Monday, February 11, 2019

Blossom Fall, Episode 4

Colonial Caerdia: Blossom Fall 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 already familiar with this series, you can find the beginning over here.

You can find the previous episode here.

3rd-4th of Waxing Spring, 0 AL

Our band of heroes return home after their venture up the river, and are greeted by the sound of axes cutting into trees, echoing in the newly-fallen night. They decide two things - that the noise needs to stop, and that they need some sort of watch set up for the night. They have no idea what might be out in the woods, and they don't want anything dangerous drawn in.

I'Un and John head off to find Captain Opal to see if they can get permission to arrange a militia, while Jojen goes to talk the woodcutters into holding off until morning. Vala, on the other hand, seeks out their roommate, Lord Krandig, who is off in the woods failing at starting a campfire for himself. Vala moves him closer to the beach, where she feels it is safer, and speaks with him a bit - learning that he's unhappy that people wouldn't accept money to build a house for him, and that he's disappointed they haven't found a city he can integrate himself into. He muses that perhaps he could fund expeditions to find such cities.

Jojen's attempts to get people to stop chopping trees is unsuccessful, but with the same message relayed to Captain Opal, at least some of the people are stopped from making so much noise. Opal agrees that it's a good idea to get a perimeter set up, but says it's up to them to make it happen. She was in command aboard the ship, but they aren't on a ship any longer. I'Un also notices that he's getting dirty looks from some of the sailors, and he sees one deliberately burning a scrap of paper the right size for one of the autographs he'd sold.

I'Un goes to the beach to set up a base of operations where recruits can be sent while John sets out searching for people with military experience and other recruits to send to I'Un. He finds a number of recruits, and a human woman named Kalrie who claims military experience, and sends them to I'Un.

I'Un welcomes in his recruits, promising them extra food rations in exchange for standing watch for the night. However, some of them - sailors - turn away when they see who is in charge. I'Un calls out to them, calling them cowards, which sparks them to say he's the coward - he, who claimed to be a great hero for the people, then his in a barrel during the storm while good people were washed overboard. I'Un tried to argue with them to no avail, and when they left, some of his other recruits departed as well.

John arrives with Kalrie and they set up their sparse perimeter-watch. Then everyone heads off to bed.

John and I'Un wake up early to go hunting, bringing back enough food for their group, as well as those who stood watch for the night. After distributing their food, they reconvene with Jojen, Conrad, and Vala. They've decided to head out to explore the cave they found, but they have a few errands to run first.

They arrange a meeting between Sillo and Lord Kranding, arranging for her to be his new cook for when he builds his new house. I'Un and Vala try to recruit some extra help for their journey, hoping to get High Priest Grumlock or his young attendant to come along for providing healing services. They find the attendant and learn that the High Priest died during the storm, and that the young man doesn't share his clerical powers. They almost convince him to come along, but he decides to stay back and perform last rites. Meanwhile, John and Jojen talk to the captain about getting one of the longboats for making their journey up the river - and perhaps an easier one on the way back down, should they find any treasure there. The captain has no problem with this, and says the boats are currently available to whoever needs them. They acquire one that has just returned from the ship and meet the others at the mouth of the river.

With Conrad and Jojen rowing, it takes them about two and a half hours to reach the cave, where they pull the boat up on the bank. John sneaks a little way ahead to scout the way while the others follow with a lantern. The cave tapers and twists as it delves down into the ground. Around one corner, John sees that there is another passage intersecting theirs, angling down from the right and getting smaller as it continues to the left. Just then, they hear a skittering, and out of the stones all around them come giant centipedes, rushing in to attack them. The group deals with them quickly, with only Vala getting hurt, though Jojen heals her with a quick spell.

They take some time for I'Un to claim the centipedes' mandibles and to debate which way to go next. They want to go deeper, but they're worried about being attacked from behind, so John first scouts up the larger tunnel. Around the corner, he finds a pair of sleeping black bears. He reports back to the others and, after considerable debate, they decide to sneak up on the bears and kill them. Unfortunately, they make too much noise as they approach and find themselves facing fully awake bears.

Vala rushes in to stab one while Jojen attempts to put the bears to sleep - but the spell doesn't have any impact, and one of the bears takes Vala to the ground, unconscious, with a swipe of its claws and a bite. The other bear charges in, landing a heavy hit on John. They're beginning to worry that they may have gotten in a little over their heads, but they aren't willing to leave Vala behind - though John retreats out of harm's way. They manage to take down one of the bears, but at the cost of I'Un landing unconscious on the floor beside Vala, bleeding out like the halfling he was trying to protect. At long last, the second bear falls, and Jojen, John, and Conrad rush in to stabilize the wounds of their two friends. With their friends out of danger, but not yet conscious, they take a rest to treat the wounds recieved in battle.

And that brings an end to this week's game session. Check back next week for Episode 5.

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