longer poisonous and can be eaten safely.  Failure means that eat consumer of the food takes the CR in 1d6 damage.  Once the meal is cooked, no one knows if it is poisonous or not until eaten.  Upon a successful meal, the consumer of these meals gains a resistance to poison for as many hours of the CR of the creature eaten hours.  Only one attempt can be made per long rest.
  • Much like an alchemist you can craft wondrous creations, but yours are made of meals.  Given at least two hours and the proper ingredients you can craft many different, delicious, and powerful dishes. Some recipes might take longer to accomplish.

Resourceful

You’ve always hated leaving anything to waste and have always made sure you get the most out of any situation.

  • You gain proficiency in the harvesting kit and the herbalism kit.
  • You ignore any penalties for harvesting a creature that died a particularly violent death.
  • Both appraising and harvesting a creature take half the time than it normally would.

Tool Expert

You have honed your proficiency with particular tools, granting you the following benefits:

  • Increase one ability score of your choice by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • You gain proficiency in one tool kit of your choice.
  • Choose one tool kit in which you have proficiency. You gain expertise with that tool kit, which means your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make with it. The skill you choose must be one that isn’t already benefiting from a feature, such as Expertise, that doubles your proficiency bonus.

Town Drunk

You have been drinking for years and have gotten used to the effect of alcohol.

Once you have this feat you gain the following benefits:

  • Tipsy and Drunk are now the same level (1/2 your intoxication level)
  • You no longer have disadvantages until you reach Wasted.
  • You gain a +2 to reach the “Blackout” stage.
  • You won’t get hungover if you don’t pass Drunk.

Upgrade Familiar One

Minimum Level: 8

As a wizard you have explored and developed new techniques on how to best train and increase the usefulness of your familiar.  This feat gives you three more familiar points to spend on your summoned familiar.

Upgrade Familiar Two

Minimum Level: 16

Continuing where you left off, you have been able to calculate the exact amount of spirit and magical energy it takes to upgrade your familiar again. You can spend another three extra points on your familiar.

Upgrade Pact of the Chain Familiar One

Minimum Level: 8

Much like the wizard spells of upgrading their familiar, the warlock can do the exact thing, but using different methodologies.  Communing with their patron and instead of requesting additional power for themselves, they request it for their familiar, which will convert their current familiar with a Stage Two version.

Upgrade Pact of the Chain Familiar Two

Minimum Level: 16

Requirement: Upgrade Pact of the Chain Familiar One

Continuing the tradition and power allotment, the warlock begs their patron for yet more power for their familiar creating something that is far more than a familiar and something short of a real monster.  Some of these would give dragons a pause.  This feat allows the Chain of the Pact to grow into a Stage Three familiar.  Note that Upgrade Pact of the Chain Familiar One must have already been chosen.

Perks

Perks are like feats, but in a lessor sense.  They can alter how a character does something, but the low-level Perks will mostly add in a new flavor to the play.  These are rewarded to the characters at specific points of the campaign, such as when a new major chapter has been completed.  They are awarded to the party by the gamemaster at the appropriate time they decide.

Adored

Minimum Level: 6

Class Requirement: Bard

Adoration. When a creature using one of your bardic inspirations dies, you can, as a reaction if you are not restrained, begin a standing ovation. Illusory roses, confetti, and underwear appear around the creature as if thrown from an adoring crowd whose rapturous applause can be faintly heard. The creature rolls the bardic inspiration die with advantage (it rolls two dice and chooses the highest result).

Once you use this perk, you may not do so again until you finish a short or long rest.

Attunement

Minimum Level: 3

Through the thorough understanding of yourself and the attunement of magic items, you can attune to one additional item than normal.

Avoidance

Minimum Level: 3

If you hit a creature with a melee attack on your turn, you do not provoke opportunity attacks from that creature until the end of your turn. Once you use this perk, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Beneficent

Minimum Level: 6

Class Requirement: Paladin

You instinctively know where a patient’s tension is being held. The divine touch of your hand can temporarily relieve these pressure points, bringing a welcome bliss.

Massage. When you expend at least 5 points of your Lay on Hands, you can give a brief, gentle, but expert massage. The recipient has advantage on its next attack roll, ability check, or saving throw. Once you use this perk, you cannot do so again until you finish a short or long rest.

