Quite a short sharp session this time, in the continuation of my starter-set-gone-wrong campaign (part 1, part 2). We were also two players down, so the party was just the wizard, fighter and barbarian. That’s not a party who do things slowly or softly!
Following directly on from last time, the party find themselves in the old wizard’s lab, now holding the lab notes they’d been sent for by the Necromancer Hamun.
The wizard has a quick flick through the book and decided there was no harm in handing the notes over.
This definitely won’t lead to a second campaign after the necromancer rips open a portal to a hell dimension or anything…
The necromancer was as good as his word, and traded for a scroll of remove curse. Unable to choose using the scroll on himself (so curing him of his bird feet, but unable to use the cursed sword anymore) or the sword (leaving him with bird feet, but a +1 longsword), the party wizard decided to leave it a while, and pocketed the scroll.
One side-quest complete, the party moved on to their next task: orc hunting. There was a band of orc in the hills, and they intended to murder them all.
A good survival roll from the barbarian ensured they found the orc hideout without being spotted themselves. However the cave was guarded, and without a sneaky rogue, they were going to have to do this the hard way. The barbarian, being a half-orc, tried a rough disguise, which was enough to get him within smashing distance. The orc went down quickly, but fighting alerted his mates – 5 orcs and an ogre – who piled out the cave and started hurting people.
A wildly successful ‘sleep’ spell, made the wizard the ogre’s target and he was making death saves as usual. However a quick healing potion and some brave fighting from his teammates and the party were victorious! A quick loot of the cave and corpses (the barbarian now owns a two-handed maul, gods help us all), and they were trekking back to town…which had just been raided by a band of orcs.
I tried something new here, as the players had previously established a militia in the town, so I had them roll attacks and decide tactics for the defenders, to decide how well the town fared.
It was ok, not a complete success. I might try to finesse it for the future. Probably still more fun than just being told what happened though.
Returning to town, the party reviewed the damage. Not too bad: two of the militia, and a family in an outlying farm had been killed, and the town store had been looted and burned. However the leader of the militia (a strong and charismatic woman called Ryellia) took them aside to show them all something strange…
In the ruined farm house, felled by an orc javelin, she discovered a creature. It had a pallid grey, almost featureless face, which the party quickly recognised as a doppleganger (dun dun duuun!). It seemed there had been one living in town for a while, potentially months or years, without anyone knowing.
The party investigated its home (the creature had been posing as farmer Ewis), and found a hidden compartment (that wizard is like Sherlock bleeding Holmes) full of notes on the town, and most concerning, the party themselves. There were also a set of roughly-made keys, to who-knows-where.
Clearly the doppleganger has been spying on the town, but to what end, and for whom?
Either way, the party knows where they must go next – the Lost Mine of Phandelver, to confront the ‘Black Spider’ and hopefully solve the mysteries they have uncovered.
The party actually started on the final dungeon at this stage, but as I hadn’t prepared properly and sort-of ballsed it up, I’m going to reset that so everyone can go in together next session.
Art credit: David Hueso, Deviantart, http://davidhueso.deviantart.com/art/Orc-366588159