Colonial Caerdia: Lark's Landing is a story being told through a 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign I'm running at a local hobby shop called the Devil's Bench. If you aren't familiar with this ongoing story, you can follow this link to Once Upon a Tabletop on YouTube to hear the start of it or read the brief summary I wrote when I switched from video to blog.
You can find the previous episode here.
35th-37th of Waxing Spring, 1AL
The 3rd Watch have been woken during the third watch of the night by what appears to be a vampire seeking retribution for the desecration of his temple. Battle is joined, but with the added challenge that Hammer has been put under some sort of influence by the vampire and is fighting his friends. In addition, the vampire is moving with inhuman speed. He darts across the field of battle, avoiding all those clustered around to attack him, and grabs Extang - whispering that his friends don't need his help before sinking his fangs into the dragonborn's neck to drink his blood.
Extang, however, is more resilient than the vampire anticipated, and manages to keep his concentration on the spell he cast to enhance Fiaeorri and Stor's speed. Once again, the melee fighters swarm in to batter the vampire - with Hammer on their heels - while T'Zaric hangs back in the air, casting spells. However, the vampire focuses attention on Extang, trying to break his concentration on that spell - and finally tosses him to the ground, unconscious. The ending of the spell leaves Stor and Fiaeorri exhausted and unable to fight for a moment, allowing the vampire to take some swipes at them with his axe.
As soon as he sees Extang hits the ground, Logan kneels down to heal his wounds with his divine powers, earning a jibe from the vampire about the sentimentality of mortals. Extang then uses his magical boots to leap up into a tree, out of harm's way while the vampire continues to hack at Stor and Fiaeorri with the confidence that Hammer is taking care of Logan.
However, after more spells hurtled by T'Zaric and Extang, as well as the attacks from the others, the vampire decides that he bit off more than he can chew. He retreats from battle, commenting that the group is more formidable than he anticipated - but he doesn't mind. Now that he knows where they live, he is more than happy to play the long game, preying on their friends and family. He asks Hammer to hold off the group, turns into a bat, and flies off into the jungle. T'Zaric tries to follow after, hoping to finish him off, but loses sight of him in amongst the trees.
The group turn their attentions on Hammer, quickly knocking him unconscious and binding him in ropes. They then move camp a little ways, just to be safe, and finish their night's rest - being awoken early in the morning by Hammer, who is determined to follow his vampiric friend so he can protect him. He eventually breaks out of the ropes and begins walking off into the jungle, but the rest of the group manage to weaken him enough for Fiaeorri to use her magic to put him to sleep. They tie him up again and, when he wakes up, convince him that they are taking him to the vampire, but can't risk untying him because he was attacking them before.
When they finally arrive at Port Noble near the end of the day, Hammer is infuriated. However, he is convinced that 3rd Watch simply got turned around and will head right back out after they stop at home. Once they arrive home, they sneakily knock Hammer to the floor and place their immovable rod - a magical item that is nearly impossible to move once its button has been pushed - on top of his back to keep him in place.
Stor heads off to his new room above the adventurer's guild, checking in on the lower building as he passes - and isn't entirely surprised to see Siha, leader of the 4th Watch, camped out there. He leaves her asleep and heads up to his own room.
The rest of the group also go to sleep, keeping an eye on the restless Hammer. Part way through the night, at about the same time as the vampire had struck the night before, a sudden change comes over the sentient construct. He's suddenly back to his normal self and extremely embarrassed and ashamed about how he was behaving. He is released from the immovable rod and the rest of the night passes uneventfully.
In the morning, they all gather by the adventurer's guild. Fiaeorri insists that they must go out and destroy the foul vampire, but Stor asks them to wait a few days - he's sticking to his plan to retire, and he wants to find a replacement for himself before they go out again, as they were nearly overwhelmed last time. Fiaeorri isn't happy about it, but she and the others agree.
They then get an update from Siha on what's been going on at the guild, as she decided to watch over the place since no one else was. She tells them about the minor contracts dropped off by various people, as well as the people interested in joining the guild - who, so far, are mostly the 4th Watch. While this is going on, Extang splits the money they found into equal shares and hands them out before taking T'Zaric's portion directly to the council, as per their arrangement. T'Zaric is greatly saddened by this, though he cheers up a bit when Hammer gives him and Logan some of his share as an apology for attacking them during the fight with the vampire.
Stor puts out the call for people interested in joining the 3rd Watch and, naturally, the 4th Watch are quick to respond. Another candidate also arrives, brought over and being vouched for by Wyatt. It is a bird-person, about the height of a dwarf and with arms instead of wings. He looks a lot like a giant green-and-yellow budgie.
The 3rd Watch aren't quite sold on their candidates, as the 4th Watch are quite young and the bird-person - named Quib - can't even speak unless he's imitating someone. Even after showing off some impressive magic, Quib's acceptableness is in doubt - until he plays his lute for them. His performance is so beautiful that he wins over everyone except Hammer, who wants to test the 4th Watch first. That, however, doesn't take long, and Quib is accepted into their group.
They all head off to their own tasks for the day. Fiaeorri finds herself at her shrine to Pagslas, and gets approached by a halfling attempting to buy her necklace. As the necklace is priceless to her, Fiaeorri simply brushes him aside, and is shocked when he makes a grab for it - though he quickly backs off and apologizes. He turns to leave, but not before Fiaeorri sees him tucking a necklace that looks remarkably like hers back into his shirt. She lunges for him, but he runs - though he's fairly easy to catch with his shorter legs.
Grabbing out his necklace, Fiaeorri demands to know where he got it. He eventually admits to being part of a group that was sent to get it, however he snuck ahead of the group and took it for himself. When he returned, the gnome who had been the group's guide was gone. The next day, when the group discovered the missing treasure, the gnome had taken the blame and the halfling was happy to let it go at that.
When Fiaeorri insists that she's taking this second necklace, the halfling twists out of her grasp and runs off again - this time getting into an area populated well enough that Fiaeorri can't catch him without making a scene. Instead, she follows at a distance until she sees him enter a house, then heads home - intending to return in the night.
However, as she walks through the village on her return journey that night, Fiaeorri finds herself face-to-scarred-face with Meglin, one of the elite guard of the cult Fiaeorri grew up with. Meglin leads Fiaeorri to a house on the edge of the village. Inside is another woman from Fiaeorri's past - Aliya - though she looks much different now - so different that Fiaeorri had actually served with her in the militia without ever noticing. The other person in the room, lounging in a very rough chair, burned and scarred nearly beyond recognition is Gregor - the leader of Fiaeorri's cult.
She immediately falls to her knees and offers him her necklace - which had belonged to him in the first place. Gregor thanks her for keeping it safe and informs her that she has been deemed to be still trustworthy, and that he seeks to rebuild the True Daughters of Pagslas. Fiaeorri is very excited about this prospect - so much so that she doesn't even bat an eye when Gregor asks her to go out into the world to fetch money to fund the project. In a heartbeat, she agrees.
And that's where this game session ends. We won't be playing next week, so come back in two weeks to find out what happens in Episode 45.