Cantrip Sage

Minimum Level: 3

Choose one cantrip you know that deals damage. When you cast that cantrip, you can forego the damage roll and deal maximum damage instead of rolling. Once you use this perk, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Chemist

Minimum Level: 6

You have Resistance to Acid damage.

Cloakmaster

Minimum Level: 3

When you roll a Dexterity (Stealth) check made to hide and you have disadvantage on the roll because of the armor you wear, you can choose to remove the disadvantage and make a straight roll instead. You can’t use this perk to gain advantage on your Dexterity (Stealth) roll in any way. Once you use this perk. You can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Climber

Minimum Level: 3, Prerequisite: No climbing speed

You gain a climbing speed of 20 feet.

Cunning Movement

Minimum Level: 3

You razzle-dazzle an opponent that is adjacent to you sufficiently such that one ally of yours who is adjacent to you and the opponent gain an additional attack against that opponent at the cost of your action. Once you have used this Perk, you cannot use it again until you finish a long rest.

Deft

Minimum Level: 3

You catch yourself instinctively finding the center of gravity of items you hold, often balancing them on a single finger.

Centre of Gravity. Choose any weapon with which you are proficient. Until the end of your next turn, that weapon gains the thrown property (range 20/60) and gains a +1 bonus to attack, and damage rolls you make when you throw that weapon. Once you use this perk, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Dodge

Minimum Level: 6

As a reaction, turn any Critical Hit against you into a normal Hit. Once you use this perk, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Empath

Minimum Level: 3

You may add 1d4 to any Insight checks or Charisma saving throws. Once you use this perk, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Escape Artist

Minimum Level: 3

Your pursuers swear you bathe in grease; no one can keep their hands on you.

  • If you add your proficiency bonus to an ability check made to end the grappled or restrained condition on yourself, you can instead add twice your proficiency bonus.
  • When you escape a creature’s grapple on your turn, you can immediately use your bonus action to attack the creature you escaped.

Once you use this perk, you may not do so again until you finish a short or long rest.

Firebrand

Minimum Level: 6

You have Resistance to Fire damage.

Fit

Minimum Level: 3

You can ignore 1 level of Exhaustion (you will not die until 7th level).

Fleet-Footed

Minimum Level: 6

Class Requirement: Rogue

For short bursts your movement is so quick it leaves a blurred after-image.

Quickstep. When you use your Cunning Action, you can take the Dodge action. A blurry after-image of your movement is left in your wake until the start of your next turn.

Once you use this perk, you cannot do so again until you finish a short or long rest.

Fleetness

Minimum Level: 3

Your walking speed increases permanently by 5 feet.

Full of Life

Minimum Level: 6

You have Resistance to Necrotic damage.

Gorilla Technique

Minimum Level: 6

Class Requirement: Monk

For fleeting moments, you find yourself able to interact with objects just beyond your physical reach. Your aura visibly glows when you channel ki and seems to extend far beyond the reach of your arm.

Long Strike. Until the start of your next turn, the reach of all your unarmed strikes is increased by 10 feet.

Once you use this perk, you cannot do so again until you finish a short or long rest.

Gourmet

Minimum Level: 3

You gain the instinctive knowledge of how to properly season, prepare, and cook food. Any dish you make is guaranteed to be delicious and filling regardless of whatever foul ingredients went into it.  Add an additional 1d6 to any cooking rolls you make.

Hard of Hearing

Minimum Level: 6

You have Resistance to Thunder damage.

Hardheaded

Minimum Level: 6

You have Resistance to Psychic damage.

Hardy

Minimum Level: 6

You have Advantage on all Death Saves.

Healer

Minimum Level: 3

Choose one 1st-level spell you know or have prepared that regains hit points, such as cure wounds or healing word. When you cast that spell at its base level, you can forego the healing roll and cause the target to regain the maximum number of hit points possible from that spell. Once you use this perk. you cannot use it again until you finish a long rest.

Healthy

Minimum Level: 3

When you roll Hit Dice for healing you may re-roll any 1’s or 2’s rolled. You must keep the new result. This effect is retroactive to previous rolls.

Impalement Arts

Minimum Level: 3

When you attack with any thrown weapon, you can treat a roll of 19 or 20 on the d20 as a critical hit. Once you use this perk, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

In the Darkness

Minimum Level: 6

You have Resistance to Radiant damage.

Interfere

Minimum Level: 6

As a reaction, you may give an attack against you Disadvantage. Once you use this perk, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Marksman

Minimum Level: 3

When you attack with a short bow, longbow, light crossbow, heavy crossbow, or hand crossbow, you can treat a roll of 19 or 20 on the d20 as a critical hit. Once you use this perk, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Master Swordsman

Minimum Level: 6

Your expertise with the blade is unmatched and few rival your skill.

  • While wielding a sword, when you take the dodge action, you can use your bonus action to make a single melee attack at disadvantage.
  • While wielding a sword and attacking at disadvantage, you can choose to ignore the disadvantage and instead attack with advantage. Once you use this feature you must complete a long rest before you can use it again.
  • When attacking with a sword, you can choose to deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, rather than the normal damage type. You must choose the damage type of the attack before making the attack roll.

Material Caster

Minimum Level: 3

Whenever you cast a spell that has a material component that is consumed by the spell, and the material component has a gold piece cost, such as revivify or arcane lock, the material cost for the spell is reduced by 25%. For example, revivify would require diamonds worth 225 gold pieces, rather than 300 gold pieces.

Once you use this perk, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Pious

Minimum Level: 6

Class Requirement: Cleric

Endow Grace. As a bonus action you can cause a beam of light to shine down on a target you can see within 60 feet. For the next minute, it gains a +1 bonus to all attack rolls, skill checks, and saving throws.

Divest Finesse (Evil-aligned variant). As a bonus action you can cause a beam of darkness to shine down on a target you can see within 60 feet. For the next minute, it gains a -1 penalty to all attack rolls, skill checks, and saving throws.

Once you use this perk, you may not do so again until you finish a long rest.

Polar Bear

Minimum Level: 6

You have Resistance to Cold damage.

Polyglot

Minimum Level: 3

You learn one additional language of your choice. You can choose this perk multiple times.

Preservationist

Minimum Level: 3

Using materials available in your harvester’s kit, you can extend the life of harvested items. Choose one harvested item and double it’s time to expire.  Only the remaining time left for the expiration is doubled.  Once a material has been preserved, it can no longer be affected by additional preservation efforts.  

Only one material’s expiration can be extended per long rest.

Prowess

Minimum Level: 3

You gain proficiency with one skill of your choice. This perk cannot be used to gain expertise with any skill. You can choose these perk multiple times if you choose a different skill each time.

Rite Master

Minimum Level: 3

Whenever you cast a spell as a ritual, the spell’s casting time is increased by 5 minutes instead of 10. All other requirements for ritual casting still apply.

Ritualist

Minimum Level: 6

Class Requirement: Wizard

When you prepare your spells for the day, you can spend ten minutes preparing one ritual spell you know.  It appears as arcane script on your forearm.  Before you finish you next long rest, you can cast that spell using only its casting time, and without expending a spell slot.  When you do so, the script fades away, and you cannot cast it again using this feature until the next long rest.

Rod

Minimum Level: 6

You have Resistance to Lightning damage.

Scavenger

Minimum Level: 3

You find twice as much food from plants and dead animals upon a successful Survival check.

Shield Bearer

Minimum Level: 3

Sometimes others can benefit from your skill with a shield more than you could.

  • Your Strength or Constitution score increases by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • You can choose to impose disadvantage on any attack of opportunity made against a creature within 5 feet of you.

Once you use this perk, you may not do so again until you finish a short or long rest.

Shield Use

Minimum Level: 3

When you are hit with a melee attack, you can use your reaction to add a +2 bonus to your AC, possibly turning the hit into a miss. You must be wielding a shield and you must be able to see the attacker to gain this benefit. The increase lasts until the end of the attacker’s next turn. Once you use this perk you cannot use it again until you finish a long rest.

Stalwart

Minimum Level: 3

When you hold position, your defenses become near impenetrable.

  • At the start of your turn, you can reduce your speed to zero and impose disadvantage on the next melee attack made against you before the start of your next turn.
  • When an effect causes you to move without expending your movement, you can choose to move half of the distance instead. Round down to the nearest 5-foot interval.

Once you use this perk, you may not do so again until you finish a short or long rest.

Stout

Minimum Level: 6

You have Resistance to Force damage.

Swimmer

Minimum Level: 3, Prerequisite: No swimming speed

You gain a swimming speed of 20 feet.

Tactician

Minimum Level: 3

When a creature within 30 feet of you that you can see makes an attack roll, you can use your reaction to grant advantage on that roll. Once you use this perk, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Tracker

Minimum Level: 6

Class Requirement: Ranger

You find yourself able to hone your senses on families of creatures and gain additional insights into the creature as you track it.

Tracker. You meditate for 10 minutes, focusing on one type of creature: aberrations, beasts, celestials, constructs, dragons, elementals, fey, fiends, giants, monstrosities, oozes, plants, or undead. For the next 8 hours, you have advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks made to track creatures of that type.

On a successful check, you learn the following:

  • The direction the creature headed.
  • If the creature is aware of your presence.
  • The creatures approximate speed (in mph).
  • How long since the creature was last in this place.
  • If the creature is healthy, bruised, bloodied. or wounded (> 75%, 50-75%, 25-50%, or <25% of hit points respectively).

Once you use this perk, you cannot do so again until you finish a long rest.

Tradesman

Minimum Level: 3

You gain proficiency with one tool, instrument, gaming set or kit of your choice. This perk cannot be used to gain expertise with any tool, instrument, gaming set or kit. You can choose these perk multiple times if you choose a different tool instrument, gaming set or kit each time.

Vile

Minimum Level: 6

You have Resistance to Poison damage.

Weathervane

Minimum Level: 6

You have Resistance to Air or Wind damage. You have advantage to remain standing against any attacks that might cause you to fall prone.

Whip Master

Minimum Level: 3

A whip in your hands becomes a deadly weapon.

  • When you hit a large or smaller creature with a whip, the creature’s speed is reduced by 10 feet until the start of your next turn.
  • Whips you wield gain the light property.
  • The damage die of whips you wield increases from 1d4 to 1d6.
  • You gain a +5 bonus to BDSM.

Perfect Memory, Perfect Notes, or Perfect Record

Twenty years ago I had a pretty damn good memory. I could remember almost anything I heard, saw, or read to about a 90% accuracy. Yeah, I was pretty amazing. Today though, it seems that my memory has the capacity of a goldfish. Combine that with my inability to take notes very well, I have troubles. When I play, I am into what is happening, trying to capture every nuance of the DM and the other players. Capturing this would be nice to refer to later as the campaign develops. As a DM, I am performing, dancing, telling a story, and making up very bad accents. It is difficult to take any notes while you are the conductor of the orchestra.

For any campaign that plans on being long running, there is usually some over-arching story line that eventually leads to some form of completion. Well, at least most modules attempt to do so. There will be clues, points of information, and names of NPC’s that might later become important to remember. As the DM, you might have given out something important, or not. Knowing absolutely that you delivered what you thought you did can become important if it has any applicability later in the story. of course, a good DM should be giving multiple opportunities to give important clues but not enough to reveal the story too early.

I truly admire those that are able to remain in the moment, participate, and capture all of that on some form of media. Actually, it is pretty amazing. I cannot do it. I cannot even pretend to do it. There are those that claim they will remember, but that is very limited in the long run. yes, they might remember what was said tomorrow, but next month? In six months? Nope, and a whole lot of nope.

So, what is to be done? The simple answer is to record the session. Whether it is audio or video and audio, it does not matter too much. As long as there is a perfect record that can be gone back to either immediately to make those notes, or in the future when you thing of something that is nagging you. As a DM, recording the session is a must these days. I find it important to be able to go through and make sure I write down what I actually said because while there are “scripted” text sets, I rarely read it exactly, and depending on the situation, that information might have been delivered completely differently than what was “scripted”.

There was the case with a recent session, I was absolutely convinced that I had start a specific sequence of events, not very far into it, but started it. The reality was that I had not, in fact I had held off so it could happen at the beginning of the next session. If I had gone with my memory, or gut feeling, I would have left out a very important piece of the story. I knew for sure what happened, because I had it all recorded. I could hear very clearly what I did and did not say.

I have heard that some DM’s would prefer the players to not have a perfect record of any sort. They are relying on a failure of note taking and a future aha moment to jump into the character’s emotional train. If the campaign is a very information heavy one, the burden on the players is very high. If they can accomplish that, they are far better people than I am, and it would be impressive. I would start to fail at some point in that game because of my inability to note take well.

I prefer to err that the players are human, the DM sub-human, and that everyone has a chance to get the information that they should for the game. If they guess the plot too early, was that a failure of their note taking? Probably not. Did the DM give them too many clues too early and out the BBEG? Maybe. I have also DM’ed where even when a clue-bat is applied to the players every 30 minutes, they still tended to miss the facts sitting in front of their face. Or destroy an important NPC just as they were going to deliver information? Yeah, that’s happened too. No amount of recording would save that group if information was important to the campaign.

This really comes down to my personal ability and need to capture information and have it available whether I am a player or a DM. So, I now record every session that I DM, and if the game is online? Those all get recorded too. There is no perfect memory or perfect notes, only the recording is the perfect set of notes.

How We Have it Set Up and Equipment

Our set up is not the most sophisticated, nor is it very integrated. Since we first started recording audio only and the later video addition is a completely separate feed that has to be merged with the audio at some other stage.

Audio

The setup itself is fairly simple. I have a recorder (ZOOM H6 Portable Studio) with XLR inputs going to a cheap aluminum tube that was mutilated to fit the cable which leads to the microphone (MXL V67I FET Condenser) hanging over the table. The recorder is powered by battery (Jackery Portable Charger). The handmade boom hangs via large magnet on the steel beam crossing the ceiling. When I am ready to start, it is a manual process.

Video

The video setup is even more simplistic. I have a Brio 4k Webcam attached to another location on the steel beam with a magnetic camera mount. It is then connected to a long USB cable to a Mac Mini (2018 version) running OBS which controls the camera and the recording. I did leave the sound recording from the camera I can use that to help sync up the better audio being captured by the MXL microphone. Because the entire basement has steel frame I can use magnets to act as guides for the cable so it would not dangle as it could have been.

Integrating (aka Merging the files)

I cannot take any credit for this part of the work since Adobe Premier Pro is an awesome piece of software. I added the two files in and told it to merge them on the audio and remove the AV audio. Ten minutes later it was all done, and it was completed perfectly. I used the same software to create a transcript, put in subtitles, and boom, it was finished. I know nothing of audio or video editing, but this pretty much did everything for us. A few edits to the transcripts, and it looked almost professional.

End Result

The audio file was 1.6gb, the video file 15.3gb, and the merged file at 4k was 120gb or 50gb at 1080p. I’ll probably be the only one to ever look at the 4k video, but I’ll share the 1080p with the players. It was pretty cool to see all of us and hear the action in play afterwards. It does give me a better appreciation for how much I suck at accents and where I need to improve as a DM. These will most likely never end up anywhere except in mine and the player private repositories, and that is just fine. The recordings are only for them and I.

Time Waits for No One

Well…. Hmm.. yes, it has been a while since my last posting… any posting. I can understand the difficulty of time that came down upon us all. Just about three years ago I had gotten excited about building this and commenting on a variety of different things game related. Real world events and life itself got into the way. Job changes, pandemic, a litany of excuses I have ready, but will stop there.

I am back, hopefully more regularly than before.

Session 12, Prelude

15th of Mirtul of the year 1492

After finishing a short rest, Fogo did a quick Detect Magic to see if any of their ill-gotten gains were magical, and it turned out that one of the maces and the breastplate the priest had been wearing were both magical.  Stashing them away and cleaning up their impromptu camp the group was ready.

The party decided to finally look at and attempt to open the last heavily fortified door.  It was not locked and proved to be the priest’s office and bedroom. The room looked like it had been ransacked.  All the furniture had been beaten up, a table and desk bashed with a hard blunt instrument, a bookcase tossed over, and finally, a large pile of burnt documents sitting by the door.

It seems that the priest before running out to engage the characters had paused to burn anything important to ensure no information leaked in case the combat did not go their way.  Avery stepped over to the desk to see if he could find anything remaining while Fwoosh dug through the ashes hoping for a remnant piece of paper.

The desk proved to be completely empty, and secret compartments in the desk had been opened and dumped, and the desk itself bashed enough times to break it in half. The ash pile was not even warm anymore.  It was evident that the hour-long waits gave the small fire sufficient time to burn down anything that was there and to cool completely.  As he continued to dig through them looking closely, he saw a sheet of paper under a chair nearby.

While in a hurry, the priest seemed to have missed something.  Fwoosh scooted over and grabbing the paper. It was clear that it had been in the fire, and through some means had escape before burning completely.  Most of the message was obscured by the burnt hole in the middle.  If they had only gone into the room sooner, more might have been recovered.

There was one passage that seemed to stick out for them:

“I have contacted our spies in Red Larch to keep an eye on them and remove their presence if needed.”

Otherwise, the room was empty of anything else.  In fact, it seemed overly empty.  The room had been almost completely cleared out of anything.  There were not any clothes, knickknacks, or anything, it was bare except for smashed furniture and a burnt pile of documents.  When everyone examined the rest of the space, it looked like the soldiers had completely emptied out the areas only leaving their packs.  They were ready to depart in just minutes before the characters had arrived and interrupted their exit.

Knowing there was nothing else to find everyone convened in the main room. A lengthy dialogue occurred about what their exact plans should be. It was decided that securing the exit would be the best plan before gathering the prisoners.  They also remembered that there were supposed to be ghouls somewhere in the ruins that they had not yet met.  There were only a few areas they had not visited, but they felt the urgency of needing to get the prisoners away to be the most important.

Heading down the tunnel, they were finally able to reach the end of it after over 500 feet.  The tunnel was straight and in the last 50 feet the ground started becoming frozen as well as the walls until they reached the4 end where the walls, floor, and ceiling were sheathed in a thin coat of ice.  Looking out into the open area they could see a damaged wagon just outside of the opening, and two wagons with horses tacked up and ready to go.  They also heard voiced.  Rough and ruff voices to the right and left of the opening as well from one of the wagons up ahead.  Voices speaking in a language that only Avery could understand.  Goblin.  There were bugbears waiting outside with the wagons needed for the escape.

Huddling around further back in the tunnel, the party started making plans.  It was good that the bugbears were further away and were not expecting invaders since the group were not speaking in hushed tones.  There were several close calls as the bugbears are well known for their ambushes, assassinations, and capability to hear very well.

Deciding on a path of action, Fogo used Disguise magic on himself making him resemble the priest exactly.  Moving out through the exit it did not take long for the bugbears to notice the characters.  Avery split off from the rest in anticipation of hostilities, which made the bugbears much more suspicious because none of the party was recognizable except the priest to them.

A larger bugbear began speaking loudly at Fogo, unfortunately Fogo did not speak goblin.

“Lareth, is everything ready to go? Where is Sar?”

At which point Avery answered:

“Sar is dead.”

“Who are you? Lareth, what is going on?”

It was at this point, that Fogo interjected in the common tongue since he did not recognize any of the previous conversation.

“It’s alright, it’s alright. We found these guys, and everyone has a price. We were able to convince them to join our cause and we are bringing them with us. The rest of the people are back and are almost done packing up. They will be here in just a couple of minutes. In fact, it would very helpful if someone could give them a hand.”

“The wagons are already packed.”

“There were just a couple more things that they needed back there.”

“Can we get two or three guys going back there?”

The bugbear boss started yelling at some of the other ones and four of the six splits off and started running down the secret passage. It seemed that Fogo’s persuasion worked and most of the bugbears departed.  Fogo continued.

“We got into a bit of a scuffle with these guys before they decided there was a better option them.  I wonder if we have any healing potions, we can give them so they can be at full strength for the journey.”

The bugbear boss responded in goblin.

“Only if you packed something, only you would know what is in there.”

Not understanding, Fogo just kept nodding his head in agreement, but the conversation continued in goblin.

“Why did the gnome say Sar is dead? Where is Sar?”

Using that opportunity, Avery decided that the jig was up and let off with a Ray of Frost missing the bugbear, but fully alerting him that something was not right.  Yelling for the last remaining bugbear they attacked the party.  It did not take too long to finish the two of them off, but their constant yelling did attract the other four who made it back just as the others died.  The combat continued until all the bugbears had been killed except one that they captured to question later.

Finally having time to start inspecting the wagons they found enough arms and armor for at least 20 to 30 people and food for a 100.  There were two small chests and a single large one.  There was also a particular long box full of black cloaks.  Avery took a cloak, one of the small chests while ISAC took the other small chest.  It was getting very late, and darkness had already descended, and the cold was biting into them a fair amount. Untacking the horses attached to the wagons, they moved those 12 horses into the hallway to prevent them from freezing, abandoning the two lame horses outside as well as the two warhorses that would not allow them to get too close.

Moving the horses about 150 into the tunnel they left ISAC and Fogo to guard the horses while the rest began shuffling the merchants down to the soldiers’ barracks room. The merchant who had been hanging in chains and heavily tortured had died at some point not been healed. As the time neared midnight, the party started their watches relieving those guarding the horses every two hours and keeping the heavily fortified doors locked.  It was before the first watch ended that Fogo realized that his bugbear prisoner was imminently about to escape.  Not wanting to deal with it, he just bashed in its skull killing it.

During Sky’s watch he allowed the horses to move forward deeper into the warmer tunnel until the lead on was stopped by the closed door in front of the barracks.  There was some consternation with the next group having watch as the horses were occupying all the open space.

Sometime during the night as ISAC was resting, he lost focus and began dreaming again.

“Your body feel light and gently floating.  As you open your eyes, you see an open void.  The inkiness of the void is very stark, but at the same time you do not feel lonely.  You feel companionship nearby.  Something familiar is close to you.  Your body slowly spins around, and you can see the golden statue.  It seems much larger that you are, it feels like you could fly around it.  It is transparent, as if it is not fully there, or that it is only partially represented in this space.

As you close in on the item, the four blocks of the bottom split out and start making a slow orbit around the top part. As you watch, you realize that the top part is really an eye.  A closed eye, but it is attempting to open, but cannot.

You feel it drawing something from you, some sort of internal essence.  You feel weaker as it draws from you and while that happens, you are slowly becoming more transparent, while it seems more solid.  As it becomes more solid you can feel the eye attempting to open again, but still cannot, something is preventing that.

A shape pain strikes your head, your brain, your being, and you awaken with a severe headache and the dream fading with the morning.  The golden statue rests in your hands.

Upon awakening, the statue was truly in his hands and Fwoosh did not have it. While somewhat disturbing, Fwoosh seemed to be happy that it did not seem to be attached to him any longer.

16th of Mirtul of the year 1492

Early the next morning the party, the merchants, and the mysterious gnome all headed out. It took them to nearly noon to get the horses back out of the hall, tacked up to the wagons, and get everything ready to go.  While working outside, the four horses that had been left outside were all dead.  It was not sure if it was because of the cold or some large creature since the two warhorses had large bites missing from them, one of the lame horses clawed into pieces, and the second lame horse missing, and clearly dragged off into the frozen swamp somewhere.

Before departing the gnome insisted that they burn the last remaining wagon to ensure they were not leaving anything for the bandits.  Putting the Ruined Moathouse behind them, the group all traveled forward.  The small trail they were able to follow first headed to the east, then made a turn to the north until they exited the swamp.  The closer the got to the edge of the swamp the warmer the weather was becoming, and the muddiness of the trail and swamp more prevalent.

Reaching the edge, they could see the trail then headed directly west.  Nighttime had already arrived, and they set up camp for the night. Fwoosh put on a little show to entertain the merchants and the opening of one of the barrels of brandy helped the night pass well for everyone.

As the evening moved on, ISAC had Fwoosh investigate the two chests.  The small one was opened and contained a large amount of gold coins, probably some of the bandit payroll. The larger chest was heavily trapped with poisonous darts and difficult lock but was nothing in front of Fwoosh.  Contained within was a multitude of wealthy goods.  It looked like all the expensive goods from the priest.

Theories and ideas were shared, and that perhaps the cold was related to the water group, and maybe the heat was related to a fire group. It generated many different hypothesizes and directions, but without any evidence they could only guess what it all meant.  But as more pieces of information came it started creating a larger and complex picture of what was happening.

With some input and arguments for what direction to go, the group decided to head to Amphail the next day since they would be halfway between Red Larch and Amphail.

Deciding to revisit the statue, ISAC was able to demonstrate that it did have additional powers that it did not have previously.  In fact, it now had some offensive power to compliment the previous defensive powers.  The new attacks where of the four different elements, each one new and different from any magic any of the arcane casters have heard or seen of previously.

17th of Mirtul of the year 1492

Morning came and the camp was packed up with everyone starting to head in the direction they believed was toward the Long Road.

And that is where the session ended.

Campaign Notes

The Ruined Moathouse comes to an end.  They encountered a new group, ones that seemed to worship water as a source.  This is now two of the four elemental symbols they have come across.  The merchants rescued and they are near the road, safety is near, or at least they all hope so.  The Gold Statue has changed, it has more power, what else does it have?

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